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May. 10, 2016

Why Leaders Must Be Effective Conflict Managers

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If you manage people, projects or processes, you most likely experience near constant workplace conflict. Conflict is normal and will always be a part of any professional setting. Where there are people, there is always conflict. What makes conflict productive or unproductive is how it is managed. How leaders choose to deal with conflict has a widespread ripple effect throughout their teams and organizations. 

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May. 06, 2016

The Most Overlooked Criteria of Sustainable Peace

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Mediators and peacemakers work with individuals and groups experiencing conflict. The role of a mediator is to be an impartial, third-party facilitator who helps individuals and / or groups achieve resolution to a conflict. A “conflict sherpa,” the mediator is trained to move parties through a resolution process while ensuring the parties maintain complete control over the outcome. The process for arriving at resolution belongs to the mediator. The resolution of the dispute belongs to the parties, which means a resolution may or may not occur. Relationships may or may not be restored. The pain associated with the conflict may or may not be healed. Forgiveness may or may not be desired and / or achieved. The role of a peacemaker and peace-builder goes far beyond that.

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Apr. 22, 2016

From Texas Prisons to Rwanda, What Crime and Punishment Taught Me About Forgiveness

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In my work as a peace-building trainer, I have the opportunity to work with people most of society has deemed as monsters: Drug dealers. Killers. Genocide perpetrators.

I also have the opportunity to work with crime victims: Rape survivors. Families who have lost a loved one to murder. And individuals who have survived genocide.

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Apr. 06, 2016

Six Tips for Increasing Collaboration in the Workplace

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Conflict is normal and occurs in every aspect of our lives, yet it is especially prevalent in the workplace. In fact, a study commissioned by CPP, Inc. in partnership with OPP, Ltd. found that 85 percent of the study’s participants reported experiencing conflict in the workplace at “some level” and 29 percent reported experiencing conflict in the workplace “almost constantly.”

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Mar. 18, 2016

What Hockey Fans Can Teach Us About Conflict

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Last Saturday I attended the St. Louis Blues / Dallas Stars game. It was an exciting game that had the fans of both teams on the edge of their seats. At one point during the game, a St. Louis Blues player lost control of his hockey stick, and it was projected out of the rink. Unlike a fly baseball which is typically caught only by one person, the hockey stick, given its size, was caught by several people. An intense three-person round of tug-of-war ensued.

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Mar. 08, 2016

Restorative Justice: Rethinking Crime and Punishment

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The criminal justice system of the United States is a punitive system designed to hold individuals who have committed crimes accountable to the state. Within this system, “accountable” is synonymous with “punishment.” Because the criminal justice system is focused almost exclusively on the person who committed the crime and the punishment that person should receive, those who are most affected by the crime are alienated from the process.

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Feb. 23, 2016

Getting to Yes … and Montreal

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Several weekends ago I headed to the airport with a friend for a much anticipated weekend getaway to Montreal. Neither of us had been to Canada, and we both were looking forward to a weekend filled with adventure. Little did we know our adventure would begin at the airport.

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Feb. 18, 2016

The Neuroscience of Peace

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Humanity is at a turning point in history. Never before has so much been possible and never before has so much been at stake. Humans are more powerful and more vulnerable than at any point in history. When it comes to creating a more sustainable and peaceful future, there is an unspoken challenge that should be running through the minds of every individual: If not me, then who? If not now, then when?

Neuroscience of Peace by Robyn ShortRead this executive brief to learn how neuroscience is transforming the human capacity for peace building and advancing the human condition.

Download: Neuroscience of Peace

Workplace Bullying Robyn Short
Feb. 18, 2016

30 Signs of Workplace Bullying & What You Can Do About It

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At one time or another, many of us have been affected by workplace bullies — either directly or indirectly. Two surveys, one by Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) and the other by Zogby International, define bullying as, “repeated mistreatment: sabotage by others that prevent work from getting done, verbal abuse, threatening conduct, intimidation and humiliation.” The WBI study found that as much as 35 percent of workers have experienced bullying. Even more astonishing is that the vast majority of bullies sit in management and executive seats, which means they are able to leverage their power to suppress complaints against them.

Although bullies are often the catalyst of short-term spikes in production, the behavior is insidious to creating long-term productivity. In fact, a study conducted by John Medina found that individuals who are bullied in the workplace performed 50 percent worse on cognitive tests than their non-bullied counterparts. Another study, this one conducted by Dr. Noreen Tehrani, found that individuals who experience workplace bullying exhibit similar psychological and physical symptoms — such as nightmares and anxiety — as victims of violence from Northern Ireland and soldiers returning from overseas combat.

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Feb. 16, 2016

De-escalate Workplace Conflict With Mediation

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When most people think about mediation, they think “lawsuits and litigation.” And while mediation is an excellent alternative to resolving disputes that have escalated to this level, it is also a very effective approach for de-escalating conflict and preventing a dispute from reaching the legal system.

In order to maintain a productive and engaging workplace, managers should seek to resolve disputes immediately when they surface. Maintaining productive peer relationships is paramount to maintaining a productive work environment. Mediation offers a formal process in which individuals involved in a workplace conflict can express their opinions and perspectives via a solutions-oriented, collaborative process in which all parties have influence on the outcome.

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