Alice is a mediator and negotiator in Oakland, CA with a BFA in acting. James does civil rights litigation and is a champion kickboxer. Offices in Oakland and LA.
Workplace Conflict: The Walls that People Build
Mediation is all about tearing down walls and building up communication. People build fortresses around themselves at work, stop all conducive conversations and begin to build an empire of conflict. The biggest complaint is that people are not being heard or understood. Most workplace conflicts do not belong in the courts. They need to be deconstructed, understood and rebuilt on healthier relationships. James Cook and Alice Shikina will discuss the nature of conflict in the workplace and the ways to deal with larger organizational turmoil and how to deconstruct those walls in order to begin to build bridges.
2. Yuki Matsuno, Shelina Neallani, Kyra Hudson (Lawyers, mediators, workplace investigators from Vancouver, BC)
Borders, Barriers and Blinders - Stop Boxing It Up!
Discussion with 3 highly experienced mediators on the use and danger of labels such as bully, harasser, victim, perpetrator, racist, accused, trouble maker in a conflict resolution process. We’ll ask what we can learn when we move past labels and discuss how showing up as your whole self and allowing participants their full humanity improves the resolution process for you as a mediator and for the participants.
3. Gordon White and Julia Menard
Co-created the On Conflict Leadership Institute, and On Conflict podcast (Victoria, BC)
How to Prepare for a Difficult Conversation
We believe that there are some important preparation steps that are generally overlooked, which form the first three steps of our 8-step Difficult Conversations model. You could think of these as pre-preparation steps because they entail actions you can take prior to focusing on the actual engagement and communication with the other party.
4. Sherisa Rajah
International employment lawyer (London)
Conflict Resolution - World of Work Without Borders
In the world of work without borders, we need to build out our dispute resolution mechanisms such that we are not drowning in disputes across the globe in the grab for talent and rush to build a distributed workplace. Alternative dispute resolution in employment contracts cannot prejudice an employee. Thus local law mechanisms cannot be ousted by an employment contract. What will disputes look like when employing persons in Country A to render services in Country B? If you use a PEO, what is your liability? Taking this conversation one step further to existing employees - what is the relevance of non competes and non disclosure agreements when innovation and disruption drive change to the company at rapid speeds.
5. Brenda Pryor and Stephanie Collier
Both mediators in Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service - Brenda in Minneapolis and Stephanie in Austin
“De-construction Ahead: Examining How Technology Can Break Down Boundaries in the Workplace for BIPOC”
A recent study revealed that about 97% of Black employees who are currently working remotely want a hybrid or full-time remote work model moving forward, compared to 79% of their white peers. Office-centric work has been deeply uncomfortable for many minority workers, who are subjected to microaggressions and discrimination, despite decades of efforts to combat this phenomenon. Pandemic concerns aside, work is probably not going back to the way it was, but more importantly, this presentation will examine whether it should.
6. Michael Kern
Director of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center at Washington State University and the University of Washington
Collaborative governance is an approach to public policy that helps parties reach across political, cultural, social, physical, and geographical boundaries, in order to overcome conflict, seek mutual understanding and common ground, and identify areas for mutual gains. But collaboration is not easy or natural for many people. Most benefit from assistance to help increase their capacity to initiate, participate in, and/or lead collaborative public policy efforts. This fun and interactive session will review the University Network for Collaborative Governance’s Collaborative Competencies Framework, which provides an overview of the concrete skills needed to initiate and participate in collaborative approaches to public issues.
7. Julie Macfarlane (Kingsville, ON - southernmost part of Canada - south of Detroit)
More details to come on her presentation as she is currently in the UK joining Zelda Perkin and others in the launch of Can’t Buy My Silence a campaign to end the widespread use of non-disclosure agreements or NDAs. As a law professor and mediator herself, Julie will lead a conversation on the role of mediators and arbitrators in the negotiation of NDAs. Julie has been reflecting on the role of neutrals in facilitating such agreements - what is the ethical obligation to ensure there is informed consent and lack of duress. What are the public policy implications of NDAs as “standard practice”?
Julie is well known for an incredible history of work with a focus on access to justice: She’s received a number of of highly prestigious honours, including the Order of Canada (2020), named as one of Canada’s 25 Most Influential Lawyers (2017), the David Mundell Medal for Legal Writing (2016), and the first-ever Canadian recipient of the International Academy of Mediators Award of Excellence (2005).