Are conflicts threatening your organization’s mission?
Feeling frustrated with a colleague despite multiple attempts to resolve an issue?
Interested in finding out how conflict can be made into a team-strengthening asset?
Workplace conflict is costly. Even relatively small conflicts that persist can cause disruptions in staff morale and productivity. U.S. employees spend about 2.5 hours per week dealing with conflict, which amounts to billions of dollars in paid hours, not to mention the impact on staff motivation, focus and organizational culture. Despite the heavy costs of conflict, most managers say they’ve received no formal training in how to handle conflict and prefer avoiding it.
However, when you have the right tools and support, addressing conflict becomes a rich opportunity for growth. For example, when you unpack the roots of conflict, you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your colleagues and increase your capacity to access more of your “colors” — from your strengths to your vulnerabilities — to increase your creativity and impact.
I’d love to talk with you about how I can help you transform the conflict in your organization, whether big or small, into deeper trust, understanding and a stronger team. Drawing upon my training in mediation with the New York Peace Institute, along with my background in social work and coaching, I untangle complex interpersonal and organizational dynamics and have assisted many individuals and organizations to move through a variety of types of conflict and find new ground to move forward.
Detrimental team conflict is not inevitable! In addition to mediating conflict, I can work with you to build conflict prevention into your culture while improving staff collaboration, trust and communication. I teach keys strategies that allow you to have difficult and important conversations before things reach a breaking point with more ease and confidence. I also offer a number of tools that empower staff to fully share their talents and build stronger organizational culture.
“Peace is not simply the absence of conflict, but the existence of justice for all people.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Cathy is a true connector, and brings the best out in people, no matter the size of the group. She’s a strong listener and, as a result, knows when to lean back, when to ask the right question, when to lean forward and dig a little deeper, and when to let the group or individual arrive at their own truth. She’s truly gifted and has a warm sense of humor, keen intellect, and engaging personality.”
—Allegra Chapman, Lawyer and Director of Voting and Elections at Common Cause
THE MEDIATION PROCESSMy unique approach to mediation not only helps all parties better understand their feelings, needs, triggers and larger goals to move through challenging situations, it also builds Self-Leadership, confidence, communication and negotiation skills. I customize the process to your specific needs, but it typically moves through this sequence:
- I meet with each party individually (usually 1-3 times) to learn more about their experience of the conflict or impasse.
- I develop customized tools based on my individual meetings to prepare each party for a productive joint conversation. The tools help you to clarify your perspective and goals for moving forward and build communication and negotiation skills.
- I meet jointly with all parties to discuss their views and begin tackling the main issues at hand.
- This process typically repeats 2-5 times with a different focus each time depending upon the issues involved.
- Based on the data that has emerged from the above, I facilitate resolution of the key questions and make recommendations on how best to move forward.
- Between all levels of staff
- Between the CEO/Executive Director/Founder and board
- Between co-CEO’s/co-Executive Directors/co-Founders
- Between board members
Sample Causes of Conflict to Explore
- Varying working styles
- Differing organizational vision, goals and objectives
- Contrasting communication styles
- Distribution of power, responsibility and resources
- Differing values and priorities
- Helping each party ground in their own unique value, operating system, communication style, needs, goals and boundaries (if appropriate using such tools as the Interpersonal Leadership Styles inventory, Clifton Strengths Finder and Social Styles inventory)
- Increasing each party’s ability to understand each other’s unique value, operating system, communication style, needs, goals and boundaries
- Growing each party’s capacity to communicate authentically, yet succinctly across differences while managing triggers and strong emotion
- Assisting each party in keeping their “eye on the prize,” dedicating themselves to the greater good of their team and organization, despite differences