Mediation & Facilitation
We help people talk about tough issues and listen with an open mind as they untangle misunderstandings and differences in perspective, and work through strong and often unexpressed emotion. This process can vary significantly in length, from half a day to periodic conversations over many months. We design processes that support the client’s objectives and create forums in which individuals can work through divisive issues.
We’ve worked with:
- Executive teams in conflict over crucial decisions
- Family businesses struggling with succession issues
- Project teams divided by clashing personalities
- Business partners grappling with divisive issues like compensation, ownership, risk or work styles
- Department heads with competing agendas
A key component of some hybrid solutions, these facilitated conversations allow groups to work through points of friction between specific individuals whose negative effect is impacting the team more broadly – and where unresolved, undercuts training or other skill-building efforts.
We’re also conscious that simply contacting someone to get help handling conflict in key business relationships can, in itself, feel like a risk. To help you understand where we come from, we include a few of our “core assumptions” when helping clients work through critical issues.
You may think your situation is hopeless. We don’t.
- Our experience has been that in even the most emotional and intractable situations, progress can be made.
- We do not come to this conclusion lightly. Our consultants have worked in highly-charged settings around the world. When the stakes are high, business issues often come linked with emotional and relationship issues. Equally importantly, we have difficult conversations of our own and know what it is to feel angry, hurt, let down, entrenched, confused, envious, or without hope.
- Especially in cases where people have endured trauma, betrayal, or loss, the road to recovery is often precarious, and direct communication among various parties may not be the right place to start. But we can work with you to develop a course of action that will help.
We take people as they are. Everyone is entitled to be heard.
- We will not ask anyone to change, hide, or sugar-coat their attitudes in order to participate in the process of problem solving and building better relationships.
- People do not change their attitude about something important unless they first feel accepted and understood as they are.
- We will not ask you to agree with others. We will not even ask you to like them (you may or may not). But we will ask you to understand them. And we will ask them to understand you.
There are no easy answers.
- Progress comes from the application of powerful and innovative communication and problem solving principles to your specific situation.
- The path is rarely clean or obvious. It is hard work – for us and for you. But when the stakes are high, the rewards are worth the effort.
- Our goal is to put ourselves out of business, at least vis-a-vis your conflicts. In addition to fostering better understanding, healing relationships, and solving the current business issues, we aim to equip parties with a better foundation and enhanced skills to work through their own conflicts as they go forward.