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Thank You for Being You

Truth be told, I believe people to be inherently wonderful. The human design contains a light of wonderfulness.

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Knowing What to Say

Do you ever just not know what to say? Caring about what words to use may be a sign of compassion and…

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Creating Ideas for Resolution

When you disagree with suggestions about how to fix something, how do you typically respond? Are you open to considering what the person is…

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The Power of Listening

When do you most feel connected with someone? What happens in that moment?  Whether talking with a friend,…

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Freedom of Thought

What does it mean to exercise freedom of thought?  Am I really free to think as I choose?…

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Allowing Space for Respectful Disagreement in the Workplace

What does respect look like? How does it impact dialogue in the workplace?    If Chris, the company owner, issues a directive that many believe…

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Be Right, or Be in Right Relationship?

What happens when someone says you are wrong or bad? Does it bring a greater sense of connection or…

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Child Covering Ears

What Behavior will you Accept?

What do you do when someone “crosses the line”? Do you match the behavior, name it, or walk away?…

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Speaking Your Truth

Are you comfortable speaking your truth? Under what circumstances and with whom?  It sometimes feels uncomfortable to share…

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Welcoming Debate and Differences

“What we can learn from the justices, though — beyond how to be a friend — is how to welcome debate and differences. Not for a moment did one think the other should be condemned or ostracized. More than that, they believed that what they were doing — arriving at their own opinions thoughtfully and advancing them vigorously — was essential to the national good.”

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Appreciating both Red and Blue

Have you ever appreciated someone else’s different skills? To function as a civilized society, we need people to have and share their different gifts and…

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Showing Compassion this School Year

In recent weeks and coming days, school across the United States reopen unlike any other school year. Administrators…

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Third Side of the Story

Most mediations involve two people who bring their perspectives. Based on where each person stands, their story is the truth. However, in any situation, particularly when emotions are high, it may be a challenge for the people involved to see the full picture.

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Two adult men talking

When Parents Talk, They Teach

When it comes to talks between parents who no longer live together, words impact more than the adults….

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Choosing Hard Conversations

As a divorce mediator, I regularly meet couples who disagree about selling the house, dividing the retirement accounts,…

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Engaging with Empathy during Conflict

Ever experience that someone “really gets me” or “understands where I am coming from” feeling? That feeling may be a…

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Allowing the Answer in Conflict Resolution

What do you do when you do not like someone’s answer? Or the answer seems unclear? Remembering these five…

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woman with fingers pointing at her

Judging Myself for Judging You (For Judging)

As a friend shared about another’s recent error in judgment, I found myself reacting. As she told how the person involved should…

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Man wearing mask

Going Behind the Boundary in Conflict Resolution

Very few vehicles pull into my driveway these days, so when a man stepped out of large truck…

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Listening for Needs in Conflict Resolution

How often do your pay attention to your own needs? Are you listening for other people’s needs? As an…

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Five people with hands out as if to block what is coming

Fear of Feeling?

Have you ever consumed yourself with a work project when you felt sad? Or turned to something sweet or…

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Diverse group of people sitting in a circle

More than that…

A college friend would say that I was my worst me while watching Packer football. Living in Minnesota,…

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The Unplanned Walk

Last week, my brother and I enjoyed our traditional bike trip to Tip Top Dairy in Osakis, Minnesota. As the sun rays increased the thermometer to 93,…

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Picture of two lanes in natural setting

Staying in Your Lane?

Are you living a life you think you should, or a life you love? What does living your dream life…

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Are You Seeing the Full Person?

If you enjoy the gift of sight, do you notice skin color? What does it mean to notice…

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Facing the Pain

Are you comfortable talking about pain? Why is that? Is it helplessness, insensitivity, or something else? Humans tend to completely avoid…

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What Influences Your Beliefs?

Ever consider who or what shapes your beliefs? Curious about anyone else’s? People hold strong opinions on a wide…

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Time to Update the Communication Toolkit?

What kinds of tools do you have to make life easier? Do you have a good set of…

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Generosity of Gratitude

Ever receive a call or text from someone you have just been thinking about? Or enjoy a smile…

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picture of a molehill

Making the Molehill a Mountain

Do have ever experience a moment, and give it a whole lot more meaning than it calls for?…

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Hiding the Hurt?

As a little girl, I liked to run with the boys, namely my three older brothers. I liked…

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Curiosity Changes Conflict

Have you ever thought, “she does not know what she is talking about” or “he could not be…

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How Long Will You Carry That?

I once attended a funeral where the priest read an obituary that did not acknowledge two of the…

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Avoiding or Allowing?

Who likes to feel happy? Me! Anyone like to feel sad? What fun is that? Avoiding sadness seems…

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Does Time Matter?

Know anyone who tends to be late? Do you start thinking, “how rude and disrespectful,” wonder “what’s going…

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Gratitude, Grief, and Letting Go

Where are you in this experience? While I have not been to my office for eleven days, I…

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Time For…

Growing up in rural Wisconsin, I knew and trusted that neighbors looked out for each other. We considered…

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“Should” I?

As we face an unprecedented situation with coronavirus (COVID-19), I hear “should” frequently. I have never really be…

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Solution or Resolution?

Whether it is children quarreling about who gets to play with a toy, or adults arguing over who…

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Beneath the Frustration

With fifty-five parts scattered about, a screwdriver in hand, and a set of directions, I recently sought to…

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Colleagues talking

Meaning in the Workplace

Has anyone ever misunderstood something you said? Have you ever mistaken someone else’s intentions? Why or how does…

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Curious as a…?

My ideal approach to mediation combines curiosity and compassion by understanding a person’s thoughts about the situation, where…

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I Don’t Have to Take That…

You don’t have to take that, or anything from anybody. But what does “not taking that” look like?…

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What is Your Truth?

When framing a question to a colleague recently, I characterized something as a “story.” He responded that it…

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Speaking of Connection

Whether a marriage, friendship, or working relationship, I hear time and again from people who stop feeling connected…

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The Meaning of Stuff

A young woman’s husband promised to buy her a brand new bedroom suite. To her, the furniture symbolized…

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The Fine Lie

How often do you respond with “I’m fine” or “good” while your mind and body says otherwise? Even…

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More Than Two Options

How do you respond when someone calls to do a survey? Often times, I tell the caller it…

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Restoring Grace Mr. Roger’s Way

Have you seen, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood?” The consummate gentle grace-filled man, Mr. Rogers (Tom Hanks),…

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Thank You, Trusted Truth Tellers

Do you have a person who speaks truth to you? Is that person also someone you trust? Does…

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Right Person, Wrong Seat

Have you ever encountered someone who just did not seem to be the right fit for the job?…

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Confronting Conflict with Curiosity

How do you approach or confront conflict? Humans sometimes avoid acknowledging that any disagreement or dispute exists out…

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Getting Comfortable with Conflict

Do you ever see something differently than someone else? Are you in a situation where you disagree with…

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Behind “Unreasonable” Behavior

Have you ever wondered how someone could behave so unreasonably? What is the person really seeking? If you…

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May We Reduce Domestic Violence by Learning Conflict Skills?

During domestic violence awareness month, it is common to talk about the myriad of reasons victims stay in…

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Does Your Organization Have a Plan?

If your business or organization suddenly finds itself without a key team member, who will take responsibility? Many…

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Airing Grievance Privately in Mediation

Have you ever complained about a person, group, or business? Or heard through the grapevine that another spoke…

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Conflict Coaching Helps Make the Ask

What stops us from asking for help?  For me, it may be a combination of pride, stubbornness, and…

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Keep Words Soft and Sweet

In my grandma’s kitchen hung a picture of a grazing cow with the words:                Be Careful Of The…

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Peace Begins with You

Have you ever said “yes” to something and regretted it five minutes, five days, or even five years…

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The Family Farm and Conflict Resolution

Working the same land as your grandparents and great-grandparents brings both a tremendous sense of pride and responsibility….

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Working it Out

Have you ever felt frustrated when talking with a co-worker or supervisor?  You are definitely not alone. You…

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In the Neighborhood

Years ago, a roommate and I returned to our apartment to find our upstairs neighbor (who we had…

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Planning for Peace

What do you do when a loved one shows signs of being unable to safely drive? Or adequately…

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Knowing Your Needs

What do you need? When most people state their needs, they really list strategies for meeting them. Whether…

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Church and Change

The existence of religious institutions may bring peace, grace and healing to many. Since human beings lead, work,…

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School Talk in Session

Whether a student, teacher, parent, faculty or staff member, administrator, school board member, volunteer, or taxpayer, schools impact…

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More than Business Partners

As so often happens, a couple of friends or family members share some common interest or idea and…

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Self Determination in Senior Living

Deciding where an aging adult will live out their final years, months, or days can feel overwhelming. Too…

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Changing the relationship

Does ending a marriage really end a relationship? Or does it change the nature of the relationship? Instead…

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How do you experience conflict?

Part of being human means experiencing conflict. It generally does not feel good, which leads to a variety…

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