Unique Features and Ideal Sequence of Our Online Courses

First, we would like to share with you some of the unique features of our online courses, which might help you decide whether they are right for you, for your organization, or for your clients.

Second, if you then decide to proceed with our completely integrated coursework, we'd like to recommend the ideal sequence for taking our courses—so you'll gain the most value-added, cost-effective knowledge.

NOTE: If you would like a summary and a brief outline of each course, then visit this page: SUMMARY OF COURSES. If you are a member of a work group and wish to benefit from taking our online courses with your workplace colleagues (known as blended learning), review this page: COURSES FOR GROUPS.


There are a number of unique and special features that clearly distinguish our series of online courses from all other e-learning and face-to-face offerings on the same topics:

  1. Kilmann Diagnostics is the exclusive provider of online training for the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI)—worldwide.
  2. Dr. Ralph Kilmann is the coauthor of the TKI and our seven additional assessment tools. He is also the sole author of our books, workbooks, and audiobooks.
  3. In every one of our online courses, therefore, you'll quickly find yourself in a virtual classroom with Dr. Kilmann, where you can learn a completely integrated approach to conflict management, problem management, and change management—directly from the source himself.
  4. Indeed, Dr. Kilmann's clear, engaging, and passionate voice is the only one you'll hear during all our online courses.
  5. Since all our courses are recorded and then streamed on the very best e-learning platform available today, you can enjoy our coursework at your convenience: anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace. Essentially, you no longer need to be constrained by having to adjust your busy schedule across different time zones, let alone having to incur travel and hotel expenses in order to take an off-site course or workshop.
  6. Dr. Kilmann began developing his theories, principles, and course materials while he was a research professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a leading consultant to Fortune 100 companies and many other types of organizations—starting in the early 1970s and continuing through the early 2000s.
  7. During these decades of research, teaching, and consulting, Dr. Kilmann was continuously improving his theories, principles, and materials—year after year.
  8. From the early 2000s to the present, Dr. Kilmann has spent additional time further enhancing his very best materials—his "greatest hits" so to speak—into what has recently evolved into our series of online courses.
  9. Just to make sure that his theories and principles would be perfectly translated into these online courses, Dr. Kilmann personally created all the slide presentations, course manuals, and other supporting materials.  
  10. Consequently, all that you learn and experience in Dr. Kilmann's coursework has not only withstood the test of time, but has also been painstakingly refined during several decades of real-world experience.

The Quantum Wheel


Since we have eleven courses, we are frequently asked to recommend which courses to take—including when and why—since participants want to acquire the most knowledge in the most efficient way possible. 

Our online courses are based on the Quantum Wheel—with conflict management at the HUB and with the eight tracks as the surrounding change initiatives that guide quantum transformation and expand human consciousness. Based on the proven principles behind this model, we can thus recommend an ideal sequence for your taking our online courses.

0. Whether to Begin with Our Two Foundational Courses or Conflict Management

The ideal sequence for taking our online courses is in the prescribed order, beginning with (00) Expanding Consciousness...and concluding with (9) Process Management. Technically, you can take any course whenever you like. But just so you know, every later course in the sequence tends to build upon each earlier course.

Seeing the Big Picture

More specifically, if it's important to you to see THE BIG PICTURE early on, and thus see how all the pieces fit together, then definitely begin with (00) Expanding Consciousness and (0) Quantum Transformation. Moreover, if you like to know the theoretical background of a topic before you learn the practical methods for bringing about change and transformation, that's another reason to begin with our two foundational courses. But if you'd like to first learn about the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) and how it can improve conflict management in the workplace, then start with either (1) BASIC Training or (3) ADVANCED Training, as described below. Indeed, some people prefer to take our two foundational courses after they've completed all of our other courses, so they can then tie all the pieces together with our big-picture models and modalities. The choice is yours!

Expanding Consciousness with the Eight Tracks

1. Whether to Take BASIC or ADVANCED Training in Conflict Management

If you're rather new to conflict management and don't have much prior experience with the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), we suggest you take BASIC Training in Conflict Management. Furthermore, if it seems that you don't have time right now to take a much longer course, or you'd first like to experience what an online course is really like before you commit more time and expense, these are two additional reasons to begin with our eighty-minute BASIC Training in Conflict Management.

The TKI Conflict Model

But if you have prior knowledge about the TKI and conflict management, and are also ready to devote eight hours to online learning (at your own pace, of course), we recommend you skip the BASIC course and take ADVANCED Training in Conflict Management. This in-depth course includes the same basic information about the TKI as you'll find in the BASIC course, but that same TKI discussion is significantly expanded in several ways. For example, in the ADVANCED course, you'll learn how to interpret TKI results alongside MBTI results (which is meant to develop a more advanced skill set). Yet for those who first take the BASIC course before they take the ADVANCED course, the latter will serve as helpful review of the TKI before combining its interpretation with the MBTI. Nevertheless, before you take GROUP Training in Conflict Management (see below), be sure to take either our BASIC or ADVANCED course, so you have the necessary foundation for interpreting TKI Profiles.

Integrating the TKI and the MBTI 

2. When to Take GROUP Training in Conflict Management

This three-hour online course provides consultants, trainers, and coaches with the knowledge to use the TKI assessment for improving how conflict is managed in any group setting (including work groups, departments, committees, project teams, matrix teams, and virtual teams). Although you can skip this course if your coaching work only involves one-on-one sessions with your clients and/or mediation sessions between two people, most consultants will find it useful to take GROUP Training so they can learn how an organization's culture, reward system, and leadership behavior directly impact on conflict-handling behavior in every workgroup. But it's best to first take either BASIC Training or ADVANCED Training before you take GROUP Training, so you'll have a foundational knowledge of conflict management and how to interpret "Individual TKI Profiles." After you've completed our BASIC or ADVANCED course, GROUP Training will then enable you to interpret the more intricate "Group TKI Profiles."

Group TKI Profile

3. Before Taking Any Courses in Change Management, Take ADVANCED Training 

We highly recommend that you don't take any of our subsequent courses in change management (Culture Management, Critical Thinking, Team Management, Strategy-Structure, etc.) unless you've already learned the core material in ADVANCED Training in Conflict Management: The ADVANCED course provides the vital knowledge of psychological type, group process, problem management, and the Problem Management Organization (PMO)—all of which are thoroughly woven into our subsequent courses.


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4. After Completing ADVANCED Training, Take the Culture Management Course

Once you've taken and thoroughly learned the material in the ADVANCED course, we suggest you then take our course on Culture Management. This course addresses the culture track, which is designed to create an open, candid, trusting culture that enables all other change initiatives—including all training and development programs—to succeed. Without first identifying and closing culture-gaps (the difference between dysfunctional and desired cultural norms), participants won't be able to transfer what is learned in a workshop session (or an online course) back into the workplace where it counts. As suggested above, Culture Management makes repeated use of the five steps—and the five errors—of problem management, which are extensively covered in the ADVANCED course.

Culture-Gap Profile

5. After Completing Culture Management, Take the Critical Thinking Course

As you can see from the Quantum Wheel, following the culture track is the skills track, which is why we recommend taking the Critical Thinking Course after Culture Management. But there is one exception to this recommendation: If you are primarily interested in developing a deep understanding of problem management for the most complex problems facing an organization, you'll benefit by taking Critical Thinking immediately after ADVANCED Training in Conflict Management. Of course, you must always appreciate the importance of developing a healthy culture before you to try bring such new knowledge into an organization: Your skill set will further expand, therefore, by taking Culture Management once you have completed the Critical Thinking Course. But taking Critical Thinking right after the ADVANCED course will quickly deepen your understanding of how to define problems and implement solutions—which are the two most crucial steps in problem management.

Assumptional Analysis


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6. After Completing Critical Thinking, Take the Team Management Course

The goal of Team Management is to enable work groups (whether on their own or guided by expert consultants, trainers, or coaches) to make effective use of all the key principles and practices that are presented in the culture and skills track in the Quantum Wheel. Indeed, in the two courses on Culture Management and Critical Thinking, most of the time is spent on presenting important concepts and theories about human behavior in organizations—building on the foundational material that is initially presented in BASIC, GROUP, and ADVANCED Training in Conflict Management. For this course in the team track, however, less time is spent on providing new concepts and theories, because more time is dedicated to making sure that all varieties of groups (including work groups, cross-functional teams, project groups, and process improvement teams) can actually increase their performance and satisfaction in the workplace: first by identifying and then by closing their most stubborn time-gaps and team-gaps. As a total package, the first three tracks (cultures, skills, and teams) establish an effective quantum infrastructure in the informal organization, which then sets the stage for redesigning and improving the formal organization: strategy-structures and reward systems.

Team-Gap Profile

7. After Completing Team Management, Take the Strategy-Structure Course

The purpose of this course is to learn how members can effectively self-design and self-manage the two most important formal systems in their organization: strategy and structure. Strategy answers this question: Where are we headed? Structure answers this question: How are we organized to get there? If the answers to these two questions are based on outdated—false—assumptions about key stakeholders, however, everything else that members do will be irrelevant. First you'll learn why it's so important to develop several radically different strategic plans for the future, each of which is vital, noble, and engaging—while realizing that each plan is deeply rooted in vastly different assumptions. You'll next discover what may be the most neglected aspect of strategy-structure: Are subunit boundaries cast in stone or in outdated assumptions? Once again, it's the hidden—false—assumptions that keep an organization's structure frozen over time, regardless of dramatic shifts in stakeholder needs and requirements. You'll next learn how to identify three different kinds of task flow and why reciprocal and sequential task flow must be contained within subunit boundaries and why pooled task flow can be left to fall between the cracks. A Problem Management Organization (PMO) can then be established to investigate the hidden assumptions behind several alternative strategic plans and several alternative structural arrangements. During the final stage of assumptional analysis, members derive a synthesized strategic plan that's fully aligned with a synthesized design of subunits.

Strategy-Structure Interfaces


8. After Completing Strategy-Structure, Take the Reward Systems Course

In this course, you'll learn how members can effectively self-design and self-manage the reward policies and practices in their organization, so they'll be inspired to achieve high performance and satisfaction. Most importantly, members must understand the major concepts in the "Dynamic Model of Performance Cycles," which determine whether a reward system produces either a growth cycle or a vicious cycle—depending on the credibility of the reward system. You'll see how an organization can avoid the vicious cycles (where members do the minimum to get by) and can, instead, promote the growth cycles. As a result, members will be inspired to put forth their maximum effort and apply their relevant skills on the right tasks according to the right objectives—when the reward system has been designed to actively support every person, job, and subunit in the organization. Lastly, you'll learn how a Problem Management Organization (PMO) can be established to investigate the hidden—often false—assumptions behind several alternative reward policies and practices, so the members can design and then implement a reward system that's fully aligned with the strategic direction and structural design of their organization.

Performance Model

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9. After Completing the Reward Systems Course, Take the Process Management Course

Once the strategy-structure track has revitalized the organization's strategic vision, mission, and goals, members are ready to proceed with the last three tracks of quantum transformation: gradual process, radical process, and learning process improvement. Building on the effective behavioral infrastructure that was developed during the first three tracks, members learn to see their work as a process—as a flow of tasks and decisions—which can be explicitly described, statistically controlled, and continuously improved. These three essential steps of process management can then be applied to processes within groups (gradual improvement), processes across groups (radical improvement) and, ultimately, processes for creating, obtaining, storing, retrieving, and using leading-edge knowledge for the organization's future change initiatives, complex projects, and major business decisions (learning process improvement).

Process Chain


10. If You Are Interested in Several of Our Online Courses, Take The Complete Program

When you purchase The Complete Program (at a considerable savings versus purchasing our online courses separately), you'll have access to all Course Manuals (for a total of 1,410 pages), just as if you had purchased our courses one at a time. And for your convenience, all our courses are available on the same webpage—in the recommended sequence. Since each course includes an optional Final Exam (consisting of twenty-five, multiple-choice questions), if you receive a score of at least 88% on the exams for (1) EITHER Expanding Consciousness OR Quantum Transformation, (2) ADVANCED Training, (3) GROUP Training, (4) Critical Thinking, (5) EITHER Culture Management OR Team Management, (6) EITHER Strategy-Structure OR Reward Systems, and (7) Process Management, you'll receive a special recognition to signify that you have mastered The Complete Program: Certificate in Conflict Management and Change Management. NOTE: As new online courses become available, The Complete Program will expand to include them.

The Complete Program


11. If You Want to Focus on the Thomas-Kilmann Instruemnt, Take The TKI Package

When you purchase The TKI Package of our three TKI-based courses (at a nice savings versus purchasing these online courses separately), you'll have access to all three Course Manuals (for a total of 222 pages), just as if you had purchased these courses one at a time. And for your convenience, all three courses will be available on the same webpage—in the recommended sequence. Moreover, instead of the expiration period of 90 days for each of the separately purchased courses, your purchase of The TKI Package gives you access to the three courses for six months. Since these courses recommend that you take the TKI assessment twice, each with modified instructions, The TKI Package also includes your two TKI assessments. Because each course includes an optional Final Exam (consisting of twenty-five, multiple-choice questions), we are able to offer another valuable feature with The TKI Program: If you receive a score of at least 88% on the final exams for (1) GROUP Training and (2) ADVANCED Training, you'll receive the Certificate in the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. 

The TKI Package



If you have any questions about either the unique features or the ideal sequence of our online courses, please Contact Us.


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