Welcome to HEN - Transforming Conflict for our Health, Environment, Negotiation

HEN is published each month by Julia Menard:
Helping the Workplace Engage - One Tough Conversation at a Time!

HEN arrives at the full moon - 
because light transforms darkness.   

Full Moon: August 21, 2013 - Year 11, Issue 8
Table of Contents:

Power & Truth

Traditionally, the two summertime issues of HEN are my time to replenish – where I keep content slim and rest time large. So here is my short reflection!

Over this last month, I've been immersed in teaching in the Conflict Management and Analysis program at a local University. It was an exquisite and rewarding experience that involved working with talented, wise, mid-career professionals who taught me as much, I hope, as I taught them.

The experience left me with a new sense of what it means to enact “power” and see “truth.” There seemed to be a symbiotic relationship going on where the students called forth in me a place I didn’t know existed – as perhaps I did with them and they did for each other. At one point, someone mentioned the power in being seen as bigger than they usually see themselves. That happened for me as well. 

That is a gift. Because, as some of my learned friends are teaching me, truth is not something I have or you have or even we have exclusively. Truth is a shape-shifting reality, a stream of possibilities, that is impacted by me, you and our inter-subjective truth.

I want to leave you with this poem as a way to sum up my summertime experience. My wish is that you find a gem hidden in there for you as well.

Proviso: going “gemming” (thank you Jill for this new word) - requires you to slow down to the speed of summer. You can do this by taking a few deep breaths (exhaling longer than you inhale). Or press your feet firmly onto the ground. Or make a cup of tea and settle into the chair. Smell the summer air as it hints at a turning. A poem awaits you. 

And, like any rich experience – you will only see what you are opening yourself up to see. The best way to absorb is in a state of relaxation, fluidity, sensuality (as in being connected to your senses). These are gifts I hope you’re also receiving from your summertime experiences.

See you in September!

Poetics  - A.R. Ammons

I look for the way
things will turn
out spiralling from a center,
the shape
things will take to come forth in

so that the birch tree white
touched black at branches
will stand out
totally its apparent self:

I look for the forms
things want to come as

from what black wells of possibility,
how a thing will

not the shape on paper - though
that, too -
but the uninterfering means on paper:

not so much looking for the shape
as being available
to any shape that may be
summoning itself
through me
from the self not mine but ours.

Free Report: 3 tips to make Tough Conversations Great!

This summer, I asked HEN readers to respond to a few questions about where they struggled in tough conversations, what outcome they wanted, and what burning questions they had.

In the course of doing these interviews, one person said they’d love to have two or three things that could help them immediately with a tough conversation.

In response - and as a thank you – I’ve created a free report containing some of my best tips arising as a result of people’s burning questions! 

If you’d like a copy, simply click here.

Feel free to pass this along to your friends as well! 

Happy summer reading!


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Julia Menard, B.A., Cert. Con. Res., P.C.C.
Leadership & Conflict Coaching, Mediating, & Training


“The conductor of an orchestra doesn't make a sound.  He depends for his power on his ability to make other people powerful.… I realized my job [as a conductor] was to awaken possibility in other people.”   
… Benjamin Zander, The Art of Possibility

  • Are you facing any tough conflicts at work?
  • Are you unclear about how to proceed through the tough stuff?
  • Are you wanting to make time to focus on creating stronger relationships at work?
Then consider investing time in learning more powerful ways to engage conflict productively. If you think I might be able to help – please contact me.  It would be my pleasure to have a conversation with you to see if I can!

In the meantime, have a look at what I have to offer these days:

Making Tough Conversations Great!

10 week self-study course with Facebook Group Community
COST: $95 (+HST)

If you’d like an easy way to educate yourself more about making tough conversations great, check out my e-course

The Making Tough Conversations Great e-course is sent to you via email every week for 10 weeks. Each week you receive a new lesson and get to focus on one key concept and a few practice ideas. It takes the vast area of “negotiation” and “tough conversations” and breaks it down into manageable chunks.

Topics in the e-course include:
  • Focusing on your Best Intentions for your Tough Conversation
  • Leading with Observations (Separating Fact from Fiction)
  • Linking feelings to Needs
  • Converting resistance (Winning Yourself a Hearing!)
  • Deferring solutions to the end
There is also a private online coaching group, where you can ask me questions, engage in discussions, share your struggles, and celebrate your successes!
To get going on this course, just email me and ask, or register online.

2. Stay Cool - Through Conflict!

Audio recordings, e-book, and audio tools with Julia Menard & Judy Zehr

COST:  $149 (+applicable tax)

We're offering Stay Cool - Through Conflict as an e-course, with a full course e-book and recorded sessions. We use concepts from stress science to give you the tools you need to hang onto yourself in the face of conflict. 
Click here to find out more and to register.


Various estimates peg the average time managers spend dealing with conflict between 25 to 60 percent. Some of my best clients are managers and leaders who value relationships and invest time and attention into their relationships. They know this pays off in big dividends.

Yet most leaders receive minimal - or no – training, support or guidance on how to analyze and manage conflicts productively.

If you'd like to strengthen your communication/conflict management skills, I offer one-on-one coaching for executives as one way to achieve that goal. Having someone support you for a specific period of time as you clarify your learning goals and then start to enact them, is an effective and efficient way to change what you want to.  

If you would like to set up a time to talk more, just reply to this email with "Coaching" in the subject line.

4. Local WORKSHOPS in Victoria on Tough Conversations

Available for organizations and individuals in Victoria, BC

  • Does conflict make you break out in a sweat?
  • When it doesn’t go well, can you feel a tension so thick you can cut it with a knife?
This workshop, like the e-course of the same name, offers a practical model for how to start and sustain a collaborative conversation. It incorporates interpersonal communication concepts from Interest-based Negotiation, Non-Violent Communication, and Clear Leadership. Tools include:

Topics include:
  • How to Get Out of Your Own Way
  • Separate Fact from Fiction
  • Link Feelings to Needs

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