Amy Gallo

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Smart Fights: How to Create and Navigate Productive Tensions on Your Team

We all want to work on a team where people are polite, considerate, and kind. But it’s possible to be too nice, failing to disagree when we need to or surface new ideas or innovations. In fact,

in some companies, “I don’t agree” is the same as saying “You’re an idiot.” You can’t have a high-performing, inclusive team without some healthy fights and some degree of competition.


In this interactive talk, participants will learn about how teams can smartly tackle uncomfortable conversations and disagreements and how, as managers, they can make it OK for people to dissent, debate, and express their true opinions.


Participants will gain:

  • Increased confidence and comfort in navigating difficult conversations, including giving direct and honest feedback
  • Better awareness of their communication style and the impact on peers, managers, and direct reports
  • An expanded repertoire of skills to negotiate, work collaboratively, build trusting relationships, and navigate competing interests

About Amy Gallo

LinkedIn | Twitter @AmyEGallo


Amy Gallo is an expert in conflict, communication, and workplace dynamics. She combines the latest management research with practical advice to deliver evidence-based ideas on how to improve relationships and excel at work. 


She is the author of the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict, a how-to guidebook about handling conflict professionally and productively. 


In her role as a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, Amy writes frequently about a range of topics with a focus on interpersonal dynamics, communicating ideas, leading and influencing people, and building your career. 


She has contributed to numerous books on feedback, emotional intelligence, and managing others, and is the co-author of the HBR Guide to Building Your Business Case. Amy is currently a co-host of HBR's Women at Work podcast, which is in its fourth season. 


Before working with Harvard Business Review, she was a management consultant at Katzenbach Partners, a strategy and organization firm based in New York (later acquired by Booz & Company, which is now Strategy&). She contributed to the firm’s research on the “informal organization” -- the unofficial networks and communities in organizations that govern how people work together in practice. 


Amy is on the faculty of the Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification program, recently launched by Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence. | @AmyEGallo