[Opinion] How Do We Jiu-jitsu Our Own Clients

Mediators, negotiators, facilitators, lawyers, therapists, and analysts do it all the time.

When you understand the nature of the thing, it is almost impossible to avoid doing it.

When you do it, sometimes you feel as though you are manipulating somebody else into doing something that they wouldn’t normally do. But then you realize that kindness, patience, and humility begin to matter.

When it’s done, it’s done intentionally, not by accident, or even in a haphazard way, a reaction to something that another party said or did.

And yes, when you do it, you can still be taken by surprise. It just doesn’t happen as often.

In the past, people used to characterize it as “playing head games.” But really, once you understand that in many ways, individuals change, but the group doesn’t, then it’s less a “head game” and more a “gaming the system” game.

When you do it, you have to be careful to preserve the other party’s autonomy and rights to self-determination. Presenting all the options to get out of a conflict, without presenting the consequences as well (or even worse, allowing the other party’s imagination to ‘fill in the blanks’) lacks human empathy, and dares to challenge your own spiritual growth.

When it happens, it may seem like jiu-jitsu to someone watching from the outside (using the other party’s ‘throw weight’ of their language, rhetoric, ideas, or stories, against them), but the ability to

  • analyze,
  • listen actively and non-defensively,
  • hear a story succinctly,
  • and paraphrase that story back to the teller in the way the teller wants to hear it,

is not jiu-jitsu.

It’s just good form.

[Advice] KPIs for Conflict Resolution Skills Training

We talked about KPI’s (key performance indicators) for New Years’ Resolutions toward the end of 2013.

It was pointed out to us at a workshop recently that, while our content was compelling and valuable, there seemed to be no KPI’s or metrics to indicate to the organization (or any organization that would hire us) that our training had any long-term value.

Good point.

As a result, we went back and though about our recent posts on CRaaS (here and here) and how to integrate conflict resolution skills training into the workplace, and came up with some relevant KPI’s and metrics.

Follow along with us:

  • The primary KPI for conflict resolution training is to measure changes in levels engagement at the supervisory/management level. This can primarily be accomplished through having reports and higher-ups engage in 360 degree evaluations with special emphasis on conversations with impacted employees, with a particular focus on quality, frequency and type.
  • The second way to measure performance improvement at the entry and mid-level positions, is by tracking reductions in registered complaints and concerns, reductions in reported and perceived conflicts and tracking reductions in sick day/vacation day usage by entry level employees, interns and others who are front facing but rarely receive training or mentorship.
  • Finally, measuring increases in productivity is hard. However, increased customer engagement, overall employee satisfaction and measuring employee retention, goes a long way toward measuring the efficacy of conflict resolution skills training in your organization.

Of course, if you don't want to measure in these three areas, you could always track reductions in lawsuits and litigation efforts by employees, supervisors, managers, customers and others.


[ICYMI] On Being CRaaS in the Workplace

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the newest thing in the modern workplace.

But, in spite of cloud storage and web based computing, people remain sticky and unreasonable.

Conflict resolution skills are still considered soft skills, even in a workplace that requires deeply intellectually technical skills.

HSCT offers workshops, training and coaching sessions that can be purchased one-time (workshops), paid for via subscription (the HSCT Communication Blog) or offered as needed (coaching sessions).

We offer conflict resolution skills training in a variety of areas for our clients, including:

  • Active Listening
  • De-escalation Tactics
  • Anger/Frustration Control
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Effective Negotiation
  • …and many more.

Now, none of these skills will ever be offered via the cloud, automated, or robotized via nanotechnology.

HSCT is always face-to-face (F2F), always in person and always on.

Conflict resolution-as-a-Service.

Be CRaaS in the workplace with HSCT.

Originally published on June 23, 2014.

Download the FREE E-Book, The Savvy Peace Builder by heading to http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com/e-book-the-savvy-peace-builder/ today!

[ICYMI] Jezebel’s Without a Blog

Outside of Western mysticism, or Hollywood entertainment, there isn’t much talk in the wider world about the presence, or influence, of demons, or evil spirits, anymore.

And if a person or organization does address them, they are immediately cast as a retrograde individual with little contemporary understanding of psychology, sociology, social justice or basic science.

And yet, the cosmopolitan modern civilization that we have built, actively acknowledges that there are positive spiritual elements to some of the work that peace builders perform in the restorative justice space, the mindfulness space, and even in the space where emotional intelligence crosses over into social work.

And yet we struggle to assign and define a negative spiritual element to the damaging consequences of traumas, conflicts, disputes and disruptions.

We collectively, actively acknowledge that there is an entire world outside of the world that we experience through our five natural senses, but we struggle to identify the nature of that world within the comfortable scientific realms of psychology, sociology, or biology.

Thus, we identify people as having behavioral and personality issues and problems, but we too often neglect the long-term, hard work of nurturing their spirit, in favor of the easy, short-term work of medicating their biology.

Nowhere is this more evident that in the church, where high conflict people exist. High conflict people—in the natural, biological sense—have issues that cannot be remedied through just “talking it out.”

There is plenty of writing and theological research around the area of Jezebel spirits, named after the queen in 1Kings 9-37, not the 4th wave feminist blogging website. But when the Christian conciliator attempts to bring knowledge of this spirit into the secular world of workplace conflicts, they run the risk of being laughed out of the room.

At best.

So, here’s the rule for the Christian conciliator: As with a high conflict individual, recognizing a Jezebel spirit’s presence in a secular workplace, should be kept as a private diagnoses, rather than a public proclamation.

In the church however, an open acknowledgement may be required of the presence of such a disruptive and conflict generating spirit—along with the realization that some people behave in the manner of high conflict individuals.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79

Conflict in Your Organization

Have you ever heard the one about the consultant who mediated their own divorce?



Neither have we.

We’ve just heard the story many times before and wondered how much of that could have been avoided with some conversations.

As a professional consultant though, in the area of conflict, or in any other area, you are going to face conflicts in your organization.

There are going to be people who disagree, dissemble and even will attempt to deceive you. Some of these people you will hire and it will amaze you the number of ways that they can harm your organization.

All of this can be avoided by having open, honest conversations about your organization, your motives, your dreams and—most importantly—your goals for their involvement in your project.

You know, the same kinds of conversations that you would have with an intimate partner, so that you don’t wind up mediating your own divorce.

Or, negotiating a firing.

Conflict is inevitable, but the responses to it—and preparation in advance of it—does not have to be.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

Unbundled Civility

Let’s have an honest talk about the good old days.

On Civility and Discourse

And, please bear with us. This is going to go a little long.

Civility and discourse seem to be on the wane as the instantaneous nature of communication becomes more and more ubiquitous in our everyday lives.

It appears as though society has traded civility, good manners, good breeding and other elements of moral and Godly character, for an increase in perceived authenticity, the freedom to air our “dirty laundry,” and unload embarrassing baggage, not only on social media, but increasingly in the workplace, the church and the school.

Along with this comes the exchange of grace and forgiveness for the freedom to judge any mismatch of words and deeds, to take measure and revel in spectacle.

Thus, incivility becomes a new form of pornography—briefly gratifying when we are being “true to ourselves” and emotionally “authentic” at the workplace meeting table–but leaving behind a wake of emotional, psychological and moral damage upon others.

George Washington diligently copied in school 110 maxims for proper behavior, that were initially hand written and passed down from Jesuit scholars in the 16th century and were titled Biensance de la Conversation entre le Hommes (Decency of Conversation among Men).

They come from a time before the 21st century, when social conduct was considered more than just a sign of good breeding.  Proper social conduct then, was part of the pavement on the road to success, along with grit, conscientiousness and perseverance.

But what about now?

Culture is changing because of three things:

  • The speed of our communication
  • The irreverence of our communication
  • The disruption of long standing social mores

The conflicts of the 21st century in organizations of all kinds, will be between the vocal minority (also composed of the silent majority) who will hold to the rules of civility in discourse, no matter what the platform.

And those who will appear to be the majority (who may in fact be in the minority) who will throw the rules out in favor of the illusion of freedom, authenticity and the easy path.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

Scarcity is a Lie

Human beings have trouble engaging with conflict effectively, from the schoolhouse to the workhouse.

Henna for Peace

Well, the “workhouse” doesn’t exist anymore, but you get my meaning.

In a world of scarcity, conflict engagement is incredibly difficult, primarily because we tend to view our resources (i.e. time, emotions, money, etc., etc., etc.) as limited.

We tend to approach conflicts in our lives from an inadequacy fueled, poverty based mindset that views the future as scary, the past as dominant and today as a mere distraction.

  • This leads to people avoiding conflicts regularly.
  • This leads to people confronting conflicts badly and ineffectively.
  • This leads to people being confounded by conflicts genuinely.

This also creates a reality for people in conflict that causes them to believe that they solve conflicts well (they don’t) or that they don’t have any conflicts in their lives (they do).

The other side effect of a poverty based mindset around conflicts involves being pushed– through experiencing repeated conflict situations–toward trauma and dysfunction, before seeking professional help.

Trauma. Dysfunction. Poverty. Scarcity.

Engaging with conflict effectively requires a shift in psychology, designed to view resources as abundant, other people as partners and conflict situations as temporary moments in time, rather than permanent states of being.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA

Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

Washing Hands

Conflict avoidance has a long and storied history.

On this day, Good Friday, we recall that the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate “washed his hands” of “that whole Jesus issue” sometime around AD 30.
The action (partially for the crowd, curiously enough) was symbolic, but symbols had mass meaning in times well before television, mass media and mass communication.
And they hold even more meaning now.
The symbolic washing of hands that Pilate did, was a way to avoid (for political and religious considerations) the consequences (and the resulting guilt) of rendering a decision.
Choosing to avoid conflict by making no choice at all is a legitimate way to resolve a conflict, but consequences still exist.
On this Good Friday…
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com

Changing Lanes

Survival is not often talked about by people in society.
The dictionary defines it as “the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.”
Eminem recently wrote a song about it.
Biology runs on the fuel of it.
So does most of the programming on PBS, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel and most “reality shows.”
Economic systems since bartering have operated by its brutal rules.
Check that. 
People in society talk about survival all the time.
Well, HSCT has survived it’s freshman year.
Welcome to the sophomore year of the grand experiment.
Where are we going next?
Well, we here at HSCT love the process of process.
And 2014 will bring more content, more process and more survival.
Let’s go deeper, build a deeper relationship and bring Church to the wild.
Part of going deeper (and moving from surviving to thriving) here at Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT) means well, us charging something to give more to you.

Take two hours this month to develop the leader within you, through relevant exercises and pertinent, specific, targeted advice.

Map your leadership style this month by signing up for the February 19th HSCT Seminar, Developing the Leader Within, held at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County for only $89.99!
Follow the link here http://bit.ly/1fht5Nq for more information and to register!

-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com

Guest Blogger Joe Coudriet: Combating Negative Communication

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”– George Bernard Shaw

This week’s Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT) Guest Blogger, Pastor Joe Coudriet, along with his wife, Pastor Dawn Coudriet, is the minister of Southern Tier Family Life Church (STFLC), based out of Binghamton, New York. His blog posts this week and next will focus around combating negative communication patterns in your life.
The mission of STFLC (taken directly from the website) is as follows: “We desire to lead people into a real relationship with Jesus Christ as we glorify God, grow together and give to others.”
Meeting at the Boys and Girls Club of Binghamton, New York since the early months of 2011, STFLC has a strong background in service, growth and leadership.
Check out the STLFC website at www.stflc.org, follow Pastor Joe on Twitter at @joecoudriet,
and check out the STFLC Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/STFLC?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser
Or, if you’re in the Southern Tier Area on a Sunday morning from 10am-12pm, stop by the Boys and Girls Club of Binghamton, NY, and attend service.
I always appreciate the opportunity to contribute to @Sorrells79 and the great work being done through HSCT.  
As a pastor I am full of faith and trust in God’s word.
As a human I know that before God’s word can have full effect in a person’s life that they must first face the truth: The truth about their circumstances, the truths about the relationships they are in, and the truths about themselves.
Of course looking at the truth is Biblical as well and so I guess I never really stray far away from it because the truth, the Bible says, will set us free.
When confronting the negative patterns of communication that hinder our relationships we must first be true to them; meaning we need to own what’s coming out of our mouth and from our actions.
The good news, however, is that if we can begin to be truthful with ourselves we can be set free from the hindrances developed through our communication patterns and then faith can take root in our lives and give us the strength to follow through.

Next…how to face the truth.
-Peace Be With You All- 
Jesan Sorrells, MA 
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
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