The book on Conflict Mastery

“You make me angry.” “Don’t get your noise out of joint.” “Settle down.” “Just ‘cause I said it, don’t mean that I meant it.” We use scores of phrases like these when involved in interpersonal conflict. If not spoken out loud, we speak them inside our head. Needless to say, our conflict directives rarely end the […]

Apply A Culture Map To Visualize Interpersonal Differences

One of my newest, favourite communication tools is a Culture Map. I first came across this better way to visualize cultural differences in Erin Meyer’s book, The Culture Map (published earlier this year). Here’s a short interview of Meyer, about her book: (video not displaying? watch here, on YouTube) The Culture Map The Culture Map is […]

The Life Cycle of a Multi-Stakeholder Collaborative Action Team

Solving big challenges often requires putting a team of diverse people, skills and interests together. It takes a system to change a system. Yet, getting everyone rowing together for collective impact is never a slam dunk. And, when the people are from different organizations,effective collaborative action often feels just beyond our reach. When I’m having […]

Diverge Off The Problem Before You Converge On The Solution

To solve a difficult challenge, come up with as many solution ideas as possible.  Then “murder your darlings”.  Converge on the best idea.   Good ideas The story I most often tell myself about ideas is the one Steven Johnson articulates in his book, Where Do Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation. “Good […]

The Thank You Game

A couple of years ago, I learned about The Thank You Game via local mediator colleague, Julia Menard. Thank you Julia! I thought it appropriate to share it, given it’s Thanksgiving Day in the US, today. Julia credits the McGonigal sisters, Kelly McGonigal (health psychologist) and Jane McGonigal (game designer) for the idea. The McGonigal sisters […]

Keeping It Human While Collaborating With The Robots

I’m old enough to remember the The Jetsons cartoon show on TV. Technology is our servant. Life is wonderful. Fast forward to today. Life online. Living through our devices. Alone Together. Is technology our servant or master? The upsurge in robotics It’s a tricky business, living and working with technology. We’re in a tech soup, to be […]

Family Caregivers Network and Facilitating a Support Group

Life was going along swimmingly. Your kids were growing, fast and healthy. Your partner was action, incorporated. Your parents seemed unusually fit, for folks their age. Then, it happened. Out of the blue, that important person in your life had an accident, a stroke, a calamity… A need had arisen. Or, maybe it didn’t happen […]

Are You Configuring The Future to Suit The Facts?

“I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” Sherlock Holmes in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s, A Scandal in Bohemia. According to German psychologist, Gerd Gerzenger of the Max Plank Institute, relying on your intuition […]

Public Good: It starts with seeing the big picture in small things

There is a stone in the forest across the waters, the Straight of Juan de Fuca, from where I live. Its a small stone. I haven’t seen it, though apparently, when I locate it, I will hear what ‘quiet’ sounds like. The quiet results from the interaction of many connected things, extending far from that […]

Facing The Conflict Monster

“Knowing I’m a weak person, my mom advised me that whenever I felt scared or fearful, that’s exactly the right moment to jump in head first to face the monster by looking him in the eye. And I’ve found that when I get that close to the “monster”, I stop being afraid because I lose […]