Making It Easy
Meaningful conversation is the foundation for all great teams, collective action and meaningful change. But a roomful of passionate voices can either be cacophony or symphony depending on who manages the conversation. For nearly twenty years I've been facilitating conversations that heal relationships, clarify purpose, and inspire action. So whether you are creating a plan, building a dynamic team or a solving a problem (ombudsman service), I can work with any gathering of people to inspire quality conversation and committed action. Contact me at to discuss how I might help you, or call 513-235-3068.
Problems We Can Solve
I lead conversations with people from diverse backgrounds with radically differing goals through a wide variety of facilitation techniques -- so whatever you need, I offer support in getting your group across that finish line.
Need civil feedback from angry citizens?
Need action from a stuck group?
Need a clear plan from a muddy set of ideas?
Need camaraderie and trust within a polarized team?
Need an internal problem or dispute solved discreetly?
All Voices Are Welcome
I work with rooms of people from all walks of life with many different reasons for meeting. From government officials to community members of all types, I know how to draw-out and connect differing perspectives in powerful ways. Clients include:
Lakota Local Schools -- facilitate ongoing community conversations to connect stakeholder needs with district decision-makers.
City of Covington, KY -- facilitated year-long city planning process that integrated government, business and community voices into a cohesive plan and set of action teams.
One Westwood -- building a racially integrated team seeking to heal old wounds and maximize the benefits of their community's diversity.
Butler County Drug Free Coalition -- facilitating the development of an all-stakeholder plan to increase system-wide collaboration and improve collective outcomes.
City of Cincinnati -- over several years facilitated a series of staff and resident budget debates to inform City Council's decision-making.
Delhi Township -- facilitated a leadership retreat with staff and elected officials; also engaging residents in visioning process for new town-center development.
The Room Is Always Alive
Even highly diverse participants share certain needs that my facilitation methods address -- connection, contribution, respect. Simply, people support what they co-create, and no matter where your group begins I have methods that help people feel engaged, valued and empowered. Presentations are minimized, small group conversations drive engagement, and participants talk about and build on what matters to them.
Healing Relationships, Solving Problems – Discreetly
As a lawyer and certified mediator, I also offer an “outsourced ombudsman” service to solve problems quietly “in-house”. I combine community conversation protocols with traditional mediation tactics to re-humanize antagonists, understand motivations and creatively solve disputes such as...
Conflicts between principals and parents that need a neutral person to resolve?
Staff discontent or toxic building cultures that you don’t have time to address?
Problems you want resolved discreetly before they go public?
Ongoing academic disputes that disrupt learning?
People support solutions that they co-create. As an ombudsman, I build a relational bridge so that ideas come from the parties, who are then more likely to find solutions they embrace whether the dispute is between individuals, between an individual and a group, or between groups. In the end, the underlying relationship is healed, which transforms former adversaries into partners who have the capacity to work through future disagreements.
Good collaboration comes from a mindset that, for most people, needs to be learned. I practiced law for 10 years, and the skills for winning arguments are far different than those for collaboration. As a lawyer, I became a certified mediator to work couples through difficult divorces. After learning how to apply mediation skills to group facilitation, I began teaching continuing legal education courses in collaborative negotiation. Now I teach courses in group facilitation and stakeholder engagement for institutional and community leaders.
Fifteen years of writing and teaching these classes prepared me for the facilitation training that I've been doing for the past decade helping clients build their leadership capacity. By learning to facilitate meetings using connection and co-creation principles, your leaders can dramatically improve the results of their team's work.
We can discuss further how to integrate training into your project (or create a stand-along training curriculum). Regardless, all of my processes provide an experience that teaches your entire team a new way of being and working together.
Exploring Your Possibilities
Every process is designed for the specific needs and goals of that client. If my framework seems right for you, let's get together by phone or in-person to talk in more detail about how I might support you. After an initial conversation to discuss what your project might look like, I often meet with a few other key stakeholders to discuss their point of view -- people support what they co-create, and that starts with the process -- before finalizing details of the process with leadership. All exploratory conversations and project development time is done at no charge to you! More information about my work is available at www.CitizensForCivicRenewal.org.
To talk further, contact me at...
(513) 235-3068 (mobile)