Dew Point Consulting

Change Management

"Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have—and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up."

James Belasco and Ralph Stayer, Flight of the Buffalo (1994)

Some people thrive on change. But most frankly recoil from it. People tend to like routine and predictability, things we can count on. This may not even be in our best interests, but it’s what we know so it’s comfortable.

In organizations, people’s initial response to change ranges from “well, it’s about time” to “over my dead body.” Whether it’s a shift in a purchasing process that impacts daily routine or a complete overhaul of leadership, change rocks the boat and has reverberating effects throughout all layers of an organization. So when I address change in any organization I think about how to manage people’s reactions and feelings towards change itself.

In organizations going through leadership or large-scale change, I first examine the predominant culture of the organization. Is it a culture that is accustomed to change? Or conversely, is it a culture that takes pride in doing the same as they always have, but doing it very well? Understanding the culture is crucial because it leads to very different change management strategies. I coach leaders how to influence change in a manner that is not only digestible, but creates buy-in and enthusiasm for new and even uncharted territory.

Conflict Resolution

Not only is conflict in the workplace unavoidable, it is crucial for any business to thrive. I am not referring to the conflict that comes from destructive fighting and personal attacks. What I am referring to is spirited, vigorous, heatlhy debate over concepts and ideas. Individuals who avoid engaging in healthy conflict waste a lot of time and energy because unresolved issues inevitably re-surface over and over again. I teach people and teams how to engage in dialogue about sensitive or controversial issues that are so critical to organizational success.

Healthy conflict has to be defined and normalized. This occurs through discussions as well as the use of tools to help people understand their own and others’ natural inclinations regarding conflict. This increases empathy and decreases the likelihood of misattributions and misperceptions of others. Once safety and trust are established through increased understanding, I work to shed light on critical or “buried” topics by naming issues and providing a structure for a safe but spirited dialogue. This isn’t just a one-time experience, but something that must happen repeatedly so that people develop the confidence and trust to raise issues, disagree, and solve problems collaboratively.

I am often brought in to remediate discord between individuals or groups. Rather than teach a cookie cutter approach to conflict resolution, I engage in a thorough analysis of the problem at hand. If you don’t understand the true nature of the problem, you can’t resolve it. Once the conflict is understood and I have established trust with the parties involved, I then engage in a conflict resolution process that addresses issues like interpersonal, stylistic, and philosophical differences. This is often sensitive work that requires a deep understanding of human cognition and emotion. As a trained and experienced psychologist, I possess the skills necessary to effectively address even the most sensitive and difficult situations within your business environment.

Meeting Facilitation

Meetings…can’t live with them, can’t live without them. We really do have a love/ hate relationship with meetings. Unproductive meetings tend to be the bane of organizational life yet they flourish like bacteria in a Petri dish. That’s because it actually requires more energy to have fewer and shorter meetings, but make them dynamic, productive, and solution focused.

As an experienced facilitator, I help keep meetings on track by keeping people focused on content (the agenda), establishing a safe and structured meeting process, and ensuring participation. It is not easy to gain full, active participation during meetings because individuals are often silent in the face of sensitive or controversial topics. Some are scared to voice their opinions, while others feel as though their ideas or feelings will be ignored. I facilitate dialogues that would otherwise go unspoken or unresolved. Once people feel safe and the real issues are on the table, resolution and interest-based solutions are possible.

What others are saying...

Rita has been an invaluable resource to me and my organization in addressing various employee relation issues. She has a very comforting and engaging demeanor to defuse potentially volatile discussions. Rita understands people and is able to offer effective recommendations for resolving workplace conflicts.

Cheryl Rhodes Alexander,
Human Resources Manager
Delta Diablo Sanitation District

Case Example

Contact me