Thank you Jeff Perry, President of Regina Public School Teacher’s Association for inviting me to present at your 2018 Conference in Regina.
Teachers are faced with conflict each and every day. Conflict with students, parents, community and each other. Being equipped to manage the daily conflict situations helps teachers to focus on their passion work- education.
The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation has laid the groundwork for teachers to have a system for managing conflict and disputes between each other. The following is an excerpt from their policies:
Professional Relationships- Teachers work with many individuals, including students, colleagues, administrators, educational assistants, support staff, social workers, health-care professionals, parents, volunteers and other community members. Effective professional relationships are essential to the teaching practice and teachers share the
responsibility for the quality of these relationships.
When Questions or Concerns Arise- Questions or concerns about an individual’s teaching practice or professional competence should always be raised first with the teacher. In most cases, taking this step will address the issues that an administrator, teacher colleague, parent or other individual may have.
Members of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation have an ethical responsibility to take their concerns first to the colleague in question. As noted STF Bylaw 6 (Professional Ethics and Practice) Section 6.2, teachers must “... inform an associate before making valid criticism and inform the associate of the nature of the criticism before referring the criticism to appropriate officials.”
To work with colleagues in mutually supportive ways and develop effective professional relationships with members of the educational community.
To conduct all professional relationships in ways that are consistent with principles of equity, fairness and respect for others in accordance with the beliefs of the profession.
In my Keynote presentations to Regina Public School Teachers’ Association, 2018 Regina Teacher’s Convention I presented tools and strategies for how teachers can take charge of conflict at work and pro-manage their professional practice with each other.
Contact Suzanne directly to discuss having her present a Keynote at your conference: 587-220-7169 (text or call)
Happy New Year!
2018 is getting off to a great start. I am excited to share that this year I will be ramping up the Blog to include more helpful information about the science of conflict management.
The science of conflict management is something I've been exploring more and more and in particular the past 5 years. It really comes down to the models, the processes, and the systems we can set up in our lives at work or at home to use consistently when we are faced with conflict in our interpersonal relationships.
The science really begins with our thinking right down to our identity, self concept and what we believe about ourselves, others and our relationships. Emotional intelligence plays a huge role and how we manage the conflict in our lives on a daily basis.
At the heart of conflict management is communication. Communication includes a number of principles and misconceptions. Before we start to look at the qualities and skills we can possess with effectively managing conflict it's important to Define what communication is, what it does, and what it can accomplish.
The following list shows you communication principles:
Communication can be unintentional or intentional- Some communication is clearly intentional. you plan your words carefully before asking for a big favor or offering criticism. Some theorists argue that only intentional messages like these qualify as communication. Others hold that even unintentional behavior is communicative. as you start to learn about the science of conflict management it's important to recognize that communication is both unintentional or intentional but we are always communicating. It is widely known that 90% of what we say is what we don't say and is presented through our body language.
Communication is irreversible- at times we've all said something we immediately regretted and wished the words could have been erased. It's impossible. We cannot turn back time. While an apology can soften hurt feelings, or further explanation can clear up a misunderstanding, the impression you've created cannot be erased it is no more possible to unreceive a message then to unsqueeze the tube of toothpaste. Words said and deeds done are irreversible.
It's impossible not to communicate- many theorists agree it is impossible not to communicate because whatever you do whether you speak or remain silent can front or avoid you provide others with information about your thoughts and feelings in this sense we are like transmitters that cannot be shut off we constantly send message this explains why the best way to enhance understanding is to discuss your intentions and your interpretations of the other person's behavior until you have negotiated a shared meaning. Meaning is much deeper than understanding. This is where our field of conflict management needs to really dive into the science behind the who, what, when, where, and how of what we communicate based on the meaning we are hopeful to be projecting. It comes down to our identity, self concept, and self-esteem.
Communication is unrepeatable- Bottom line, communication is an ongoing process. It is impossible to repeat an event. A certain smile that worked well when you met a stranger last week might not work with the one you encounter tomorrow. It might feel stale or be inappropriate for a different person or occasion. Even with the same person you cannot recreate an event. Why? Because you both lived longer and the behavior isn't original. Your feelings about each other may have changed. You need not constantly invent new ways to act around familiar people but realize that the same words and behaviors are different each time they are spoken or performed.
Communication has a content and a relational dimension- practically all exchanges operate on two levels: the content level and the relational level. This is also true for when we are emailing and texting. How many of you have either sent or received a text message with all caps and exclamation marks and knew what that meant? the content Dimension involves the information being explicitly discussed. The content of “turn left at the next corner” or “you can buy that for less online” is obvious. The relational dimension expresses how the parties feel toward one another. Imagine for example two ways of saying “it's your turn to do the dishes”. One that is demanding and the other that is matter of fact. The different tones of voice can send very different relational messages. Again this comes down to the interpretation and the shared meaning. Even though you may have a different tone you are projecting in this example where you are sounding demanding, the other piece of this is how the person who you are talking to is interpreting the content. I cannot stress enough how the science of conflict management plays such an important role with how we create meaning with the world around us.
The following list shows you communication misconceptions:
More communication is always better- Although not communicating enough can cause problems there are also situations where too much communication is a mistake. Excessive communication can be unproductive, like when two people talk a problem situation to death but still have no solution.
Meanings are in words- It's a big mistake to assume that saying something is the same thing as communicating it. The words make perfect sense to you but can't be interpreted in an entirely different way by others. For example, I remember telling someone how much I enjoy painting at the ranch. The other person asked me what rooms I was painting, if I was going with a color scheme, or was it more outdoors painting on the barn, fencing, and decks. I responded with how I was talking about artistic painting on a canvas, and how I enjoy painting with acrylics after having taken a course, and painting only with oil for a number of years.
Successful communication always involves shared understanding- There are times when successful communication comes from not completely understanding one another. Some research shows satisfying relationships depend in part on flawed understanding. For example, couples who think their partners understand them are more satisfied with each other than those who actually understand what the other person says and means. I jokingly think about how my husband is Mr. Smile n’ Nod sometimes when I am talking about work.
A single person or event causes another's reaction- Thinking any single thing we say or do causes a particular outcome is inaccurate. Many factors affect how others will react to your communication. for example, if you lose your temper and say something to a friend you immediately regret, your friend's reaction depends on a host of events besides your unjustified remark. These may include your friend’s frame of mind at the moment, elements of your friend’s personality, your relational history, and so forth. Not any one event occurs in a vacuum.
Communication can solve all problems- Sometimes even the best planned, best timed communication won't solve a problem. For example, imagine a time when you were in school. Imagine asking an instructor to explain why you received a poor grade on a project you believe you deserve top marks for completing. The instructor outlines the reasons for your low-grade and sticks to that position after listening to you carefully. Has communication solved the problem? Hardly.
Going forward in 2018, you can expect my blog posts will include scientific information about the concepts, the models, and the systems I use in my training, our courses, keynote speaking events, and when I provide consulting services to workplaces.
My intentions and meaning for sharing the science of conflict management with you this year is to normalize conflict. Conflict is a normal experience in our daily lives. We often spend a lot of time figuring out how we can avoid a problem situation rather than what solutions we can come up with for the problem situation.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I wish you, and those you love, all the best of peace, love, and happiness in 2018.
Employee engagement and retention is an issue that most businesses face when looking at long term sustainability in their workplace. Often times employers will find solutions they believe are the best but generate the same result as previously. When polled, 84% employers in Canada believe people will leave their workplace for more money. When asked, if the employees polled who have left their workplace, only 11% indicated that it was due to higher pay. So what does this mean? Why do people leave and what helps them to want to stay with their employer?
Aon Hewitt’s 2016 research indicated that high performers may be more likely to stay if they feel valued and view themselves as an instrumental part of the company. What we know to be true is disengaged employees are 2x more likely to leave than engaged employees. Although the high performers will stay due to feeling valued, most employers believe high performers may be more likely to leave the company because they know they have attractive alternatives elsewhere.
Specific drivers of engagement influence the intention to stay by high performers. These driver’s of engagement relate to the personal satisfaction and personal gain by employees for their professional development and sense of value in their workplace.
The top three of seven key drivers of engagement in order of priority are:
I am proud to be part of this organization.
Senior leadership is worthy of employees' trust.
This organization is considered one of the best places to work for someone with my skills and experience.
Overall, the way we reward and recognize people helps us produce the business results we want.
Personal aspirations, in order of priority, influence a high performer’s willingness to stay with a company:
I can achieve my long-term career aspirations at this organization.
I have appropriate opportunities for personal and professional growth.
In my current position, I feel there are sufficient opportunities for me to increase my chances for advancement.
Perceptions of career opportunities are important drivers of engagement and retention for ALL employees, but that importance is amplified for your high performers. Employees who have poor perceptions of their career opportunities are nearly twice as likely to leave compared with those who have positive perceptions. Research shows that high performers were 3x as likely to leave if they had poor perceptions of career opportunities. Career opportunities include not only advancement and recognition but also professional development and continuing education.
Traditional career pathing may not always work and sometimes action is easier said than done due to a variety of reasons (size, scope, short/long term budgets, restructuring, etc.) The question then becomes, "How can we improve our employee, and in particular the high performer, with perceptions of career opportunities in the absence of any new job/position opportunities?"
Engagement and retention solutions:
- Individual professional development plans.
- Investments in skill building like training.
- Flexible learning options.
- Corporate team building activities.
- Tell your high performers they are important to the business.
- Clarify how they fit into the company long term.
- Foster positive affect.
Create a culture of engagement and retention through dialogue. Dialogue is affected by the communication systems that are set up in the workplace. Tell your high performers they are valued. Ask yourself, "Does an employee know if they are considered a high performer?" If not, tell them. It is important for employees to know that they are an important part of your present, as well as your future. Employees/People forget, especially in a largely task focused workplace.
Clarify how they fit into the company long term. Create a line of sight between an employee's job and the vision of the company. Ensure that, even if there are no promotions/career opportunities available today, your high performers see how they fit in and can grow. This communication is critical to employees, particularly if recent economic conditions have slowed your company's growth.
Foster positive affect. A positive affect, or mood, is not necessarily the same as engagement. In addition to clarifying their long-term goals, making sure that your high performers enjoy their day-to-day work in the present helps foster a positive sense of engagement.
High performers know they are important to the business and they rightfully expect good opportunities and want to be able to achieve their aspirations. High performers focus on job fit and being challenged in their work. This suggests high performers have a self awareness to know whether: their job is currently a good fit and their trajectory within the company aligns to their career aspirations.
Contact Suzanne directly to discuss having her present a Keynote at your conference: 587-220-7169 (text or call)
Suzanne was recently in Swan Hills, AB. where she facilitated TACT in a one-day session to 90 students from 3 schools within the division. The youth ranged in age from junior high through to high school and included 12 staff from the 3 schools. This video shows you the format and how our day looked together:
TACT offers great professional development for staff who work with youth because high school is an uncertain period for all youth.
With negotiating peer pressures while defining their own identity, youth experience periods of uncertainty, and oftentimes anxiety, in high school. Navigating tough conversations and managing conflict is a daily occurrence for young people. Giving them options to practice these essential life skills is crucial in their coping and establishing healthy boundaries in their relationships. Help is here to show you how you can empower young people to learn essential conflict management skills.
Suzanne wrote this book as a result of facilitating youth conflict management groups for alternate schools, school resources and coaching. She is offering your school a one day TACT session where your staff will participate and learn how to facilitate the sessions in their classes. Some schools have incorporated TACT into their career and life education as well as in health education.
Generally, the book is available in more than 177+ countries and at ALL online bookstores.
What’s in the book for me?
6 lessons with handouts for fun and engaging activities.
Unique ways to facilitate discussions about conflict with youth.
Experiential games to get youth up and moving together.
The perfect resource to help your students:
Learn listening and communication skills.
Increase their self-confidence with managing tough conversations.
Improve decision making and conflict management abilities.
TACT (Teens and Conflict Together) is a six-session, skills based program designed for facilitation by professionals in school and community systems who work with youth. TACT (Teens and Conflict Together) is structured to provide youth with opportunities for reflection of personal communication styles, conflict management styles and beliefs about their relationships with each other, their peers and the world around them. Skills are presented using fun and interactive games to both encourage and empower youth to employ a problem solving process for conflict management and conflict resolution. There is a literacy component to the program, as well as art and creative writing.
By having Suzanne attend your school, she will cover each of the modules of the program and offer strategies for implementing conflict management and problem solving programs with youth between the ages of 11-17 years.
Upon completion of the six lessons, participants will be able to:
Deliver conflict management skills curriculum to youth aged 11-17 years.
Describe a proven four stage model for effectively managing conflict.
Demonstrate how conflict can be resolved using fun, creative and engaging methods.
The Learning Outcomes are met through fun activities and games as well as storytelling and artwork.
The agenda for a one day session often like this:
9:00am- Introductions and Icebreaker Activity
9:15am- Lesson 1- Conflict Defined
9:30am- The Conflict Cycle
10:30 Conflict Management Styles
12:00pm- 12:40pm- Lunch
12:40pm- 1:30pm- Assumptions & Perceptions in Communication Exercise
1:30pm-2:15pm- Communication in Conflict
2:30pm-3:15pm- Managing Conflict with a 4-Stage Model
The agenda can be modified to suit your school’s needs for bus services and regular bell schedules.
Contact Suzanne directly to discuss having her come out to your school to work with your students and staff: 587-220-7169 (text or call)
Unresolved workplace conflict escalates to a point of no return.
Recently the Calgary Police Service (CPS) has been exposed. The treatment of female officers is in question with accusations of bullying, sexual harassment, intimidation and cover-ups. This begs the question; how will the CPS react to this kind of exposure and what will they do to review policy changes.
“Bullying in the workplace is a symptom of greater systemic issues that need structural administrative process changes to address the root causes. Applying a one size fits all for these types of situations does not help the workplace or the people affected.” -Suzanne Petryshyn
Suzanne Petryshyn of Peak Conflict solutions is a Conflict Management Expert and provided 660 News Calgary listeners with easily understood insight to what should be happening internally with the CPS as they evaluate the aforementioned concerns. Suzanne explained how this kind of conflict in a workplace is damaging to employees but can be fixed when employers step up and provide their employees with appropriate conflict training.
Listen to the two aired news clips here:
Suzanne has been in business for 16+ years with 10,000+ training hours and has served over 25,000 people including training in law enforcement and criminal justice.
Contact Suzanne directly to talk about how you can help your staff manage conflict more effectively and efficiently with our online conflict management course. This course can be completed in as little as 15 minutes a day and within 2 weeks on any device with a browser. Your staff will learn strategies that they can implement immediately in the workplace and at home.
#takecharge #yyc #yql #yeg #peakconflict #conflictmanagement #mediationtrainingonline #yyc #yql #yeg #conflictmanagementtraining #conflictresolutiontrainingonline #conflictresolutionworkshop #onlinemediationtraining
Social Enterprise Business Development for an Organization Helping Women
Through my role as a Volunteer Advisor with CESO, I am offering business development services for the implementation of social enterprise for the Clan Mothers Turtle Lodge located one hour north of Winnipeg, Manitoba on eighty acres of land. This project is built on the vision and passion of the Grandmothers who have dedicated their lives to advancing women’s issues and helping women who have been sexually exploited, controlled and abused.
Clan Mothers Turtle Lodge is a healing lodge that allows women to heal from their traumatic life experiences, get the help they need and learn from an indigenous perspective the matrilineal nature of their history and fill in the pieces that have been missed through colonization and residential schools. Indigenous communities have been traumatized by the ongoing systemic violence against women and children. They are victims of sexual exploitation, human trafficking, racism and unconscionable levels of domestic violence, rape, abduction and murder.
The Grandmothers are helping women take back their place that has traditionally belonged to the women of the tribe in their matrilineal society. Although feminism is a part of the story of women, this is very much embedded in the spiritual reality of the indigenous ways of life.
The Clan Mother’s Turtle Lodge is an indigenous model of healing for the revitalization of our communities. Elder Mae Louise and her daughter, Jamie Goulet, are the creators and main proponents of the Clan Mother Turtle Lodge Inc. and they have built an organization focused on providing midterm to long term care to women who have been victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. The services planned will include the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of women in a secluded, safe and supportive environment that utilizes traditional indigenous healing based upon the matriarchal teachings of grandmothers.
This project is exciting because it is built around both traditional teachings and innovation together. On site facilities are planned and architecturally designed to include an education centre, a pathway of hope interpretive centre, eco-cottages and a conference facility, greenhouses for produce and medicinal produce and an indigenous arts and folk craft centre. Programming is planned with partners across Canada who will provide healing, as well as social enterprise activities, to lift women up and help them to become strong in their own capacities to learn and contribute.
My role in this project is to provide business modelling around the social enterprise aspects and facilitation for multiparty engagement for implementation and development. My experience as an entrepreneur, along with my academic education with organizational systems design and project management is helpful for the Grandmothers, consultants at MNP and architects in creating a feasible business plan that will create a sustainable organization that will grow and thrive. In addition, my mediation and facilitation experience helps to bridge the communities and communication that needs to take place for solution finding together as this project moves forward.
I am honoured to have been asked to participate in such a powerful project for women and when meeting with the Grandmothers, it became more clear to me that I am on the right path with helping these women realize their goals to the best of my ability for my part in this project. Their rich background and experience includes not only already having had a healing lodge for eighteen years, but also a “healing spirit and a knowing from experience that only when women take their rightful places as healers, leaders and grandmothers, all walking proud, can families and communities heal.” (Elder Mae Louise, 2016)
Deeply touched and inspired by the passion of these great leaders among us, I left Winnipeg after two full days of immersing in a project that will help women and prevent our granddaughters from experiencing some of the horrors indigenous women have faced in Canada.
There is something shifting, a movement that is taking place in the global domain that is creating timely space for this type of endeavour. We are all talking about the treatment of women and girls on a global scale and it feels like there is movement in the direction needed to create a tone of healing and moving forward for indigenous women. I feel very honoured and blessed to have been invited into the homes of women who are living their legacy and creating a powerful platform for indigenous women of the world.
This is a slideshow of some of the sites in downtown Winnipeg I saw in my tour, the Fort Gary hotel where I stayed, the architect's office and the home of the Elder where we met with the Grandmothers and Jamie:
#takecharge #yyc #yql #yeg #peakconflict #conflictmanagement #Winnipeg #mediationtrainingonline #yyc #yql #yeg #conflictmanagementtraining #conflictresolutiontrainingonline #conflictresolutionworkshop #onlinemediationtraining
Women lifting women up at our Level 1.0: Introduction to Conflict Management at the Red Roof Studio in Duchess, AB. on February 4th, 2017
This Learning Retreat was coordinated after a discussion following my presentation at the Alberta Teacher’s Association Council for Inclusive Education. Melanie, a recently retired psychologist with the school district, balanced her retirement, other work duties, Christmas and life while coordinating a wonderful weekend away at an exclusive event with 19 professional women from the Brooks, AB. area. This post details my experience with a powerful and inspiring group of women.
I arrived Friday evening around 5:30pm at the Red Roof Studio. The snow started to fall when I was about an hour away and the drive into the property was like going into a movie scene at a beautiful estate with the snow falling and the trees being covered in snowflakes. I arrived at the door to the studio, where we would have our training session and Collin led me through an extraordinary straw bale building to their home area down the hall from the studio. Rita’s art work hung on the walls with vibrant colours and designs. Sophie, their dog, welcomed me and happily trotted along beside Collin to show me the way.
The kitchen has a beautiful breakfast bar and was so like home. When we walked in, Rita was busy baking coconut meringues for our dessert the next day, as well as creme brulee and we immediately started talking food and recipes. Muse, their other dog and the pup of Sophie, laid at Rita’s feet while she cooked and we visited. The kitchen smelled amazing and I was looking forward to the event, getting to know my hosts and it was so reminiscent of my time growing up at our lodge.
I settled in at the guesthouse and spent the evening in a beautiful living room, all by myself, reading and reflecting as I prepared for the Learning Retreat the next day. The guesthouse far extends beyond anything you would ever expect in a bed and breakfast. The rooms are beautiful, the kitchen area is stocked with everything you need for your stay as well as the 2 living room areas. Fully stocked with books, magazines, a large television, wireless internet, music and games, this place feels like you are transported to another land, when only a mere 2 hours east.
Here is a video tour of the guesthouse at the Red Roof Studio:
In the morning we continued to get to know each other over coffee and a fabulous European breakfast with meats, cheese, boiled eggs, toast, fruit and pate. After breakfast, we went to the studio so I could set up and prepare for the day. Melanie arrived bright and early and brought an amazing spread of coffees, teas, snacks, door prizes and packages for each participant. Everything was well thought out and planned to perfection. The ladies started to arrive and before we knew it we were diving into the conflict management content planned for the day. Here are the goals and intentions for learning we set out at the beginning of the day:
These are the three areas of reflection I have had since facilitating this powerful Learning Retreat:
Conflict is normal. Our rich discussions and sharing was so helpful for us to normalize the conflict we have experienced in our lives at work and at home. We all have mothers, fathers, spouses, employers, colleagues, neighbours and the list goes on, as do the opportunities for conflict to manifest itself and emerge in our relationships. To experience conflict in our relationships is normal. How we manage the the conflict is unique to our own conflict management style.
Our experiences helps others. The variety of experiences we have had in our lives helps to make conflict make sense from a theoretical perspective. We are not isolated and alone in our experiences. Someone somewhere has had a similar experience and by talking about our difficult conversations, we normalize, make sense of and bring light to something that was once a shadow.
We can be ready for tough talks. Learning about the cycle of conflict in our relationships, the root causes of conflict and how we engage in problem owning with another helps us to take charge of difficult conversations in way that honours our story and our relationships. Key strategies that are embedded in theory help us to be prepared and feel ready for tough conversations.
Here is a video slideshow of pictures taken throughout the day:
This Learning Retreat ended with a wine and appetizer reception and a beautiful five course meal. There is something so beautiful about breaking bread with women who you have shared your story with through laughter and tears and helped to see how conflict is normal, predictable and manageable.
Our evening event was a painting class with Rita. We chose butterflies that Rita had prepared for us in advance and we were able to exercise creative freedom with either acrylic or watercolour paints. Rita’s breadth and depth of knowledge in art and painting shone through as she led us through a tutorial about what we would be doing. Staring down at a blank canvas, I was praying for paint by number to help me! I didn’t know where to get started and with encouragement, support and positive affirmations from my peers, we all dove into a fun and exhilarating exercise of creating our own beautiful butterfly.
It is quite remarkable how your brain empties when you are playing with colour and working beside a room full of beautiful women. Rita explained that she chose butterflies for us because butterflies live their entire lives without ever seeing the beauty in their own wings. Like butterflies, women often don’t see or recognize, acknowledge or appreciate the beauty we each possess. This thought provoked more thought about how we often will avoid those conflicts in our relationships where we feel inadequate to address. The truth is, like the butterfly, we have everything we need to find the solutions we seek.
#takecharge #secondcup #yyc #yql #yeg #peakconflict#conflictmanagement #Calgary #mediationtrainingonline #yyc #yql #yeg #conflictmanagementtraining #conflictresolutiontrainingonline #conflictresolutionworkshop #onlinemediationtraining