The Trusted Coach

Team Building

To have the confidence and ability to freely and openly express one’s opinion in a non-threatening and non-judgmental manner is difficult in the most successful relationships. It is an even greater challenge on a team where there may be a natural tendency or fear that functioning as your true self can be career suicide. To overcome a general sense that to work effectively as a team requires conforming (very different than compromise) or in some cases ‘selling out’, mutual respect is critical. All team members must embrace the fact that each individual has a distinct personality, looks at issues and problems with a unique set of eyes, and communicates or deals with conflict completely differently. To develop this sense of team and mutual respect, we facilitate a variety of seminars focusing on how each person handles conflict and confidently communicates their opinions, perspectives, and solutions to their team. The following sections introduce the core components of conflict resolution as well as descriptions of the seminars we use to enhance team effectiveness. 


The simple task of exchanging ideas, information, or experiences so that each person genuinely understands what the other really means is quite complex.  Imagine how much stronger your relationships would be if you really understood what made people tick — both when things were going well and when there was conflict and opposition. Essentially, we want to engage with people and develop relationships that we find gratifying. We want to be recognized and appreciated for the things that matter to us – but what matters is different for every person. One of the best methods to improve communication and conflict resolution is by learning and utilizing a tool called the Strength Deployment Inventory.


Productive conflict management can be broken down into five key areas: 

  • Anticipate — Anticipating conflict starts with having a better understanding of the people you’re dealing with and how their view of a situation might differ from your own. When you respect a person’s unique vantage point, you’re better equipped to steer clear of their conflict triggers.
  • Prevent — Preventing conflict is about the deliberate, appropriate use of behaviors in your relationships. If you know what’s important to a person—what they value—you can prevent conflict with him or her by using words or actions that don’t threaten those values.
  • Identify — There are three basic approaches in conflict: rising to the challenge (assert), cautiously withdrawing (analyze), or wanting to keep the peace (accommodate). When you are able to spot these approaches in yourself and others, you are empowered to handle conflict situations more productively.
  • Manage — Managing conflict involves creating conditions that enable others to manage themselves out of the emotional state of conflict. But it’s also important to manage yourself out. Managing yourself in conflict can be as easy as taking some time to see things differently.

Resolve — To create movement toward resolution, we need to show the other person a path back to feeling good and valued. When people feel good about themselves, they are less likely to feel threatened and are free to move toward resolution.

Communicating with the Chinese Workshop

Successfully conducting business in any country is difficult work – it takes persistence, dedication, and hard work. But, when working with an American client, partner, distributor, or in any other business dealings, there are many things we take for granted when sizing someone up. “I had a feeling”, “I went with my gut”, “I had an intuition”, ”It just didn’t feel right” – these are all common expressions that we use frequently.  We get a sense of people because we have common backgrounds, similar upbringing, a common history – we feel this regardless of the words we are hearing the person say.  This becomes much more difficult when working across borders and is amplified, for a variety of reasons, when conducting business with the Chinese

China has a fascinating culture, a rich history, an exciting, vibrant economy, and excellent food.  The Chinese people are extremely capable, hard workers, and astute negotiators, and though there is no doubt that we are different, the Chinese are not as inscrutable as you may think.

At the conclusion of this two or four hour workshop you will be able to: 

  • Articulate the differences between Chinese and American cultural norms as they relate to business
  • Describe the historical and recent Chinese political and social landscapes that influence business practices
  • Identify key values and standard practices of the Chinese business environment

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Successful Communication and Conflict Resolution Workshop

This half day workshop utilizes the Strength Deployment Inventory to introduce a powerful, self-discovery program for enhancing the ability to communicate more effectively AND handle conflict more productively. The Strength Deployment Inventory goes beyond behavior to identify the motivation behind behavior — answering “why” individuals act the way they do. It becomes easier to accept a person’s actions when you understand what drives them from within.

Participants will rank how they value and use twenty-eight different strengths or behaviors to produce a picture of how they apply their strengths in relationships. Even though two individuals may share similar Strength Deployment Inventory results, they may prioritize their strengths differently. This portrait sets the stage for learning to borrow behavior to be more effective in relationships and provides insight into the idea of mask behavior.

Program Objectives include:

  • Depersonalize conflict. Develop a non-threatening method for dealing with the interpersonal conflict that is too often avoided.
  • Introduce a memorable system.  The tool is highly visual and introduces common sense concepts so that participants will be able to apply post workshop.
  • Honor differences. The program highlights the unique way we value different strengths and interpret the actions of others.
  • Illuminate the reason for our actions. Develop a snapshot of who we are — going beyond behavior to reveal our driving motivation.

Introduce interpersonal insights that are crucial to improving any situation where people interact.

Cross Cultural Communication Workshop

We are generally ignorant about our own culture and do things because they feel right, it’s the way everyone acts, the way we were taught in school or by our parents. Only a very small part of culture is easily visible, such as foods we eat, holidays, or style of dress, but the rest is invisible and unconscious, derived from deeply ingrained cultural norms: concept of self, method of communication, obligations, concept of power.  This can make cross-cultural interactions difficult at times and filled with mis-understandings.

  At the end of this two or four hour training you will learn:

    • How we draw conclusions based on our own cultural norms.
    • How Americans look at the world compared to other countries.
      • Independent vs. Interdependent
      • Direct vs. Indirect
      • Egalitarian vs. Status
      • Task vs. Relationship
      • Methods to successfully overcome cultural barriers


Contact me at: for more information and to learn about pricing. 


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