Deb Houden

Faculty Associate
Senior consultant at The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc.
Areas of Focus: Negotiation, Transition to Executive Management

Deb Houden is an expert negotiator who teaches negotiation skills and strategies. Houden draws on years of research, teaching, and corporate training in conflict resolution and communication to help organizations.

Real-world application

Houden’s students appreciate the interactions that occur in negotiation and conflict-resolution exercises that pull directly from her consulting experiences. Students can immediately apply what they learn to their current jobs. Her classrooms are high energy and tightly packed with practical learning.

I am passionate about enhancing individuals’ ability to interact
with the world around them. Most encounters are some type of negotiation. Real change and personal success occur when people focus on their own behaviors.
—Deb Houden, Negotiatons and Communication Expert

Corporate training experience

Global organizations including Alliant Energy, U.S. Cellular, Fiskars, Kohl’s, Colony Brands, TDS, and Rotary International invite her to inspire their employees with communication strategies. Houden’s rich negotiation and conflict resolution expertise and her inviting presentation style make her an exceptional corporate trainer. Large organizations regularly hire her as a personal coach to C-suite executives.

Academic research

Houden’s research, which focuses on the psychological components of communication—including perceptions, fairness, and conflict management—continually add depth to her teaching and consulting.


Houden earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, specializing in interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, and perceptions of fairness within a family business. She also holds a Certificate in Family Business Advising and Family Wealth Advising from the Family Firm Institute, of which she is also a fellow.

Learn more

Faculty bio: Deb Houden, PhD