Co-Resolve Training Autumn 2021 

While many studies confirm the value of diversity to organizations, diversity often means the presence of contrasting points of view which can lead to conflict. Conflicts are typically feared because we don’t know what to do with them. The longer we go without addressing rising conflict, the farther away we move from each other and the more stuck we become in our positions. The work of the leader is to get the conflict out into the open and use it skillfully as a source of creativity and as a catalyst for learning and growth. To just respect our differences is to forgo the real gift that is offered to us by diversity.

The basis of the training

As organizations become more diverse and complex, we are increasingly called upon to skillfully handle complicated interpersonal and team dynamics. CoResolve training increases leaders’ capacity to succeed in turbulent times by offering practical tools for working with differences in a group and turning destructive conflict into creative tension.
CoResolve is based on the Lewis method of Deep Democracy developed in post-apartheid South Africa and practiced in over 20 countries around the world. Deep Democracy is a psychologically based facilitation methodology particularly useful for working with relationship and group dynamics that are emotionally charged or marked by difference. CoResolve gives you the theoretical background, instructions, experiential learning opportunities, and long-term support that you need to begin using the most powerful and essential tools of Deep Democracy in your leadership.

This is an introductory training in Deep Democracy for leaders, managers, consultants and facilitators. Participants come from government, start-ups, non-profits, corporations, community sector, and academia. The
course is designed to meet both novice and advanced practitioners where they are. It is particularly relevant to:
  • Seasoned professionals with an existing facilitation toolkit, looking to pick up powerful and practical tools for working with conflict as it emerges
  • Technical experts who have risen to positions of leadership without previous facilitation training, looking for a broad yet simple approach to working in groups

  1. A Lens for Understanding Group Dynamics
Much of what happens in a group is invisible to its leaders. We may be aware that parts of the organization are disengaged, or that some members of our team are actively working against one another. But we may not know how our leadership impacts group dynamics or what role we can play to address and prevent interpersonal challenges without getting bogged down in their complexities. Based on psychological insights, Deep Democracy offers a clear lens for reading the fabric of a group that makes it significantly easier to helpfully intervene.
  1. Skills for Steering Discussions and Making Lasting Decisions
 Most of organizational life happens in meetings, and many of us go to too many unproductive meetings. Too often conversation circles at the surface, leaving the elephant in the room untouched. Many groups struggle with making decisions, or they make decisions that don’t get implemented and are constantly revisited. We teach a simple set of 4 steps that can be used by meeting leaders to guide conversations, avoid the common traps of human miscommunication, engage even the quietest voices, bring out and work with dissent, and make more intelligent, creative decisions.
  1. Tools for Engaging with Tensions and Mining the Gold of Conflict
 Often we are not aware of conflict until it is erupting in our team, organization or society. Though it often feels like it comes out of nowhere, conflicts usually build up slowly over time, and if diagnosed early can be handled with ease. Timely conflict engagement should be encouraged because once the energy of conflict is released, teams become far more innovative and efficient, while individuals learn, grow and improve their relationships in the process of exploring their differences. In this course, we offer a theory of conflict and practice a step-by-step process for safely working with tension.

When participants leave this training they take with them:
  • A set of metaphors and frameworks for understanding the psychology of teams and organizations and for reading the fabric of the group
  • A coherent understanding of how conflict emerges and strategies for recognizing emerging conflicts and preventing conflict escalation
  • A step-by-step approach to dealing with a polarized issue one-on-one with a colleague, client or partner
  • An alternative decision-making mechanism for groups and individuals that is more robust than a vote and less time-consuming than consensus building

Jenica Frisque
Jenica (she, her, hers) is a settler of Belgian and Scottish descent, living in Kelowna on the unceded territory of the Syilx Nation. She is passionate about social change and building inclusive communities at UBC Okanagan and in Kelowna. Jenica completed her undergraduate degree at UBC Okanagan in 2008, and returned in 2014 after working in the not for profit sector and completing two masters degrees in Sweden. In her role as an Equity Facilitator Jenica has integrated Deep Democracy tools and practices in decision-making, curriculum design, and dialogue on social justice.
Sera Thompson
Sera Thompson is a social innovator and master facilitator whose work is focused on building capacity for participatory leadership and creating a movement around complex issues. Her work creatively engages a diversity of players and stakeholders in finding shared clarity and timely actions. She began her career in the complex field of Environmental Consulting, juggling the needs of diverse stakeholders balancing economic, ecological and social sustainability. Since that time she has successfully led change with dozens of organizations on four continents in the Public Sector, Academia, Nonprofit and Corporate sectors.