Allan Revich, M.Ed.

Conflict Management

My mission is to help people manage conflict and resolve disputes. I offer coaching, mediation, and workshops to employers and employees.

Disputes that arise from unmanaged conflict can have catastrophic consequences. These can go all the way from productivity sapping stress, to a toxic workplace, or even worse, to workplace violence.

Whether you need someone to talk to about a dispute that you’re caught up in, or you are a leader looking to offer conflict management tools to your workforce, I'd love to talk about what we can do together.

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Black and White or Shades of Grey

I live in Canada. We share a long border with another country, that shares our language (mostly) and our culture (sort-of). Our neighbour is a big, powerful country, with a massive presence on mass media. Sometimes, we Canadians, feel challenged in attempting to differentiate ourselves from our neighbours on the other side of the border. I’ve taken to using a brief…

Five Keys to Dealing with Workplace Conflict

In a 2012 post on Forbes.com, Mike Myatt writes that leadership requires workplace leaders to deal with 5 key factors: 1. Define Acceptable Behavior: Clearly and publicly make it known what will and won’t be tolerated. 2. Hit Conflict Head-on: By actually seeking out areas of potential conflict and proactively intervening in a just and decisive fashion you will likely…

Civility – What does it look like in action?

In a previous post I talked about the 3 Cs of Conflict Management. Civility Communication Collaboration Today we’ll take a closer look at civility. What does it mean? What does it look like in the workplace? Dictionary Definition of civility plural ci·vil·i·ties 1archaic:  training in the humanities 2a:civilized conduct; especially:courtesy, politenessb:  a polite act or expression So that’s what the Merriam-Webster…

Dealing with Workplace Bullying

Bullying and harassment in the workplace are serious problems. Fortunately these issues are now getting some serious attention too. And that’s good. Nearly every large organization has now incorporated anti-bullying, anti-harassment, and workplace violence policies into their codes of conduct. In many jurisdictions, doing so is now mandated under legislation. For example, in Ontario, bullying language is included in the…

Yes, You Should Buy a Lottery Ticket

Or Why Values and Emotions Trump Interests, Facts, and Probability OK. I know the odds of winning a lottery are about as long as odds can be. I know that all of the “smart money” pundits advise against buying tickets. I know that the only rational, logical, intelligent, sensible, reason to buy a lottery ticket is because you don’t believe…

Coaching or Mediation?

Conflict coaching can be a useful alternative to mediation for many workplace and employment disputes. While mediation is an excellent dispute resolution tool, with a long history of successful implementation in the workplace, there are times when it may be difficult to implement, or may not be the best tool. Some conflicts may be better managed by providing one-on-one conflict…

Values, Interests, and Conflict Management

Most conflict resolution models are based on the idea of “separating the people from the problem”, and on shifting thinking from positions to interests. These are important concepts, and they are popular among conflict resolution professionals for good reason. They work. Shifting from positional (oppositional) thinking, to interest-based thinking, helps us look for mutually agreeable solutions to a common problem.…

Three Phases of Conflict Management

Nearly every conflict requires us to go through three distinct phases in the process of managing it. De-escalation Solution focus Management and maintenance The first phase is the urgent one. Before any dispute can be resolved and the underlying conflict managed, the precipitating crisis needs to be de-escalated to a level at which problem solving can take place. My conflict…

And Then There Were Three (3 Cs, that is)

Regular readers of this blog will remember my previous posts about the “Seven Cs of Conflict Management“. The Seven Cs (Caring, Civility, Communication, Collaboration, Cooperation, Compassion, and Consistency) are great tools and represent an excellent concept for conflict management on an ongoing basis. But it turns out that it is just really, really, difficult to remember seven different words, even if they are related both conceptually and…

What Makes a Good Mediator?

Most mediators have training and experience. They also have skills and tools that aid parties in conflict to reach agreements, even when agreement was previously out of reach. But what differentiates a truly good mediator from a merely competent mediator? A short article from the Harvard Negotiation Program provides evidence that the most critical “skill” common to all good mediators is the…

Successful negotiators make detailed plans

If you’ve read my Top Ten Negotiating Tips, you already know the importance of being prepared. Barbara Buell, of Stanford University, offers a list of seven common common negotiating pitfalls. And guess which pitfall is number 1? That’s right. Poor planning. Successful negotiators make detailed plans. They know their priorities — and alternatives — should they fail to reach an…

What if “The Best Deal” is “No Deal”?

Among the important things that professional negotiators always keep in mind is the BATNA concept. BATNA = Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. In the heat and hubbub of intense negotiations sometimes the pressure to get a deal becomes so overwhelming that everybody at the table forgets that the default option of every negotiation is, “no deal” — the status…

Negotiating Tips for Everyone

We negotiate every day of our lives. Some negotiations are intentional and obvious, like buying a car, or settling a dispute between siblings. Other negotiations are more subtle, like deciding who should be next in line at the ATM. Here are some of great tips for negotiating anything with anyone any time anywhere: Allan Revich, M.Ed. workitout.ca Ten Negotiation Tips…

Transformative Mediation Revisited

Transformative Mediation, first articulated by Robert A. Baruch Bush and Joseph P. Folger in The Promise of Mediation, is an approach to conflict intervention that places the principles of empowerment and recognition at the core of helping people in conflict change how they interact with each other. Regular readers of this blog may recall a previous post in which the…