You Relieved It’s Complete?

Ever had one of those memorable meetings where everyone pulls together and tackles a contentious issue. You’re amazed at what you were all able to achieve together and the outcome seems like a testament to collaborative engagement and decision making. What a relief as tensions were high at times, but you all got to the end and to a new better place. But, then there is a disagreement. It could be about what some specific was concerning what was agreed to. Or perhaps the

Read More

How to Get Someone to Listen

We were speaking recently with a manager and a staff member who had been “at war with each other.” It’s why we were brought in to help. The manager was always on edge, wondering how the staff member would evade directives next. The staff person believed he was eternally in trouble with a manager who was out to get him. At this meeting however, one of our last together, they told us that they were now able to have a difficult conversation respectfully. What

Read More

Let’s Focus on the Problem, Not the Person

What we know for sure as long-time mediators is that how you frame your conversation, the topic you say you want to talk about, can have a large impact on how collaborative and constructive the conversation is. In our field, we have a well-worn saying: Be Soft on the Person, Hard on the Problem. That has an intuitive logic, but what does it mean exactly? If we put this in a work context, consider these two statements about how proceed in addressing a budget

Read More

Starting a Conversation That Matters

Many of us in Canada start a conversation fairly innocuously. We say something like: “How are you?” Then the other replies: “Good,” or “I’m fine.” This is a common exchange, no matter how the person responding is really doing. The ritual doesn’t really reveal much about how anyone is doing, unless we ask or offer more information. In day-to-day chatter and small talk, the consequences of this kind of beginning to a conversation does not really matter. But, to be a leader in conflict,

Read More

What should you do with difficult emotions?

As a leader you want to model the way, to set an example for people who report to you. In conflict, this means responding to challenging interactions, with both strength and compassion. This means you need an emotional foundation to stand on. We’ve found the following perspective from a leader in the field of conflict, Bernie Mayer, helpful. He talks about a student commenting to his martial arts Master, “I don’t know how you can always stay in balance.” The Master replies, “You are

Read More

Wake Up and Smell the Power

Power is one of those words that carries a lot of baggage. Some of us think we have no power in a situation and others might think we have all the power. It’s been our experience as mediators, with the opportunity to talk with multiple parties in a dispute, that often times each party thinks the other party has more power. That’s a sobering insight into the nature of power. In interpersonal relations, power can be understood as the capacity to influence others. Authority

Read More


Could your workplace use better conflict management?
Start Now


Need help? Julia and Gordon can help you make a difference!
Get Help
Scroll to Top

Connect With Us

Its easy! Fill in the form and click send.

Or, send an email to connect@onconflict.com