In every training, workshop, seminar, or presentation, there are participants who don’t want the stories, the philosophies, or the underlying data.

They merely want the skills.

The bullet points that will allow them to plug-in to a situation or conflict, and make it turn out in the most optimum way possible.

For them.

Unfortunately, the skills that they are seeking to learn are not the ones we need to acquire for success in the work world of today—and tomorrow.

How do we determine what skills we do need be learning, though?

A good rule of thumb is to observe carefully the patterns of behavior that you’re engaged in that may not be getting you the outcomes you think that you deserve.

Once that observation is complete, then act to change those patterns of behavior. Get a conflict accountability “buddy.” Gather with others who have overcome the patterns of conflict behavior that you have overcome and share your stories.

And lastly, engage with your new skills by making some tough choices. Some of them will not be easy, particularly if they involve family, friends, or workplaces that are toxic, not supportive of your change process, or that wield power over you in subtle (and not so subtle) ways.

And once you’ve partially gotten through this path to learning skills that are based in what we do need more of (empathy, courage, moral clarity, responsibility, and accountability) then write about what you’ve done and the path that you’ve walked to get to where you are now.

We need more people writing, making videos, and recording podcasts, about how they’ve actually learned the skills that work, rather than more fluff about the spectacles that entertain.

At that point, and only at that point, will the listicle dragon be slain.

[Strategy] Facilitating-as-a-Sales Process

The skills required to facilitate training for an audience with content that wasn’t developed by the facilitator, are the same skills sale people practice every day:

Persuasion: Since a facilitator doesn’t create the presentation content (or product) they are facilitating (just like the sales person doesn’t create the product they sell door-to-door), the skills of persuasion through using influence in the room, is critical for success. The facilitator must use all the skills of persuasion their fingertips to get the “customer” to buy the product. Yes, the audience already “bought” the product by being there physically. But just like children in school, you have to “re-earn” their attention caring and awareness, rather than taking it for granted.

Body language: Sales people know that confidence, body language, and silence combined with active listening (more on this one below), can help close the sale in a face-to-face encounter. Facilitators need to keep this in mind. Particularly, when facilitating content with which they are not familiar. A facilitator with none of those traits, just like a sale person with none of those traits, can stumble and fall in the room.

Active listening: Facilitators should listen more that they talk. This is easy when the facilitator has developed the product they are facilitating. It’s hard when facilitators haven’t developed the product they are facilitating. The problems compound when they don’t believe the content itself. The first person to listen and react to the content should be the facilitator. But not in the room. Not in front of the audience. And not when the audience pushes back and disagrees, asserts themselves, or engages in conflict with the content.

With all this being said, the facilitator should remember, above all else, that the work is on the line in the room, not the facilitator as a sales person.

[ICYMI] CRaaS for Your Organization

Conflict resolution skills are not just for human resource professionals.

As our workplaces shift away from being industrial based to being intellectually based, workplace locations are shifting from being physical to being ephemeral.

But as we’ve noted in this space before, conflict stays the same because, while the jury may be out on whether or not Google is making us stupid, our brains as biological organisms still engage in conflict with other brains.

Human resource professionals in organizations are more burdened than ever before with dealing with regulatory changes, endless legal issues and addressing perceived “soft skills” based issues such as bullying and harassment.

Conflict resolution skills become more critical in this type of environment, but who has time to develop the “human resources” in their intellectually based organizations doing intellectually based, customer service oriented work?

The answer is, much like the offering of Software-as-a-Service most recently, to take the learning of conflict resolution skills outside, off-site and “to the cloud.”

Conflict Resolution-as-a-Service becomes the only viable option in this shifting landscape of workplace evolution.

Originally published on  July 9, 2014.

Download the FREE E-Book, The Savvy Peace Builder by heading to today!

[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 today!

HIT Piece 08.05.2014

I always tell the Steve Martin, San Francisco coffee house story before I begin speaking in front of groups of ten or less.

At some point in my career, I will be speaking before an empty room.

What matters is not the empty room, but how I handle what happens afterward.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT:

How to Make A Difference

We here at HSCT work diligently to increase self-awareness, self-worth and self-esteem through the imparting of information, tactics and strategies for engaging with conflict effectively.


 This doesn’t always work though. 

Particularly when the majority of the 350-1000 words per minute that on average cascade through a human being’s neocortex are overwhelmingly negative. 

Particularly when this corrosive self-talk is focused inexorably on negative evaluations of others, negative evaluations of circumstances and negative evaluations of past experiences. 

The tonic of self-awareness, positive self-talk and strong self-esteem consisting of tactics and strategies can only come from the outside. 

The difference has to come from inside of you. 

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA

Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT:

[Advice] Caucusing Arete

Caucusing in a mediation happens when a mediator takes each party aside and talks to them privately about issues and concerns that the other party may not be open to hearing.

  • In a divorce mediation, it could be about issues of infidelity, emotional abuse or unresolved anger.
  • In an organizational mediation, it could be about issues of pay structure, proprietary information, or that there’s a personal problem with the other party.
  • In a church mediation, it could be a about an interpretation of Scripture or a moment of clarity.
No matter what it is, however, the phrase heard most often within a caucus is “I don’t want [insert name of party here] to know this, but…”
A mediator’s virtue then shows, because she has a choice about addressing the opposite party with a concern that could tip the mediation one way—or another.
Arête is the Greek word for the idea of living up to your potential with excellence. And when a mediator navigates a caucus with arête, it can make all the difference.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)