Tag Archives: Communication

Discovering Your “Why”

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Oct 9, 2013

Guest host Stephen Shedletzky led a full house for the October 2013 DwD.  The session convened on a simple and powerful idea:

Our “Why” is our cause, purpose or belief that guides our every thought, action and behaviour. All individuals have one Why, as do organizations. The challenge is that our Why is hard to discover and articulate on our own.”


This session uncovered value in:

  • Helping discover our Whys
  • Teaching us how to lead the Why Discovery process so that we can help others find their Why
  • Creating a larger network of trusted friends who we can call with future issues
  • Providing a fresh perspective on what it means to be a leader

When we are in the right conditions, human beings are naturally trusting and cooperative. However, in the wrong conditions, we become cynical, paranoid and selfish. The best organizations, and the best leaders, create conditions in which we naturally work together and help each other. This session focused on what it takes to create a culture of leadership, cooperation, and trust in our lives, organizations, communities and families.

When we are clear on our Why, disciplined in How, we bring our Why to life and consistent with What we do, fulfillment is our result. These concepts are called the Golden Circle, which were discovered and made popular by thought leader and author Simon Sinek in his book Start With Why and his TED Talk, How great leaders inspire action.



Stephen Shedletzky believes in a world in which the vast majority of people are fulfilled by the work they do. He leads inspirAction.ca, and collaborates with Simon Sinek’s team at Start With Why—an organization that exists to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. Stephen engages leaders and organizations to discover and create their “Why”—their higher purpose that provides the clarity needed for fulfillment. He speaks, coaches, consults and creates content all with one purpose: to connect with people in meaningful ways. Stephen has received leadership and coaching training with the Richard Ivey School of Business and the Coaches Training Institute.

Conflict Resolution: From Blockage to Opportunity

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June 2012 DwD was presented by Rick Wallace of Peacebuilding International Consulting.

We live and work in a world where conflict exists at multiple scales (locally, nationally and internationally) and contexts (social, economic, cultural, political, and environmental).  Conflicts can be interpersonal, collective, organizational, structural and/or psycho-spiritual.  They can be over values, beliefs, relationships, data, structures, identities and/or competing interests

One thing is certain: conflicts are inevitable. Designing a system to transform conflicts involves, among other things, the values of inclusiveness, mutual respect, participatory processes, collaborative and responsive decision-making, and shared power.  One of the factors that separates constructive outcomes from destructive dynamics are the approach, design and skills of communicating and negotiating.

Whether the conflict be a large-scale social-cultural conflict, an organizational dispute or deteriorating interpersonal relationships, one process of transforming conflict involves the use of interest-based negotiating and strategic communication.

In this workshop, we will outline the basic skills and designs for resolving various types of conflict with a focus on our own interpersonal and workplace relationships. To do so, we will focus on the analytical and communication skills that assist in identifying the nature of the conflicts, de-escalates and clarifies issues, and encourages collaborative problem-solving.

This DwD session explored:

  • The dynamics and meaning of conflict
  • Strategies and skills for facilitating communication within conflict
  • Ways to effectively raise issues and concerns
  • How to utilize interest-based approaches for both negotiation and system design

The session adapted our own experiences to think about the ways people (ourselves) generally deal with conflict. Exercises included active listening in simulated conflict, and working in triads to enact role-play scenarios in order to practice these skills and approaches.

Rick Wallace working with participants.

Contributions from group dialogue.

Rick Wallace brings over 20 years of national and international experience as an adult educator and 14 years as a trainer and mediator in conflict resolution, negotiation, strategic planning and leadership skills.

In Canada, he has worked for agencies such as St. Stephen’s Community House coordinating the Community Mediation Program, as well as the Conflict Mediation Services of Downsview, designing and providing training on conflict resolution, mediation, negotiation, restorative justice and facilitation.

Internationally, Rick has worked with the UN Department of Political Affairs and UNHCR in Rwanda coordinating humanitarian relief.   He currently heads up Peacebuilding International Consulting (www.peace-building.com).  He is also the author of a forthcoming book, Community-Based Peacebuilding:  Indigenous-non-Indigenous Alliances in Canada (Spring 2013, Fernwood Press).  Rick holds a PhD (Peace Studies), LLM (International Human Rights) and an MA (Adult Education).