ACCESSING HOPE. MANAGING THREATS. BREATHING FRESH AIR.

Training Topics

Collaborative Professionals, Lawyers, and Mediators need strong skills to handle complex information, identify what matters most to our clients and help clients find creative, workable solutions to their conflicts. We also need to be able to manage the emotional and psychological impacts of the conflict. At the core is the need for insight into how conflict affects our clients and ourselves.

Jacinta is a dynamic, insightful conflict trainer, delivering professional development programs for collaborative professionals, mediators and lawyers.

Jacinta offers customized training for groups looking to develop skills for their particular areas of practice. Please use the form below to enquire. Some of her most popular course offerings are listed below, but Jacinta is always expanding her knowledge and experience, so check out our Blog or listen to her podcast to find out what’s new!

Deepening Without Drowning: Accessing Hope, Managing Threats & Breathing Fresh Air

Have you ever been stumped, and discouraged, by the continuing and sometimes escalating couple conflict at the collaborative table - despite the sincere efforts of the professional team? Do you sometimes feel like your "case" is drowning and you are desperate for an oxygen tank?

In this workshop, we will learn how asking about the parties' hopes and diving deeply into their perceived threats can bring fresh air to a conflict case. Working with the "Insight Approach" to conflict, we will learn to notice and respond to conflict behaviours - rather than worrying about the facts and story lines fueling the conflict. We will learn how and when to ask questions to unearth the threats that escalate conflict, without provoking it, and how to use what is learned to promote an authentic shift from conflict to collaboration, without forcing or faking it.

Participants will learn:

  • New ways of thinking about interpersonal conflict
  • New skills to notice and intervene in conflict (early and often)
  • How to help clients talk about what matters in ways that do not threaten.
  • How to ask about hopes in a productive and meaningful way, and to work with the responses to help manage threats
  • How to stop talking about what we think the conflict is about - and to stop talking about what we think matters to the parties - and instead to be curious and ask good questions to help parties discover this for themselves
  • How to do all of this while facilitating a process leading to agreement!

Shifting from Judgment to Curiosity in Collaborative Practice

Collaborative professionals and mediators have to manage the substantive, procedural and psychological aspects of our clients’ separation. Our clients enter the process with feelings of hurt, anger and defensiveness. They often have a very narrow view of what is possible. Judgments and assumptions abound. Our job is to help them move through their hurt, anger and defensiveness and open themselves up to the many possibilities for the future.

Conflict professionals, whether in collaborative practice or mediation, have tremendous knowledge and experience. We need to be aware that we, just as much as our clients, are influenced by our own judgments and assumptions. In our professional roles, we are applauded for sound judgment and strong analytical skills. We see so many conflicts with similar patterns, it’s hard not to fall into the trap of thinking we know what is going on. Yet, we don’t – and staying open and curious is vital if we want to help our clients discover for themselves what is going on and what matters. Curiosity calms and calm people are more open to the insights needed to effectively deal with conflict. So this course will help you to cultivate curiosity and calm to be more productive and insightful in your conflict work.

The Art of Asking Questions

Conflict resolution professionals need strong communications skills and deep insight in order to help our clients get to the root of their problems. Asking questions is one of the vital communication skills in our conflict resolution toolbox. We ask questions to aid in understanding. We intend to be helpful and open, so when we get a defensive or resistant reaction, we wonder what went wrong? In some instances, our well-intentioned questions lead down the path of “factual enquiry” about “what happened?” - which is a great lead-in to the “Blame Game”. Other times, our questions can lead to feelings of frustration as we steer the conversation where we want it to go, either because we are missing the cues that allow us to follow the client’ lead, or because we are uncomfortable with the direction the conversation is taking and we do not want to be uncomfortable. There are so many ways our questions can impact conflict and understanding, it’s no wonder many of us are apprehensive about what to ask and how to ask it.

Hopefully, we have all felt the joy of a question that led to brilliant, illuminating insight! This workshop is about how can we do this more. We will challenge ourselves to consider:

  • What kinds of questions aid in understanding?
  • What should we be asking about?
  • Who should be asking the questions?
  • What judgments are hidden (or apparent!) in our questions?
  • How to use questioning to find creative solutions.

Reaching Agreement with a Focus on What Matters

After all the good work exploring what matters to the parties, how do we make sure we don’t lose what has been learned when we begin to generate options for agreement? Separating couples are facing complex family decisions that will have a lasting impact on their family, and they want our help. Sometimes, this stage of the process starts to feel like “bargaining” and we see conflict and positions resurface. This course will focus on how to generate creative, workable options that focus on what matters to the parties, and how to appropriately offer our help and expertise, without leading the clients down the path of what we think they should do.

The key to this stage of the process is to re-engage curiosity and formulate good questions that incorporate what has been learned and what matters. It is very likely that some of the parties’ concerns have been resolved and that some new challenges have arisen. This course will teach you how to formulate the questions that need to be asked in order for the parties to make good decisions and reach agreement. You will learn how to create a Decision-making Agenda to organize what matters into a workable set of questions that will task the parties and conflict professionals in option-generation, and provide a criteria for evaluating and choosing options based on what matters to the parties.

Introduction To Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice

Jacinta is a member of the IACP Faculty offering interdisciplinary collaborative practice training around the world and teaches an introductory course every summer as part of Summer Sessions.

Training Feedback

I came away from Jacinta Gallant's training energized, enthusiastic about having deepened my skill set, and deeply impressed with her authentic, warm, informed and engaging presence. I highly recommend this training.

Deepening Without Drowning: Accessing Hope, Managing Threats & Breathing Fresh Air
Minneapolis 2019
Definitely make the time to attend Jacinta’s workshops. She is a charismatic and insightful speaker.  Learning from her experience is completely essential if you practice collaborative law.

Shifting from Judgment to Curiosity
Perth, Scotland 2017
Your presentation was really wonderful.  It shed a higher level light to our current practice.  So many times we attend a presentation and walk away thinking, “o.k., I’m doing most of that.  I should or may be able to tweak this or that.”  In this case, I and many of my peers were really moved by your presentation!

Shifting from Judgment to Curiosity
Collaborative Professionals of Washington 2017
Out of all of the presentations that I attended at the IACP Forum, yours was by far my favorite.  I was so excited to share with my fellow collaborative practitioners the concept of using the interest agenda to create solutions to meet our clients’ interests.  I believe that this will also help “balance” certain power struggles we encounter during the process by ensuring that even the less vocal party’s interests are put forth and considered equally as those put forth by the more vocal individual.  It forces the professionals to work with clients to identify what their real interests are, going much deeper than what the clients may initially put forth as more position-oriented needs. 

Keeping Interests on the Table
IACP Forum 2016

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