Julia Menard and Gordon White co-founded the On Conflict Leadership Institute in 2020.
Today, Julia is the Principal and CEO of the Institute.
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 seasoned mediator, educator, and has coached thousands of leaders from various professions in more effective communication. Julia teaches at the intersect of conflict and leadership through her faculty positions at the Centre for Conflict Resolution and the Centre for Leadership at the Justice Institute Institute of BC. 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.
MBA, CERT. CON. RES.
Gordon White mediates one-on-one disputes and facilitates group consensus in a wide range of contexts. He has an enduring belief in human potential and the capacity of groups and individuals to make progress with their conflicts. Gordon has a particular interest in training leaders how to develop conflict competent organizations. He has taught at the Justice Institute of BC in both conflict resolution and leadership and is an Associate Faculty member at Royal Roads University. Gordon White blogs at his site The Conflict Journey and can be found at gordonwhiteconsulting.com. He lives in Victoria BC with artist Gail Sibley. Their common interests include travel adventures and a love for the natural world.
The On Conflict Leadership Institute works with organizations and the needs of leaders, supervisors, managers and administrators grappling with conflict. The way leaders handle conflict has an enormous impact on individuals, teams and the organization. The Institute firmly believe there is a strong correlation between conflict and the responsibilities of leaders.
In 2017, as part of her Masters in Educational Pyschology, Julia wrote a White paper entitled Three Key Themes Leaders Must Know to be Conflict Specialists. She did a literature review summarizing the relevant research examining the connections between leaders, organizations and conflict and identified three key themes. Most importantly, the starting place for leaders is to take responsibility for conflict.
We want leaders to have the skills, tools and mindset that will model the way for the team and organization. We see a world where leaders take responsibility in these kind of ways:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Julia and Gordon 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
- 54% of employees think managers could better handle disputes by addressing underlying tensions before things go wrong
Welcome to your journey of leadership and conflict exploration and learning!