About Us

Julia Menard

M.ED. CERT. CON. RES., P.C.C.

Julia specializes in supporting leaders to find the courage to engage in conflict and to collaborate constructively. Julia is a mediator, trainer, and has coached hundreds of leaders from various professions in more effective communication. She co-wrote a book on how to Hold On To Yourself, to help clients learn self-regulation skills. Julia’s been published in several magazines, and blogs at JuliaMenard.com. For fun, Julia plays the electric bass and aspires to play the upright one day.

Gordon White

MBA, CERT. CON. RES.

Gordon White assists leaders to shift how they relate to their unique challenges in a way that drives more innovative and productive initiatives. Gordon is a mediator who teaches a Masters level course on conflict management at Royal Roads University, and he blogs at The Conflict Journey where he provides depth perspectives and practical advice on effective conflict engagement. Gordon has a perennial interest in human capabilities and potentials. He finds profound meaning in relationship with the natural world.

Julia Menard and Gordon White are the Principals and Founders of the On Conflict Leadership Institute. They are both seasoned conflict mediators, coaches and educators with a combined experience of over half a century. Julia and Gordon teach at the Justice Institute of BC’s Centre for Conflict Resolution and Centre for Leadership.

Working within organizations has put them in contact, time and again, with the needs of leaders, supervisors, managers and administrators grappling with conflict. They saw the way leaders handled conflict had an enormous impact on individuals, teams and the organization.

This insight sparked the beginning of an idea: What if there could be a place where leaders could go to find support for their conflict leadership development? Julia and Gordon firmly believe there is a strong correlation between conflict and the responsibilities of leaders. This White Paper, written by Julia for her Masters in Leadership, illustrates that clear relationship. The On Conflict Leadership Institute is a response to that need. Gordon and Julia have come to see that the starting place needs to be leaders taking ownership and responsibility for conflict. They want leaders to have the skills, tools and mindset that will model the way for the rest of the team. 

Julia and Gordon see a world where leaders take responsibility in these kind of ways:

  1. When faced with a conflict personally, a leader who is conflict competent will take responsibility for their impact and role, instead of deflecting or blaming someone else.
  2. A conflict competent leader is aware of, seeks feedback on, and takes responsibility for, the effect that their leadership and management style has on others. Their style will influence how others interact and therefore the amount and types of conflict that arise.  
  3. In the most expanded viewpoint, a leader takes responsibility for all of the conflicts that occur in their area of oversight. Why? Because by taking responsibility they can drive culture change towards conflict competence through upleveling education, expectations and norms through various initiatives.

The intention of the Institute is to develop conflict competent leaders, organizations and cultures.

We invite you to explore our website, research and offerings to learn more.

We have come to believe that education and constant learning is a key part of being conflict competent. 

What do we mean by conflict competence and creating a conflict competence culture?

Conflict competence refers to how well an organization, team, or individual responds to conflict in all its manifestations.  We see the potential of a world where leaders are conflict competent, and that capacity unleashes innovation, creativity and ultimately a more compassionate world. To hear us tell this story go to episode 46 the Season 2 Finale of the On Conflict Podcast

A global research report by Dr. Robert McHenry (Oxford Psychologists Press), showed that seven out of ten employees (70%) see managing conflict as a “very” or “critically” important leadership skill and 54% of employees think managers could better handle disputes by addressing underlying tensions before things go wrong.”

We welcome you to join us in our journey of exploration and learning!

Suppose we were able to share meanings freely without a compulsive urge to impose our view or conform to those of others and without distortion and self-deception. Would this not constitute a real revolution in culture?

David Bohm, (1917 - 1992), Theoretical Physicist & Philosopher
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