Honoring Diversity: Specific Tools for Quickly Defusing Defensiveness & Turning Conflict into Conversation with Sharon Strand Ellison


When: Apr 04, 2020
Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
919 Albany Street
Los Angeles, CA
Type of Event:
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This course is designed for Attorneys, Financial Professionals, Mental Health Professionals, and Students interested in Consensual Dispute Resolution including Collaborative.

In every collaborative meeting and mediation, there will always be diversity issues that can play a role in misunderstandings and conflict, regardless of how seemingly subtle. When communicating across lines of difference, it’s easier to perceive clients and other professionals as undermining the collaborative or negotiation process. It’s harder to see our own part.

Cost: $100 for LACFLA & LACBA members/$125 for non-members
View Program Flyer here

The program:
We’ll examine several key elements in the physiological and psychological dynamics of defensiveness. Next, we’ll look at four assumptions that have been carried over from adversarial communication methods, creating pitfalls in currently recognized “best CDR practices.”

Based on this foundation, we’ll work with the Powerful Non-Defensive Communication™ (PNDC) skill sets Sharon developed — making four simple changes in intention, voice tone, body language and some aspects of phrasing. Using relevant examples, we’ll apply the changes to how we (1) ask questions; (2) make statements, including (a) giving feedback to others and (b) stating our own perspectives, when appropriate; and (3) creating clear boundaries that protect the integrity of the collaborative process.

Using these skill sets can give professionals the ability to defuse defensiveness — often instantly — even in high conflict situation. The ultimate goal is to facilitate a collaborative process or other consensual dispute resolution process that honors diversity while dealing with conflict in an honest, straightforward manner.

Sharon Strand Ellison, M.S., Director of the Institute for Powerful Non- Defensive Communication, is an international communication consultant, an award-winning speaker, and the author of Taking the War Out of Our Words. She and her daughter, Ami Atkinson, produced the audio-book, Taking Power Struggle Out of Parenting winner of a Benjamin Franklin Award. Sharon has developed a communication process that gives people the ability to eliminate defensiveness in both professional and personal interactions. Sharon was one of 55 invited participants at an International Symposium, co-sponsored by the Minnesota Collaborative Law Institute with a grant from the Fetzer Institute. She was also an invited participant at the International Symposium on Human Dignity and humiliation at Columbia University, focused on the role of language in international conflict resolution.