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Session O1 - Pre-Conference Session
Agile Leadership: The “Conflict Manager” at Work and at Home

Presented by Peter Stonefield and Ilene Val-Essen

Description: Exploring opportunities at work or at home involves out of the box thinking, which often generates different viewpoints and productive conflict. But all too often, unproductive conflict may result. Ineffective, uncreative conflict typically involves defensive emotional behavior that often escalates rapidly and tends to focus on people, not ideas. It damages relationships, reduces morale, motivation and productivity.  Most of us, contrary to our values and good intentions, engage in defensive strategies when faced with different perspectives.  We automatically push our viewpoint, attempt to "win", and try to avoid being seen as wrong or inadequate. Or we may simply cave in or avoid the situation.  Frequently we don’t even realize when we’re acting aggressively or nonassertively.

This ineffective behavior may occur whether we’re an active part of the conflict or simply an interested party. Unless we have conflict resolution skills, we minimize our effectiveness and the quality of the relationships and outcomes.

Similarly, when we face different viewpoints, goals or desires at home, we may find ourselves using similar coping styles: dealing aggressively or nonassertively with family members.  Whatever the situation, learning to play the role of “Conflict Manager” productively and creatively is crucial to our success at work and at home.

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for those who would like to become more agile, adaptive and effective by learning how to manage conflict.

Organizational Issues: tbd

Objectives: The session begins by exploring the underlying dynamics and behavior in conflict. Then we will focus on developing self-management, the internal control, required to manage conflict when you are a party to it. Building upon this base, we will guide you through a creative self-organizing process to create your “success strategy” or role as “Conflict Manager”.  You will learn the mindset, guidelines, communications strategies and skills needed to manage conflict through identification and role-playing. We’ll emphasize both preventing conflict and resolving it when you are a party to the conflict and when you are not.

Date: Friday, April 29th

Length: 3 hours (1:15-4:15pm)

Location: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne - 6633 Canoga Avenue, Canoga Park

Cost: None

Handouts: Available for download after the Forum.

Peter Stonefield

Biography: Peter holds a B.S.E.E., M.A., Ph.D. and is President of Stonefield Learning Group. In this capacity, he serves as an executive and technical staff coach, consultant and trainer. He was an electronic engineer, marketing and sales executive for the Bunker-Ramo Corporation before becoming a psychologist. He taught graduate-level courses on Cognitive and Creative Process, Psychosynthesis and Counseling Psychology. He has successfully completed over 200 consulting engagements, created more than 20 different training and development programs and coached over 300 executives and engineers. Some of the training programs he developed are Managing Innovation, TQM, Agile Communications, Agile Leadership, Knowledge Management, Managing Change, Creative Thinking and Architecture for Teamwork. He has also facilitated the development of 10 knowledge leveraging “Communities of Practice” in engineering and marketing organizations. His client list includes Apple Computer, Baxter Laboratories, Dow Chemical, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, Stanford University , PPG, Sun Microsystems, U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency and General Services Administration. He was the principal consultant to, the U.S. Department of Labor, the winner of the U.S. President's Quality Award for Managing Change and the G.S.A. Administrators Award for Managing Change in Government.

Peter recently drafted a vision for computing for Sun Microsystems. His mission is to catalyze and accelerate the evolution of organizations and people.

Contact: Peter can be reached by e-mail at peter@slgllc.com for additional information about this pre-conference session.


Ilene Val-Essen
Biography: Ilene Val-Essen, Ph.D., trains professionals at UCLA and is the author of Bring Out the Best in Your Child and Your Self. For the past thirty years she has counseled families, teens, children, and couples in her practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Culver City, CA. Ilene also developed the Quality Parenting programs, which help parents create a family environment based on mutual respect. In the U.S., Great Britain, Sweden, Japan and The Netherlands, Dr. Val-Essen has trained instructors—psychotherapists, social workers, teachers and parent educators—to teach her programs. The Quality Parenting program has been translated into Spanish, Dutch and Swedish, and is currently being translated into Japanese.

Ilene’s mission is to help parents create a family environment—based on mutual respect—that brings out the best in everyone.

Contact: Ilene can be reached by e-mail at xx@xxx.com for additional information about this pre-conference session.


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