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Difficult Conversations in a Difficult World (Online Training)

April 16, 2020 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT


9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific • 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern • 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Central Europe

How do we respond when we know we need to have a difficult conversation?  Many of us have the tendency for our emotions to spike in anxious anticipation of a difficult conversation—we might just dive in and say things out of reactivity that we might later regret. Or maybe we withdraw and decide against having the conversation. It is simply too scary to even think about having it. Even as we quarantine ourselves, we are continually confronted by conflict—perhaps even more so depending on your conditions of social distancing. Such as the case with Chicken Little and Pollyanna, our emotional responses fall along a continuum.

A lot of the reactions are happening on a surface level and while people are having conversations, many people are unable to talk about what is really going on and their deeper fears.  During this global pandemic, conflict resolution professionals continue to mediate difficult conversations that require the disputing parties to engage more deeply to resolve their conflict. Today, these difficult conversations can include disagreements between families about social distancing, business partners discussing what to do next,  visitation rights when the government has issued a shelter in place order, and infinitely more.

During this online training, we provide a framework for  how you can have these conversations yourself and how you can work with clients who must have these conversations.


Catherine Conner

Catherine Conner has been a mediation and collaborative practice trainer since 2004. She is a frequent presenter at collaborative conferences and family law workshops. She authored Collaborative Practice Materials with Steven Neustadter and Margaret Anderson. Catherine Conner’s private practice focuses on family law alternate dispute resolution, including mediation, collaborative practice, and private judging. She graduated from the University of California, Boalt Hall in 1982 and is a founding partner of Conner, Lawrence, Rodney, Olhiser & Barrett, LLP. In 1992, Catherine became a Certified Family Law Specialist.  She has been honored as the recipient of the Rex Sater Award for Excellence in Family Law, the Eureka award by Collaborative Practice California and was the 2018 honoree for Careers of Distinction.  She was on the Board of Directors of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals from 2007-2014 and served as the President in 2013.

Gary Friedman

Gary J. Friedman has been practicing law as a mediator with Mediation Law Offices in Mill Valley, California since 1976, integrating mediative principles into the practice of law and the resolution of legal disputes. Co-founder of the Center for Understanding in Conflict (formerly the Center for Mediation in Law), he has been teaching mediation since 1980. Prior to his work as a mediator, he practiced law as a trial lawyer with Friedman and Friedman in Bridgeport, Connecticut. After several years as an advocate, he sought a new approach to resolving disputes through increasing the participation of the parties in the resolution of their differences. At that time, he and his colleague, Jack Himmelstein, began to develop the Understanding-based model that is now practiced extensively in the United States and Europe. As one of the first lawyer mediators and a primary force in the current mediation movement, he has used this model to complete over one thousand mediations in the last two decades He has mediated numerous two-party and multi-party disputes in the commercial and non-profit realms, in the area of intellectual property, real estate, corporate, personnel, partnership formations and dissolutions, and family law.


April 16, 2020
9:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT
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