Black and White: The Colours of Conflict [A Poem]

[Last Thursday night I attended Poems of Colour, an evening of local poetry, where I live, that celebrates diversity and explores the themes of race and ethnicity. There were many young poets reading. The MC was Victoria’s Youth Poet Laureate, Argutu Ali. The event was sponsored by the City of Victoria, and held at at […]

Apply the Science of Friendship to your next Community Collaboration

Work, and life, is more rewarding when it happens with friends. Reflecting back on my four decades (and counting) in the workforce, many of my most treasured work memories are time spent with co-workers who were also friends. We didn’t start out as friends. It happened organically, over time. Whether over coffee breaks, lunch hour […]

3 Mutual-benefit strategies to reduce conflict and improve the land-use application process

Land-use applications are a rich source of conflict, almost everywhere. That’s certainly my experience, here in Victoria. Too often, the interests of developers, public administrators and community members are in conflict, especially when a rezoning, or amendment to the Official Community Plan, is required.  It’s not uncommon for changes proposed by a developer to be […]

Summer before Fall: A technique to cool things down when team conflict gets too hot

How often have you been in a team or group meeting of some sort, conflict flares, and before you know it, there’s too much talking and not enough listening? Summer before Fall   Summer before Fall is a (non-gender-specific) technique to cool things down when tensions rise in your group. The technique promotes active listening […]

Pass to Receive: Using sports as a metaphor in communication skills training

As a youth, I often played pick-up football games with my buds.  We’d meet in the local park, pick teams, and away we’d go. When it was my turn to be quarterback, I loved calling a ‘long bomb’ passing play. When it went well, my pass was “right on the money”, and my friend caught […]