Shame versus Accountability

I just listened to this very timely episode of Brene Brown’s podcast, Unlocking Us, where she discusses the difference between being shamed and feeling shame when it comes to being called out for racism. Now that shame has become a trending buzzword, everyone is talking about it and decrying against its usage. Why? Because shame […]

Shame versus Accountability

I just listened to this very timely episode of Brene Brown’s podcast, Unlocking Us, where she discusses the difference between being shamed and feeling shame when it comes to being called out for racism. Now that shame has become a trending buzzword, everyone is talking about it and decrying against its usage. Why? Because shame […]

Things you can do to lessen your reliance on police as we work together towards abolition.

The thought of police abolition feels scary or impossible to some, but it’s not. Police have not been around that long, and since their inception they have terrorized vulnerable and marginalized populations while protecting the property and power of the state. For those who still don’t believe that this is true, perhaps you will believe […]

Managing Growing Tensions

When we notice tensions rising, we too often avoid bringing it up instead of acknowledging it. We sit on it and it just grows, until we can no longer contain it. Have you been there? I thought so. Who hasn’t.  Right now many of us are stuck inside with our family or roommates and things […]

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3 Communication Blunders that Cause Panic

In these exceptional times our communication with one another becomes more important than usual. I’ve noticed some trends in how communication is happening online and offline and wanted to share some behaviours that can incite panic (and/or crisis) without people necessarily realizing so.  Communication blunder #1: Withholding information while being overly reassuring or overly distant Sometimes […]

Communicating with people not following social distancing protocol

“How do I communicate with people who are not following social distancing protocol?” I’ve seen this question get asked a lot the past week as social distancing measures are being more strictly implemented and suggested. There is the looming threat that soon it will not be a suggestion, but have to be enforced using the […]

Causes of con-res and harassment policy and protocol failure

It’s common enough for collectives, organizations, workplaces, etc to have harassment policy, conflict resolution policy, and human resources policies. These policies are meant to be utilized when conflict or harm arises, and complaints are filed. But too often, groups (workers, organizers, management, leadership, departments, etc) end up unable to follow through and successfully execute their […]

Safer Internet Day & Better Online Conflict Etiquette for Everyone

One of the scenarios I most often get asked to work through with participants at my training or coaching sessions is dealing with conflict online.  The internet has become its own unique platform for conflict and it is particularly ugly. Conflict on the internet can feel extra intense, vulnerable, (and humiliating) because of how large […]

Is all conflict healthy? Should I always embrace it?

Is all conflict healthy? Should I always embrace it? I don’t really know who came up with this idea but I see it everywhere! Conflict is inevitable and has the power to change us and our relationships for the better. Avoiding certain conflicts can cause way more harm than good and can escalate situations that […]

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What are some of the ways punishment shows up in workplace culture?

Can punishment change the culture of a workplace? I think so. If punishment is being used to maintain order or the status quo, then the people in that environment will adapt to protect themselves from punishment. Punishment is the norm in many spaces we spend a lot of time developing our sense of self in, […]

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Signs that you are being motivated by punishment

When somebody hurts us, it can bring up a lot of really intense feelings and dysregulation. It can cause us to endure a lot of stress or go into states of crisis. It is not uncommon for feelings of wanting to punish someone for what they did to arise. Often we need to move through […]

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What is punishment?

What is Punishment? The theme and concept I am going to be exploring this January is, Punishment. I figure, where better to start than with some definitions.  According to the dictionary, punishment is the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offence. Right away, upon reading this, my eye gets drawn to […]

Mistakes people make during tough conversations

There are a few common mistakes people make during tough conversations and I’m here to tell you about them! A lot of people are of the belief that they are never the problem. It’s always something that someone else has said or done. The reality is you cannot be right all the time and sometimes […]

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Surviving Tough Conversations During the Holidays

Despite what tv commercials and Netflix movies continually try to sell us, we all know that the holiday season is not as ‘joyful and merry’ as it’s made out to be. The holidays are actually a time of great stress and anxiety for many. Work holiday parties, family functions, reconnecting with/or missing people we have […]

Is social anxiety contagious?

I’ve been thinking a lot about social anxiety in communities, social circles, work places, etc. It seems like it’s a hot discussion topic right now and that everyone ‘has it’. Me saying that is not to try and minimize the impact it has on people, because social anxiety is a real and legitimate thing with […]

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The top 3 things that cause mediations to fail.

Why When Mediation doesn’t Work My feelings about whether or not mediation works leans more towards WHEN mediation doesn’t work as opposed to a blanket statement that it never works. In my experience there are certain circumstances that increase the likelihood a mediation will fail. In this post I will explore what I believe to […]

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So you want to mediate a conflict…should you though?

Your friends or coworkers or family are in a conflict and you want to mediate it. This makes sense. You’re in close relationship with these people and you want to help. Who doesn’t want to help a friend in need? Here’s the thing though, mediating a conflict is no easy feat. I’ve seen many people […]

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Thinking of ghosting? Here are some things to remember before going through with it.

I have to admit, this post is a direct personal response to some of the ghosting I’ve witnessed and experienced lately in a multitude of spheres. This phenomenon of disappearing (literally or via stopping to return texts, calls, emails or by making false excuses), instead of telling someone honestly why you no longer want to […]

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Worried about confronting someone? Here are some tips:

I always used to think I was very confrontational but I am actually a pretty good conflict avoider. I’m less afraid of conflict and more of an “I don’t want to deal with this, I’ll just get over it” type avoider, but an avoider nonetheless. This is mostly because I grew up with a lot […]

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What happens when we sit on a conflict too long without acting

In my work a lot of the conflict I end up mediating or managing is conflict that has been sitting for A LONG time. I often get called in when things have gotten so bad that it will likely be much harder to reach agreement than if people had attempted to act earlier. ‘Sitting’ on […]

UPCOMING PUBLIC TRAINING: Conflict Culture in our Shared Queer Communities: What’s working and what needs to shift?

I am hosting a training and discussion for this years Pervers/cite in Montreal! Conflict Culture in our Shared Queer Communities: What’s working and what needs to shift? *A closed workshop for LGBTQI2S+ people (FRANCAIS CI-DESSOUS)   Does enduring and making peace with conflict in our shared communities mean shifting our conflict culture? Conflict culture has […]

What even is a conflict coach and when can I use one?

“Coach” is a big buzz word these days in the modern gig and entrepreneur economy. So much so that many people often don’t really know what the title means (myself included) or have a vague or specific idea shaped by their own lifestyle (aka lifestyle coaches). I wanted to take a moment to explain what […]

Why People Avoid Bringing Up Conflict At Work

A recent panel I attended discussed the topic of navigating conflict in the workplace and community organizing spaces. Conflict where we work or where we organize is a huge issue that often goes unresolved and brings with it major consequences. There is a huge culture of suppressing anger in the workplace except for a few […]

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What happens when we want to resolve conflict but the other party doesn’t?

Sometimes we’re in conflict and one party wants to try and resolve it while the other doesn’t. It’s very common for parties to process at different speeds, and feel differently about what happened and the level of impact. We can’t force someone to resolution. If someone isn’t ready to engage then trying to convince or […]

Book a Conflict training & learn and improve these essential skills

Did you just elect new Board or committee members? New management? Are you about to launch your summer programming? Have you just hired a bunch of new staff or volunteers? Or do you have an existing group that is seeking out ways to work better together? I support community groups and organizations in creating stronger […]

Here are some of the main causes of escalation

Certain behaviours are known and proven to increase the chance of escalation in interactions. These behaviours often trigger the body’s alarm system and provoke reactive responses such as the flight, fight, freeze or fawn, in which people shift (knowingly or not) into prioritizing their own safety. Additionally, these behaviours break trust and make people less […]

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At the Root of Most Conflict is a Need Not Being Met

I always say that at the root of most conflicts is a need not being met, and I stick by that. Additionally, it is usually someone not clearly articulating their need by leaving out important information (ex: trying to avoid stating the need by making the situation about ‘something else’); projecting their own assumptions or […]

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Feeling angry? Here are some questions to ask yourself before you act.

Anger is there to tell us that something is wrong. That there’s a problem here. When we get angry we experience a surge of energy and a strong desire to assert and protect ourselves or others. Anger is really powerful but can be destructive if we only use it reactively. Since anger is a primary […]

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What lessons the arrival of spring can teach us about being in and enduring conflict

Happy spring, everyone! Spring is one of my favourite seasons and as someone who tries to remain deeply connected to seasonal shifts and lessons, I put together a list of some of the lessons I believe the spring can teach us about being in and enduring conflict. What looks dead and bare can actually be […]

Is Mediation Right for You?

I’m a conflict mediator, which means I support people or groups in working their way to resolution or negotiation through conflict that people don’t feel they can manage on their own. Many people these days are seeing the importance of alternative forms of conflict resolution and mediation is definitely one of these methods. Mediation is […]

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Feelings February pt4: Shame

Shame in its essence is a way one feels about themselves and is usually triggered by our insecurities about ourselves that we’ve developed over time. Shame makes us feel like something is wrong with us. That we are bad. That we are unworthy. And shame runs deep. Because shame thrives on our insecurities we are […]

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Feelings February pt3: Fear & Anger

“Fear: If it’s burrowed, metastasized, then it can be leveraged.” -Brene Brown We live during a time of great uncertainty. Our futures are in danger as the health of the planet deteriorates at an alarming speed. Rising levels of fascism threaten the physical, emotional and psychological safety of already marginalized people. We face a lot […]

Feelings February pt2: The Nervous System & Window of Tolerance

This weeks Feelings February is going to look at the nervous system and what happens during periods of activation. Last week we learned about how feelings are a representation of that emotional activation. Likewise, our nervous system experiences that activation and prepares our body for self protection (flight or flight or freeze or fawn). What […]

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Feelings February PT1: emotions and the human brain

February is going to be FEELINGS FEBRUARY! One post a week on feelings where we’ll cover the brain, the nervous system; look at some particularly prevalent emotions in our culture, and more. Because February has already been commercialized into a month about love and relationships, I thought it would be relevant and important to do […]

‘Non Violent Communication’ has its merits, but be wary of the ‘right way’ to verbally communicate.

A large part of the trainings I offer in conflict prevention, management and resolution focus on improving communication skills, so that we can minimize escalation, and strengthen trust and understanding in our relationships for the long term. This doesn’t just mean focusing on verbal communication but looking at non verbal communication and self awareness, as […]

Hello and Welcome

Hello everyone! I recently received a big wave of people downloading my free toolkit (awesome!), which includes links to resources on many areas surrounding conflict management and resolution written by a variety of different folks coming at it from a variety of different perspectives.  I’ve also received feedback from my instagram followers that they enjoy […]

My blog

I’m a conflict management and resolution trainer, coach and mediator writing about conflict prevention, management and resolution! I post links to resources and share what I’m reading, whose work i’m currently really excited about, and tips, thoughts and ideas about community building, communication, accountability, trust and more.

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