I build individuals', teams' and workgroups' strengths through collaborative and compassionate processes. Whether facilitating a pair or group through differences, conflict/complaint resolution, restructuring/downsizing, skill development, Key/Core Values establishment, or healing after workplace conflict, I strive to balance the group's satisfaction with the process, professional content and substantative, enduring outcomes.
In WorkplacesOn the JobWithin MeetingsAt Retreats

Strategic Visioning & Planning

Creating Mission statement

Refining Vision

Establishing Key/Core Values

Clarifying Values

Eliminating Discrimination

Ending Harassment

Preventing Retaliation

Executive retreats

Employee/Staff Growth

Team Building


Resolving disputes

Mediating complaints

Uncovering common ground

Developing agreements

Healing workgroups

Assessing perceptions

Valuing diversity

Understanding others

Partnering for Performance

Empowering staff

Energizing employees


Some Types of Facilitations

Multi-stage Workplace Facilitations

Based on my extensive experience and broad range of expertise--active listening, mediating, negotiating, facilitating, coaching, communicating, leadership development, working across multiple management levels, personnel interventions, labor relations and utilizing in-house resources (HR, EAP, Bargaining Units, trainings, etc.)--I have developed and utilize an eclectic, multi-stage approach to workplace facilitations.

Phase I (Assessment or "Excavation"): (i) determines what the client's goals, values, interests and concerns are; (ii) gains board-based support for the project (the sine quo non for any long-time, successful intervention); (iii) gathers detailed, front-line information from participants, (iv) analyzes and synthesizes these personal responses and perspectives; and (v) proposes interventions and seeks agency collaboration.

In short, Phase I (a) uncovers what those in the workplace want to assist identify barriers and interferences to a healthy workplace, and (b) informs me what to implement: skills, tools, teachings, trainings, coachings, strategies, techniques. Upon completion of Phase I, I can propose a tailor-made, efficient Phase II (facilitating, coaching, training, etc.) and Phase III (long-term success and institutionalization).

While Phase I might be viewed as preliminary--or even as unnecessary--in fact, it is highly efficient and economical--comprising critical work for five primary reasons:

  1. gives all participants a chance - and feeling - of being heard
  2. empowers participants to begin to build their solutions to their challenges
  3. begins to raise the awareness that the participants' commitment to their solution is critical to success
  4. provides all participants opportunity to establish trust with the facilitator
  5. The diagnosis arising from Phase I enables Phases II & III to meet the individuals' and organization's particular needs (rather than superimposing a generic application).

Consequently, my work enables and empowers staff, leads, supervisors, managers and upper-level managers; builds both confidence and competence; and implements resolutions that are real, practical, indigenous--yet expertly constructed.

My Phase I excavation leads almost effortlessly into facilitations on multiple levels with a single, over-arching goal: to (re)establish a healthy workplace culture--that is, one that is safe, respectful, professional, open and productive.

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Three Examples: Facilitating Core Values / Key Values for an Organization

First, how Core Values differ from Goals:
Values guide all plans, decisions and actions
  Goals Values  
  are for the future are now  
  are set are lived  
  change are standards you can count on  
  get people going sustain the effort  
Values become real only when you demonstrate them through action, and in the ways you insist others act.

Second, here are two expressions on the importance and relevance of Core Values in the workplace:
  Values are the bedrock of any organizational culture. As the essence of an organization's philosophy for achieving success, values provide a sense of common direction for all employees, and guidelines for their day-to-day behavior. . . .  
Adapted from Julien Phillips
by Terrence E. Deal & Allan A. Kennedy
Corporate Cultures, p. 21
Built To Last, p. 222

  Core values are the organization's essential and enduring tenets--a small set of timeless, guiding principles that require not external justification; they have intrinsic value and importance to those inside the organization. . . .  
  The key point is that an enduring great [organization] decides for itself what values it holds to be core, largely independent of the current environment, competitive requirements or management fads.  
James C. Collins & Jerry I. Porras
Built To Last, p. 222

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Example #1 (of 3): A Public Agency Unit (of 30)

First, I designed, developed and facilitated seven groups of 4-5 each to create their top five-or-so Key/Core Values, together with descriptions of what these values looked like "in action" in their workplaces. Second, I shared a list of these candidate Key/Core Values with the leadership team so that they were kept in the loop. Third, a meet with the staff as a whole and facilitated a process to (1) determine the best set of a half-dozen or so Key/Core Values for the Unit and (2) refine the behavioral descriptions of these Values. Fourth, I facilitated them selecting a team to present these chosen Key/Core Values to the leaders. Finally, I assist the leaders and an Implementation Task Force to establish these Values in the work environments as the standard for interactions and performance.

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Example #2 (of 3): A Non-Profit Organization (of 100)

I designed, developed and facilitated an all-day retreat with 80+ staff that utilized contributions from everyone in a variety of roles to develop an organizational set of Core Values, create full behavioral descriptions of each Core Value in practice in the workplaces, and gain individual commitment from all for living the Core Values. (Following this work, the organization examined all their functional systems and aligned them with these Core Values.)

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Example #3 (of 3): A Large Public Utility (of 200)

I worked with a public utilities department of 200+ staff members of wide ranging technical skills: engineers, scientists, meter technicians, line and wire technicians, and support staff. The Section Manager recognized that:

With a Management Team, I designed a "bottom-up" process to establish Core Values for the Department. Staff members across the Department were recruited to participate as facilitators who, through a sequence of meetings, were prepared to engage all staff in developing the Core Values by which they wanted to work (see Overview of Process & Schedule).

One aspect that made this project so special was that, while I facilitated the "whole Department" process, I also trained and mentored individual staff members to act as small-group facilitators within their own work groups. This "distributed" facilitation allowed every staff member--all 200+--to contribute to the process through a variety of methods. Their expressions were brought to my facilitated facilitator meetings for continued refinement, development and synthesis.

The meetings of facilitators, which I facilitated, were designed to evolve, and did, over the course of the project. In initial meetings, I trained and mentored the facilitators. Once we got underway in the process, the meetings were used for the facilitators to synthesize all the offerings and expressions gathered. The facilitators took their synthesized list of Core Values back to their workgroups for discussion and input. As this list of Core Value candidates distilled toward a final set, I facilitated the facilitator meetings to describe formally specific actions and behaviors exemplifying each (arrived at) Core Value.

At the same time as the facilitators were gathering, refining and describing the Core Values, I was meeting also with a Management Team, keeping them abreast of this process going on among their ranks but without their guidance! Both meetings with both groups were used also to generate comments, questions and requests to the other group with me providing messenger service (see Comments, Questions & Requests to Management II).

At this point, facilitators and all staff knew more about the Core Values than did the Management Team. Hence, I led the facilitators through development of a presentation on the Core Values to the Management Team. The goal of this process was not just to develop a common set of Core Values throughout the Department, but indeed to implement the values in all the work areas. With both groups (facilitators and Management Team), I facilitated them into a common design of an Implementation Task Team and Goals (see AGENDA: Implementation Planning Meeting).

As part of the initiation of implementation of Core Values, it was determined that it would be helpful to have some measures of discrepancies, or gaps, between current workplace cultures and the Core Values, if for no other reason, then at least to establish a baseline. This was accomplished in two surveys and analyses of responses, first generally (see Baseline Measurements) then more elaborately (see Gap Continua) and especially for managers and supervisors (see Gap Continua for Mangers & Supervisors).

The resulting Core Values, actions and behaviors were promoted through posters, business cards, performance management and recognition. An organizational culture assessment two years later revealed dramatic shift toward positive staff attitudes in areas of the Core Values, and specifically in trust, diversity, morale and professionalism.

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