How we work

Assess

We get to know you and understand you. We examine organizational and interpersonal conflict from within the following three primary domains and their overlap: critical thinking, decision-making, understanding and agreement.

Design

We listen to you and follow your problem: our solutions are bespoke. We design solutions based on sound organization, learning, and behavioral science; peace and conflict principles; and, practical experience.

Do

We are there with you as you try to do the design and help you iterate it and make it your own. We implement agreements forged with a precise and independent point-of-view through mediation and negotiation methods and process. We are honest, reflective, patient, and supportive.


How we assess …

Critical Thinking – Did the conflict arise out of a failure to recognize faulty cognition?

Some level of mutual understanding is required to move a dispute to resolution. The Teagarden Group’s consultants are experts in spotting the presence of errors in thinking that deepen unnecessary misunderstandings in a conflict. Logical fallacies, tacit assumption, unspoken beliefs and values, and facts versus subjective opinion all contribute to keeping a conflict stuck at best, or escalating at worst.

Decision Making – Did the conflict arise out of a past or current failure in decision-making?

One of the earliest definitions in the academic study of conflict held that conflict is essentially a failure in decision-making. The Teagarden Group’s proprietary approach to handling your conflict centers on decisions – past, present, future. To the extent that the decisions are made in a sound way, we increase the odds that a satisfying solution to the disagreement can be articulated.

Understanding & Agreement – Did the conflict arise out of a lack of understanding or skill at getting agreement?

The resolution of conflict always involves negotiation. But, most of us are terrible at negotiation. The Teagarden Group recognizes that the art and science of negotiation is not yet widely disseminated. We help our clients understand what effective negation strategies and skills are required for success resolution to their disputed issues. We also emphasize and support our clients’ needs to learn and develop their skill with negotiation.


How we design …

Organization science means we know how to do organizational development and we understand leadership. Learning means we know how to support adult learning, not just training or teaching, but real change born of new insight. Behavioral science means we know a little bit about human behavior, so we work with the actual people involved, not some hypothetical version of what everyone should be doing – we work with who you’ve got just as they are.

A proficiency with peace and conflict principles gives us the confidence to be able to say that we work with who you’ve got just as they are. If folks are difficult, we get it. If teams are dysfunctional, we’ve seen it before. We aren’t going to get hung up on trying to change everyone (wouldn’t that be nice). We will get everyone focused on the problems, and invite them to participate in a solution – how refreshing is that?

Practical experience … well, we’ve been doing this for a while. We’re book smart, yes. And, street-wise too.


How do you do … ?

Doing is always the hardest part. Doing is that part that you, the client, have to own. And, we know its the hardest part. So, our engagements are structured such that most of our contact time is allocated to the implementation phase of our work with you. Our expertise means that we can move through assessment and design fairly quickly, leaving most of your precious resources for the part that makes a difference for your bottom line: getting folks to do things differently.

We use implementation processes based in mediation and negotiation that raises the odds that all parties understand each other (without or without agreeing with other’s perspectives), can safely express and deal with emotions that might derail cooperation, and act in ways that demonstrate a brokered respect for all involved. Without carefully negotiated agreements, implementation is fraught.