MBA students at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University were requesting help with professional skills to use in their high-stakes summer internships. Students were worried about how to handle issues that might arise in the workplace and had little confidence they could address problems effectively without alienating co-workers or supervisors. The students had full schedules and the internships were only a few months away.
Dr. Leanne Meyer, Director of the Accelerate Leadership Center at Tepper, was anxious to provide students with a tool to improve their conflict resolution skills. Through a co-worker, she learned about Martris and their new mobile app, Conflict Coach, and in April 2019 she procured subscriptions for her MBA students. When a problem arose, students could use the app to
- analyze the situation from all sides
- obtain expert just-in-time advice about what strategy to adopt
- prepare for a difficult conversation with a plan for what to say and how to say it.
38 students used the app, including answering questions within the app about confidence in their ability to address the conflict. They also took a pre- and post-survey about whether they generally viewed conflict in a negative or positive light.
After four weeks, survey data showed that among students using the app, levels of conflict avoidance fell from 58% to 25%. The percentage of these students who expressed negative attitudes toward conflict was also reduced, from 24% to 12%. Observing the results, Dr. Meyer said, “This was an efficient and surprisingly effective tool for students moving into crucial new roles in new organizations and cultures. Many students were grateful to have Conflict Coach in their pockets as they took on these challenges.”
Dr. Meyer plans to adopt Conflict Coach for future MBA classes. “It’s an amazing tool that the students love,” she said. “It helps them, and that’s why we’re using it again.”
See for yourself how easy and effective Conflict Coach can be.
For more information on how you can put Conflict Coach to work for your students,
email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 724-201-6474.