Conciliators Without Borders - Services

By: Conciliators Without Borders  09-12-2011

589 Silverthorne Crescent, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5R 1W7

Phone:  (905) 712-2872
Mobile:  (416) 938-2872
Fax:      (905) 712-0042

Conciliators Without Borders (CWB)is an organization dedicated to assist in turning adversaries into partners seeking common good and engaging in positive dialogue.  It offers a wide range of programs aimed at bringing people together and resolve conflicts in a way that looks after that best interest of all stakeholders instead of dividing them into winners and losers.  The services offered by CWB to public and private sectors include, but are not limited to, the following

  Mediation and 7 Cs of Conflict Resolution  Conflict is a reality of life.  Whenever two or more persons are involved in any human interaction, there is the possibility of a dispute.  Each difference of opinion, choice and viewpoint carries the potential of conflict. We all know the importance of relationships in our daily lives.  In dealing with our boss, peers or subordinates; spouse, children or parents; clients, associates or partners; friends or neighbours we can all recall some situations which ended up in a conflict.  How do we resolve such conflicts?  We can choose a confrontational approach or an approach where we maintain positive workable relationship and yet get most of what we want.   In this course we will learn how to resolve a conflict without confrontation, aggression or violence.  While our focus is on workplace, the principles and practices learned in this course can be applied with equal effectiveness in personal, family, business, political and inter-faith contexts.  Applying our conflict resolution approach employers, managers and employees at all levels can resolve workplace disputes with a fraction of cost in dollar, time, effort and energy.   Participants will be able to identity a simmering dispute which could easily turn into a serious complaint, grievance or even a violent incident requiring law-enforcement involvement.  As decision makers they will learn the practical benefits of managing conflicts before it is too late for non-confrontational resolution.  Understanding Conflict:   Conflict is an expression of opposing interests.  It emerges when different positions, opinions, assumptions and views clash and are perceived as a threat to the needs, interests and security of those involved.   All conflict is not bad.  In some situations conflict can be a positive force giving life the friction and traction that is needed in order for it to keep going.    True Cost of Conflict: 
Financial Costs

Loss of Productivity

Serious Health Issues

Quality of Life

Emotional Toll
Low Esteem and Self Confidence  Resolution Options: 
1. Do nothing:  This option may buy us some time in the false hope that the conflict will go away but the reality is that it continues to simmer and may later explode with a ferocity we had not expected. 
2. Deal directly with the conflicting party:  By directly engaging with our opponents, we can go to the source of the conflict. Our adversaries might have acted in ignorance and talking may help clear the air and misunderstanding.  This option also has the potential to backfire.  Adversaries could become more stubbornly entrenched in their positions and resort to confrontation or even violence.   3.  Formal avenues:  We could use formal avenues like filing a law suit, contacting the police or initiating formal complaints processes available in different tribunals and governing bodies.   These avenues are designed to give a clear decision which could as easily go against us.  Even if we win we would have a resentful conflicting party wanting to get back at us at the first available opportunity.   4. Conciliation/Mediation:  We could consider involving someone who is trusted by both parties with no vested interest in the eventual outcome.  In this option we retain a fair degree of control over the possible outcome.  We contribute to crafting a fair and equitable resolution.  With cooperation and compromise both sides could win.  The  pre-requisite for mediation is that adversaries are at least agreeable to give this process a chance either voluntarily or as command performance.   
7Cs of Conflict Resolution: 
    Conciliation:  The first step in addressing a conflict is to accept that the conflict exists.  The act of conciliation with what IS is the most crucial stage of a process that can lead to a successful resolution.  Once we have reconciled with the reality of the dispute, we can do something about it.  Commitment:  We must ask ourselves if we are fully committed to resolving the conflict.  Is our motive the resolution or getting even?  Are we committed to do our part at least, no matter what the other party does? We should be committed to the best alternative to safeguard our interest under the circumstances.Communication:  Listening skills can make or break our chances of successful resolution.  We must allow the speakers to have their say without interruption.  Reiterating what we heard and reversing the process giving the other side the same opportunity can remove all misinterpretation and misunderstanding.   We should watch body language and keep an open mind.  We can disagree without being disagreeable.Concentration:  Once we make sure that the other party understands where we are coming from and both sides are on the same page about the nature of the conflict then we need to concentrate on seeking the resolution.  We should stay focused and must not get distracted.  Compassion:  We must approach the entire process with a sense of compassion and not treat our adversary as enemy but as a partner who can assist us in finding a resolution to the conflict. Compassion produces fair and win-win resolution.Compromise: In a fair resolution neither party gets 100 %.  We need to be ready to cooperate and compromise and consider that the other side might be rightCulmination:  We should avoid approaching the conflict resolution in fits and starts.  Once the process begins we should keep at it till the agreement is reached or the process culminates.  New complications always intrude if the process is interrupted. Once we arrive at a decision or an agreement we must bring the matter to a complete closure.  We need to get over the conflict and move on with our lives.  No conflict should be allowed to scar us for life.     TIPS: 
 Ensure that you do your part.  Resolve conflict with cooperation and agreement, not with hostility or driven by a desire for revenge. Diffuse the situation, don’t infuse it.

Be honest with yourself.  Know your truly best interest.
 Negotiate from strength.  Magnanimity comes only from self assurance and confidence.   Follow the Golden Rule.  Wish for others what you would wish for yourself.  Be generous. Be on your own side.  Sometimes we are the biggest obstacle in the way of our own best interests in conflict resolution process.   Be ready to walk away. Often the most effective strategy is having the self confidence to walk away from the offer at hand. Accept what is realistically possible, not your ideal. Take responsibility for creating and resolving the conflict.   Never underestimate your uniqueness.  What works well in your situation may not work for others.  In the end the real resolution depends on you alone.   The value is not in external things, but how you face them.  It is in your hands.        Bill 168, Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (Violence and Harassment in the Workplace) Workshop   Bill 168 is now the law. Changes to (OHSA)  became effective on June 15, 2010.  These changes strengthen protections for workers from workplace violence and harassment. The amendments also define workplace violence and harassment and describe employer and other stakeholders’ rights and obligations.We are offering this one-day course to provide practical tools to employers, workplace leaders, policy makers, managers and staff to prevent negative and unhealthy work environment.  Some salient features of Bill 168 are:  Right to Protection from Violence and Harassment:  The amendments to OHSA reinforce the right of every worker to be protected from violence and harassment.  It declares that everyone should be able to work without fear of violence or harassment, in a safe and healthy workplace. Employers’ Obligations: Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention Policies: The amendments impose new and expanded obligations on employers and require all employers, who regularly employ more than five workers at a workplace, to develop written policies with respect to workplace violence and harassment. The policies are required to be in written form and be posted at a conspicuous place in the workplace.Training of All Staff:  A major feature of the new law is the requirement that employers arrange to train all employees in the policies and procedures addressing workplace violence and harassment.Program Development:  Employers are required to develop workplace violence and harassment prevention and management programs.Domestic Violence:  Employers who are aware, or ought to be aware, that domestic violence may occur in the workplace must take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect a worker at risk of physical injury.  Communication: Employers must provide information to a worker about any risk of workplace violence from a person with a history of violent behavior.   Personal information, necessary to protect the worker from physical injury, may be disclosed. Risk Assessment: Employers must engage in assessments of the risk of workplace violence as often as necessary.Evaluation:  Employers are required to evaluate policies and programs at least once a year.Investigations:   All employers must investigate and manage incidents, complaints and threats of workplace violence and harassment.  Work Refusal: All employers are required to allow employee to refuse to work if they face the danger of workplace violence. Employees’ Rights and Obligations: 
Reporting:  Any employee encountering Incidents or threats of workplace violence must report them to the employer or supervisor.
Compliance with the Policy:  All employees and stakeholders are required to comply with the policy and cooperate in dealing with harassment and violence prevention efforts. Right to Refuse to Work:  Employees have the right to refuse to work where they have a reason to believe that they may be in danger of being a victim of workplace violence. Definitions of Violence and Harassment:  Workplace Violence: The exercise of physical force by a person against a worker in a workplace that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker;An attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker; A statement or behavior that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker. Workplace Harassment: Workplace Harassment means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome;Bill 168 expands the definition of workplace harassment beyond grounds covered under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Code prohibits harassment in the workplace based on age, ancestry, citizenship, color, creed, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender, marital status, place of origin, race, record of offences or sexual orientation   In order to bring action under the Ontario Human Rights Code the harassment has to be based on one or part of these grounds.  Bill 168 covers non-protected grounds in the same manner as harassment based on Code-protected grounds.  Under expanded provisions, Workplace harassment may include bullying, intimidating or offensive jokes or innuendos, displaying or circulating offensive pictures or materials, or offensive or intimidating phone calls.What Will You Learn:In your capacity as an employer, leader, manger, supervisor, Human Resources professional,  Human Rights advocate or as an employee you will: ·        Develop understanding of your responsibilities and rights. ·        Learn in an interactive, interesting and engaging manner how to develop and implement policies, programs and practices to the best advantage of your organization. ·       
Learn to positively enhance personal and professional human relationships with your staff, co-workers and clients.Identify simmering issues in the workplace that can lead to violence and harassment.Learn how to assess your workplace in compliance of the law.Practice how to deal with workplace issues which have the potential to explode into serious complaints, grievances, law suits or even violent incidents. ·        Find out what to do if employees refuse to work where they believe that they are in danger of being victims of workplace violence or harassment.Appreciate the true financial and non-financial cost of violence and harassment in the workplace.Learn how to protect your best interests.Where to find resources and assistance for implementation of Bill 168 requirement? 
   Diversity and Sensitivity Training Workshop   The presentation on Diversity and Sensitivity is aimed at inspiring the audience to want to be leaders in promoting diversity in their workplace setting.  The full-day session includes active engagement by participants in case studies and scenarios.  The session will promote understanding of differences and similarities of workplace colleagues and teach techniques in recognizing different strengths of individuals that can contribute towards creation of a model work environment.    The program will create awareness among managers on how to translate diversity talk into walk and platitudes into policy and practice.  The course will help managers and staff to understand how the practice of diversity and development of sensitivity is in their own best interest and how practical implementation of lessons learned in the session can enhance productivity and positive workplace environment. The course is intended to broaden audience’s  understanding of bias and power imbalance in the workplace and develop respect for differences.  The session is intended to be comprehensive and interactive.  The main objective of the presentation is to ensure that at the conclusion of their participation in the session the leaders,  managers, supervisors, employees and other stakeholders should have a better understanding and appreciation of diversity and sensitivity and feel convinced that their commitment to inclusiveness and diversity is in their own best interest.   Here are some of the salient features included in the presentation:  
An Introduction to Diversity and Sensitivity.
Many faces of diversity:  Generational Gap; Cultural Difference, Race, Gender, Ability, Experience, Background, Talent, Skills and Unique StrengthsDefinition of Diversity and Sensitivity.  The Journey from where we were to where we are and where we are headed.How can resistance to diversity be countered and how managers and their staff can be motivated to welcome it as an asset for their workplace?How to enhance competencies of Managers to harness diversity in the workplace and use it to promote a model work environment?How embracing Diversity can lead to enhanced productivity, attracting best talents and to better employees’ morale?Attributes of diversity and inclusiveness such as respect, dignity and fairness.Challenges that managers are likely to face in implementing and promoting the Diversity Strategy in their workplace and a road-map of how to overcome them.  Roles and Responsibilities of different stakeholders and expectations by and from managers in implementation of Diversity Strategy.What resources managers can rely upon when they need assistance in promoting diversity in their jurisdiction? Learn to speak the Language of Diversity so we are all on the same page and no one is excluded. INTERACTIVE:  Participants to share their understandings and misconceptions; their aspirations and fears; and their differences and biases with their fellow participants.       Organizational Effectiveness and Capacity Building-Unleashing Human Potential in the Workplace   Whenever we talk about Human Resources, we must place much greater emphasis on “Human” than on “Resources”.  This course helps participants unleash their potential to create a model organization and achieve excellence in the workplace.  The session will inspire audience to appreciate how work can create a purpose, sense of direction and meanings in an individual’s life.   The session will help enhance ability of participants to align organizational goals with their individual goals and give managers unconventional tools for performance management.  The course will include role playing and team work exercises to enable participants at all levels to understand each others’ roles and collaborate in order to carry out the organization’s vision and mission. The course will provide ample opportunity to the audience to share their own ideas and ideals for a model organization in a facilitated format and arrive at understanding of  best practice to enhance productivity and take pride in the workplace.   
  Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Training    
This intensely interactive course will provide practical tools to leaders, policy makers, managers and staff to prevent negative and unhealthy work environment to begin with.  Through examples and case studies it will also enhance awareness and skills of employees and managers about what to do in the event harassment and discrimination does occur in the workplace.
  Participants will learn how to recognize discrimination and harassment and how to be role models in creation of a positive and harassment and discrimination free work environment. Audience will have opportunity to share their experiences with discrimination, biases and harassment and provide input through facilitated interaction. 
Tough Love Reviews of Workplace Policies, Practices and Program
s  Shahid believes in telling the clients what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear about the state of their workplace and carrying out their mission.  He has participated in a large number of reviews in the areas of Human Rights, Anti-Racism and Anti-Sexism; Accessibility; Workplace Harassment and Discrimination, and Diversity and Organizational Effectiveness.  Some of these clients included Metropolitan Toronto, Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carlton, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Kitchener/Waterloo, Goodwill and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. These reviews focused on some of the following features:  
Needs Assessment

Workplace Environmental Scan

Clarity of Terms of Reference

Determining and communicating expectations

Documentation and existing data research

Personal Interviews with stakeholders and
Focus Groups
Evaluation of how far the policies and practices met the organizational needs
Assessment of the effectiveness of practices in place
Formulating recommendations for policy and program improvement
Gap Analysis          

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Alternative To Litigation (ATL) Programs                                                               
Develop mechanism for lawyers and clients  to resolve conflicts without resorting     to Litigation                   
ATL Awareness and Implementation Training and Education for legal profession               

Conduct mediation sessions to resolve conflicts
Enable parties to deal with issues without necessarily requiring external help

Organizational Ombudsman ServicesDevelop Terms of Reference for Ombudsman Services
Facilitate availability of resident resources
Develop and implement complaint addressing protocol
Recommend organizational effectiveness initiatives
Provide awareness session to leadership and staff 
Workplace Violence Prevention and Risk Management Programs                                                                                                                                   Policy review and development                                                            
Report on compliance and legal exposure
Development of roadmap
Policy implementation 
Workplace Violence Awareness:  Training and Education                                                          Risk Management Programs for Violence Prevention                                                      

 Workplace Environment Assessment/Improvement                                                                                  

Due Diligence Reviews and Exercises 

Half or full day Team building Workshop to improve workplace relations
Report on removing barriers and availing opportunities for improving workplace relations
Roadmap for aligning program objectives with organizational goals
Rollout strategy for implementing a positive work environment

 Unleashing HumanPotential-CapacityBuilding                              Develop mechanism to realize full potential of individuals and groups 

Implement Best Practices
Capacity Building Awareness and Implementation Training and Education  

1/2 day or full day training sessions


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