“Thorny Conversations” Workshop

HR door“Thorny Conversations” led by Lynn Dunton and Susan Schweizer

Wednesdays January 4, January 11, January 18 and January 25 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

~ Light refreshments will be provided

Workshop Overview

Have you ever put off a tough conversation because you don’t know how to handle it? Do you fret when you are facing a difficult conversation whether it be with a work colleague, family member, a friend, a service provider, or just anyone?  Do you wish you could be more comfortable when dealing with tough situations?  Are you aware of how you deal with disputes or disagreements?

If these questions “hit home” consider this workshop. This course guides you through a series of considerations that will provide insight into how to become comfortable and confident when having a thorny conversation. We will be looking at factors that get in the way of conversations such as anger, the ladder of inference, emotions, and identity. You will learn your own conflict style and what steps you can take to maximize or minimize it in a given the situation. In addition, discussions will explore principles related to tough conversations such as how to listen, elements of a difficult exchange, contribution versus blame, reflecting/paraphrasing, re-drawing the conflict and the third story.  For those adventuresome among you, we hope to facilitate role-plays.  If you are timid or shy, it is fine for you just to observe.

About the Presenters

Lynn Dunton has over 30 years of financial management experience in small and large not-for-profit organizations and academia. She served as CFO at the Vermont Community Foundation prior to joining Middlebury College in 2000. Lynn is a Budget Analyst for Academic Affairs and Ombudsperson at Middlebury College. Lynn received her BA from the University of Vermont and MS in Mediation and Conflict Studies from Champlain College. Lynn lives in Middlebury, Vermont.

Susanna Schweizer has over 30 years’ experience in management across multiple industries including banking, insurance, information technology, and academia.  Notable firms at which Susanna has held leadership positions include Digital Equipment Corporation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Fleet Bank NA, Oxford Health Plans, and JPMorgan Chase.  Susanna received her BA from the University at Albany, NY and then went on to complete Masters in information studies at Columbia and an interdisciplinary MS in information systems at the University of Pittsburgh. Susanna also received her MS in Mediation and Conflict Studies from Champlain College where Lynn and she met and formed their partnership. Susanna lives in Grantham, New Hampshire.

Mediation Partners of New England, Lynn and Susanna’s conflict consulting practice, focuses on workplace and business conflict and disputes, family business issues, elder and adult children decisions, divorce mediation, conflict resolution training/coaching, and negotiation. Their signature training course is Thorny Conversation, Principles and Practices.

Please RSVP by responding by email to lcaroten@middlebury.edu or x2012.