Recently, as I sat in an outside cafe, I overheard a conversation between two women who I gathered to be sisters. They were deciding where to eat lunch before each returned to work. They got into a bit of an argument. At the height of it, one sister snarled, “You don’t really care, you just hate it when you don’t get your way.”
It took everything I had to keep from popping up and offering to facilitate their conversation. Their conversation is the type I love. A simple negotiation blown into a full-scale conflict.
Often without even realizing it, we negotiate everyday of our lives. What conference room to use, who owns which parts of a project, where to order lunch, who will sit on what committees, what time to begin meetings…
Often, embedded in these negotiations are old, tangled issues: employees jockeying for recognition, community members feeling their needs don’t get met, and colleagues battling for control, among a myriad of other issues new and old.
Generally, these tensions simmer just below the surface, burning and hurting the people in question. Sometimes, though, the pot boils over and leadership realizes they have a full-blown conflict on their hands.
As much as I love negotiation and facilitating conflict, I offer organizations a way to deal with tensions before they turn into conflict. Conflict costs money. Not only is it more expensive to bring in a facilitator when the conflict has spread to a group of people, but employees and community members are far less productive as tension grows higher.
This is why we offer training for organizations, which can help diminish conflict. I teach individuals how to work within and for the whole. I teach people how to connect. And most importantly, I teach simple and effective techniques for addressing small tensions before they can turn into conflict. While I am passionate about teaching others to stand in relationship, my courses are designed to save your bottom line.
I also offer these courses for a selfish reason. I am fortunate to have several hobbies, which lift me away from the world for a time: running, hiking, cooking, watching football, and reading. And there are more that I actually get paid for. Teaching is one of my favorites. Based on the feedback I receive and the reputation I’ve developed, I must lift my students with me. At the end of my courses, I have inspired my students to practice their new skills in every arena of their lives. This is most noticeable in the place where they exist together: the organization in which they learned the skills in the first place.
To learn more about how I can create a culture of peace and respect in your organization, please contact me.