choice Magazine

Vanguard Conversation Series: Conflict <-----> Breakthrough

April 05, 2023 Garry Schleifer
choice Magazine
Vanguard Conversation Series: Conflict <-----> Breakthrough
Show Notes Transcript

Leaders at the vanguard of ideas and change inspire us to loosen our grip on the comfortable status quo in favor of exploring new possibilities that better align with the altering patterns of our personal and professional lives. As we shape a world where people love their life’s work, this live conversation series showcases global leaders who embody the curiosity and discernment that stimulates a new relationship with change.

Join CEO of inviteCHANGE, Janet M. Harvey, MCC, and her co-host, Garry Schleifer, PCC, with their guest, Beverley Wright and explore the idea of being comfortable with conflict so that you can make a breakthrough. Build your roadmap for how to have a different kind of conversation with your peers, clients, and communities.

Watch the full interview by clicking here.

Grab your free issue of choice Magazine here -


Welcome everybody as you're all zooming in from around the world wherever you are. It is morning or noon, or night or middle of the night, maybe even, and those of you that are listening to this on the recording.

I'm Janet Harvey, welcome to the Vanguard Conversation Series.

This is a really, I don't know, I want to say a soul filled activity for me. Our mission and vision at Invitechange is to shape a world where people love their life's work touching a billion people by 2030.

We can't do that singularly, not even as a team. But what we can do, every person that we touch in any way that we touch them, we know, ripples out into the world, and this thought leadership process called the Vanguard Conversation Series, is our contribution to bringing people into a new way of relating to their livelihood and finding some fresh ways to ripple this out into the future and to others in their communities that I will never know. I am thrilled that this is year 2 for us to be joined by my co-host, Mr. Garry Schleifer, who is the founder and publisher of choice, the magazine of professional coaching.

And Garry, welcome. Why don't you share a little bit about this series important to you and for your readers at choice? 


Well, first of all, I get to work with you and your team. It's just always awesome.

And, as you can see, I get to work with Bev today, who is also on our editorial board. But, more importantly, the choice audience is always looking for something that's not just good for their coaching to improve the coaching, but also to expand their minds. And that's why this is perfect because these are not your usual conversations. It's an expansive and new way of thinking about things that we have predetermined biases about and it's an opportunity for us to unlearn and to take a chance to learn a new

So that's why I’m excited about it, for our audience. Our audience is combined.

We welcome you here as leaders and coaches both. We suspect you're similar to most leaders who witness and experience tension in the workplace and then get stressed out trying to figure out what to do about it.

When leader seek quick relief from the tension, it just amplifies the problem because the action relies on incomplete information. Now, remember, we're going so fast. Things are changing right, so try and get it solved. But incomplete information.

Well, the alternative is to negotiate, to get something useful, or to stay stuck and get nothing, or even worse yet, make faulty decisions.

Not fun.


So what we discovered in our research with executive leaders over a dozen industries was that the presence of tensions in the workplace could be organized into 7 common dilemmas.

This series, the Vanguard Conversation Series, across 2023 will explore each of the 7. Albert Einstein once said “It's not that I’m smart. It's just that I stay with the problem longer.” I think this caught the spirit of what we have noticed with leaders when they can tolerate a little longer the tension they're experiencing and listen more deeply into it, they find different solutions to their authority problems.


Yeah. And so we're thankful. Thank you all for joining us and our global leaders. And today our special special guest is Beverly right. And we're gonna take on one of those these tensions of presence and learn how to navigate each tension so that we can move through any thorny problem as Janet was saying and including as a leader yourself in that seat you're sitting in.


Yes, that is our opening bias. We believe every human on the planet is a leader at least of themselves and then anyone that touches in their circle. So, no matter what, perhaps focus of attention you have in your leadership, or in your coaching, or wherever you are in the human development spectrum, there will be something here for you today.

We're also here joined in the background. You see Paige Christian, who is from the InviteChange team. Thanks, Paige, for waving. She will make available the handout because we're going to start with some time with Beverly, and then you'll have some time in a breakout room to practice and play with what we are bringing forward here, and then we'll come back into plenary and have discussion.

So that's the roadmap for you all. We will finish promptly at the top of the hour. and now I will take a breath, because I want to introduce Beverly.

Beverly and I were just going down memory lane while we were waiting for all of you to arrive, and she was sharing a couple of stories of some conversations she and I had had together, and the one that really touches me, because I think it really carries the essence of who Beverly is to me

is a shared experience at an ICF conference when, on the last day, we invited all of the hotel staff from the kitchen and to the room staff to the front room staff, everybody that had been there to support our conference to circle the room, and we all stood and gave them a standing ovation. What Beverly recalled was the look on everyone's face. That this team of people in this hotel were so overjoyed to be acknowledged to be seen as contributory to this amazing thing that had just happened in those 3 days, and this is the spirit Beverly carries as a leader in her work at the IBM Corporation, and really the progenitor of coaching in that organization, and has gone on to change the world in her city of Dallas. 

I can never say this worry Beverly, her philanthropic work, there we go, and that's now rippled out across the nation. Your ability to hold worthiness of the human condition, and your every breath is something I’m inspired by every day, and that's why we wanted to open the series with you, and I'm just thrilled and honored. You're here, thank you.

I want to turn the floor over to you to help us introduce conflict to breakthrough.

Beverley Wright: 

Thanks so much, Janet and Garry. This is really a very useful experience for me, because I was thinking about, you know, trying to think of a story, personal story, that kind of highlights what we're going to talk about today.

Late last night I had a couple in mine, but late last night I thought, oh, this is the one when you talk about conflict. I looked at the model and started highlighting the things that really were very present for me when this happened, and it happened really many, many years ago, but it was huge for me, because the story I had been telling myself when I joined IBM was that I wasn't a corporate person. I didn't come from that world. I didn't have people in my immediate family and so it was a complete fluke that I ended up there I was very young, probably in my early twenties and a friend of my sisters actually had applied at IBM and was not hired.

She was telling my sister and I about her experience, and she said, everybody that knows me through my family I always know, because they call me by my middle name, which is Ann. So she said, Ann, I think you would be the kind of person that they're looking for and with that I don't know that I even really understood what the letters IBM stood for that was international business machines. But because when you're young you don't necessarily think things through, what not. I don't know exactly, and so I went. You know I applied, and someone called me and said, we'd love to see you, and so forth. But they did tell me upfront

that they had pretty much gotten way down the road in interviewing for this particular open position, and that they had some people in mind that they thought but they still wanted to talk to me.

So I went in and talked to this man named George. He had a nickname named Cork. He was called Corky inside the company and he was very nice. I was impressed with just how kind he was in the interview, and so we have the interview. He asked me a lot of questions, and I still can't believe that I say things to him that I see it because it was completely they should have known. I wasn't corporate, because at the very end he said, you know, I really like you a lot but as I mentioned to you on the phone, we've kind of gotten way down the road, and for this position, and we're going to hire someone else. But we'd like to keep your resume on file, you know. And so I’m in my head I'm thinking, oh, yeah, right, and he said, and then we'll reach out to you.

And so I said to him, I said, yeah, I do remember you telling me that. But you're making a huge mistake by not hiring me. Where that came from I have no idea to this day, but he was very kind, and we ended the and I thought I’d never hear from them again. I can't remember if it was 4 months or 6 months later that they called me back in, and they hired me this time.

But in my head, I didn't dress the way that I saw other people dressing.

So, anyway, flash forward. I've worked there and about 6 years in, I was going out on maternity leave to have my second child, and I had decided that I probably wasn't a good fit for IBM. just by me thinking about you know I don't do corporate speak. I can't just say something if I don't believe in it. And that was the story I was making up in my head, and I was trying to get out of the department, make transfer away from the department I was in, and my friends used to tease me and said, we think you actually got pregnant just to get out of that job right.

So I took a year. I took a year and 6 weeks off and my intention was not to go back. I thought, you know, while I have this break I'm going to figure out exactly where I’m supposed to be, because I just didn't feel like I was home from a work perspective, and so I had a lot of conflict around, you know, where am I supposed to be? I'm not sure if that this is the right place.

But what I decided to do was to use this break to explore, to talk to other people, and anybody that would stand still long enough, I’d say, Tell me about your job. What do you like about it? And what would you change if you could? That was my one question.

So the whole time that I was off that for that year I started kind of thinking, talking to people that there was really no perfect place; that even if you had your own company you still had people you were accountable to like clients right, and I had already invested 6 years in IBM. When I looked at the model, I highlighted the things that were going on with me, the things that were on the positive side. 

The positive side was collaboration. I was talking to other people, saying, Tell me what you do, and why do you do that? And do you like it? And what do you like about it? What don't you like about it?

What I landed was that I had been letting other people determine what my career was. It wasn't a career to me. It was a job. I had not framed it in my head as a career, or the possibility of a career.

After I had talked to all these people, I thought, you know what I've invested 6 years in this place and now I've talked to all these people, and there's no perfect place. I need to see if I can make this the perfect place. So that was the self-responsibility part. I need to stop expecting other people to figure this out for me.

I need to go back and start taking some responsibility. Well, the way I did it was to get out of the other department, I took a lower level job when I went back in a different part of the company.

It was brilliant because I work for one of the best leaders ever as his assistant.

I got to see up close and personal someone that was a true leader and I would have conversations with him. I'd ask him questions about like he found out that one of the people coming to his team had been underpaid for several years, and I saw him go after fixing that up close and personal. So I got to ask him, you know what, tell me how you do that. How do you navigate that in a company this size? Because at that point we were 400,000 employees world wide. It was not a little place. 

It was the breakthrough thinking for me to say, okay, I’m now in a situation. I got to interact with customers because that was part of my job with setting up the training that they were coming in for, and so I just got a whole different view of the company.

I started being more proactive about asking for people to invest in me. Teach me, tell me what corporate can do for me. How do I fit and still be authentic? And I had a manager that I that I started working for later when I moved to administration and she saw leadership in me that I didn't see. And she said, I really think you'd be a good manager, and I said, why do you think that? I'm not always good about not saying what's in my head?

I said to her, I said, You know to me it looks like management is the armpit job of this company. You are kind of caught in the middle because people that you work for them and the people you work for don’t think you get enough out of the people that work for you.

You're just in the middle, and I don't see that as a winning position. And so she said to me, with such a grace, she said, I can teach you everything you need to know about management, because I made every mistake you could make. I can teach you all the things not to do.

And she set about investing her timing me for a year.

She'd have to come to her office. We go through everything on her desk. She first would tell me and so it was really a process where I was starting to move from that, you know, into that play away from feeling like that somebody else was controlling me and that didn't have any control, and that I was resisting taking control.

Her name was Stacey. I'm still talking to her right now. In fact, she had left IBM and become a stay at home, Mom, but when I retired almost 11 years ago, she's one of the people I invited to my formal retirement and when she got promoted she recommended me as her backfill, and that became my first management position.

I'm literally out of the Bull Pen and into her office with her phone number and everything.

So you know, what I realized when I was working through this model is that I didn't see it as risk taking. But I became a risk taker because I started making moves. That scared me because I knew nothing about them.

but I just felt like there was opportunity there. If I could get past my fear, and I’d go and talk to other people to say, you know, here's what I’m thinking about. What do I need to know before I make this link?

So that was what really happened. I see my career in 2 places the before, when I was letting everybody else do what you know, tell me what to do, and the after, when I became very assertive about asking for a job. The other thing I learned is that you can't just ask once.

When I decided to move into the sales side of the house, which was a lot more demanding and putting some of my salary at risk, the first step I talked to my manager told I was interested in next opening, and then the next thing I know they were announcing somebody else going to that job. And I thought, Huh!

I wonder what happened, so I go back to her again. Grateful, I said, you know. Is there something else I need to work on? Is there things that I need to? You know skills I need to acquire. And she looked at me and she said, To be honest with you, I just forgot.

So you can't just say it once. I was like borderline stalking her so that I did get the very next opening for that position, and she was even more honest with me, she said, to be honest with you, I’m not the only decision maker. It’s my boss. Let me set you up with an interview with him so that he can get to know you. Because I was taking a risk, and I was being much more assertive and collaborative, and letting people know what I wanted, because now I’m guiding it, it turned into a completely different career. 

When I moved to sales, where I had a quota and the only experience I had with that point was when I was an administration manager and they put us on a 90/10 plan, and it was like a 10% donation to IBM, because we didn't control anything about getting that money back. So then when I was offered a position to go to sales. It was interesting because I was then going to be on a 60/40 plan. No, it was 70/30.

I’m thinking, well, the 90/10 didn't work great. Now, what am I going to do? It was best decision. It started my entire career ascension basically because the guy I worked for that talked me into going to work for him, I learned so much from him. He would sit in meetings and say, we're going to do X Y. And Z. And because I handled the budget, I knew we didn't have any money to do that. So I'm sitting there watching him, thinking, this is interesting. He's making all these promises, and we have no money for this.

Finally I said to him one day, I said, You know I hear you sitting in these meetings and you tell people you're going to do things that we don't have any budget for, and I’m just, you know, I’m curious about that. And here's what he told me, he said. You know if it's legal and it's moral, and it's good for the customer, somebody will pay for it.

So I became less rule bound now working for him.

But you know it wasn't like I got rid of the conflict about am I making the right next move? I just learned to manage it, and to also understand that I had skills, that I could talk to people, I could ask for help, which is also still something I have to work on, asking for help sooner.

But it changed everything for me, and I ended up working in a company where I did get to create an internal coaching business that was very successful, because I saw a gap in what we needed and what we had, and I offered to fill that gap.

Janet: You know it's so wonderful, Beverly. Your ability to capture this in such an ordinary language the conflict that starts with you internally. What is the world of me? How do I fit? I don't fit meeting to a breakthrough, then going there and seeing the conflict in the relationship with the boss.

Three different bosses, including a more sophisticated conflict of there's no budget. What the heck? How do you get to a breakthrough by being curious?

You know he has a habit and a preference of asking those 3 questions of himself.

Is it moral? Is there a customer that wants it? If it's not breaking the law, somebody will pay for it. Wow! 

Beverly: Here's the other thing. He was not your stereotypical salesperson. He was the most patient. I saw him try to get the business to embrace a new concept he had, and he was told No, for 3 years, and he never seemed to be upset by they'd say no, and he'd say, okay.

I mean just very calm, very laid back. He had this one woman that actually was said to me. You might not want to stand too close to him, because I think he's going to, you know not he be thought of so well and you don't want to get caught in the fallout. She was nay saying his idea right?

Three years later I saw her in Memphis, Tennessee on stage, telling people go talk to him. He has this new idea to revolutionize our business, and we created a whole business unit around it, and I went and found him. I was like Paula's on stage talking about you and your idea, and she's saying she loves it. It's like it just seemed like it never bothered him when they said no and so patient. When you think you're right, you know, as I said to you, that sometimes your success is just on the other side of your discomfort, the last no that you got.

No just means not yet. 

Garry: It's almost like you add the word eventually to his mantra. If it's legally correct, morally correct, eventually someone will pay for it. It's the same as the story about you introducing coaching.

He did it then you did it right. 

Beverly: He actually was one of our early adopters. I talked to people all the time about, you know, paying too much attention to naysayers when you're trying to do something different.

We give too much energy to them, I said. Find your early adopters, even if only one or 2, and start getting results. And that's exactly how we grew it. I got to see people that I knew were naysayers at the beginning literally get up and say it out loud in a meeting one day, and I had to turn around and see if it was him. He said, just like Bev, and her team has been telling us about coaching and the benefits, and so forth and I was like, is that John?

And here's the thing that very person, for managers like for the first course that you take, in the course that we were taking, getting certified in, we took all of our managers through it, and was 300 of them from Dallas, Atlanta and Toronto.

We brought them into one place and just took them through the very first thing to introduce them to coaching concepts. One manager said to me as we were walking out for break, and it was after the first segment I said, what do you think he's like?

Man, who knew you was supposed to ask people questions? I've been telling what to do, he said. I've probably been injuring people without knowing it, and so that was just so many lessons. The one person that was my biggest naysayer, when he went through that program, the very first one we found out that we had been calling him one name for 20 years but he said that it's his dad's name. His name was John.

So we had been calling him, John, for 20 years, but he said everywhere other than IBM, he was known as Jack, because his dad was John. So we had tent cards we had put their names on them, and after going through that first coaching session he took his tent cart, scratched out. John turned it over and wrote Jack and just kept reminding us after that class.

Every time we say, John, he'd say, Jack, until we got it and finally made the switch, he said, I am only known as John at IBM.

There was just so many gifts in, you know the journey of getting from you know me, thinking I had no control, and just going where people told me to go.

And I could tell you 15 other stories like that. But this segment helped me realize the change I made, and that it was me that made it right. It was kind of like the what is it? The yellow brick road thing where you had the power.

Janet: Dorothy and her red slippers. 

Beverly: You always had the power you just have click your heels.

Janet M. Harvey (she/her): I think that's at the heart of it. So we'll set up the breakout rooms. Now, thank you so much for priming the pump with us here, Beverly. All of us have thorny problems in our lives. So if you're a leader here today and you're working on something, use that for this exercise. If in your personal life you're in a career transition, use that whatever you define as authority, problem, and Beverly has given us wonderful examples of habit, preference, assumption and bias, and the way that these 4 can get in the way because they're always operating right underneath our conscious awareness.

When someone asks us the question to reflect. We begin to grab new information and realize, wait a minute. I am not a victim to my circumstances, and so this is an opportunity to play. You won't get all the way through your story, I'm sure. Each person will have 5 min.

We'd invite you to identify a core value you have as a way to introduce yourself like, so I might say, Garry, my name is Janet, and my one of my top core values is generosity. How about for you?

Garry: And one of my top ones is also generosity. But I’ll add authenticity. 

Janet: And you can feel a connection that happens at that level at the root of the rosarian and philosopher and psychology would tell you is the seat of the soul is in our value system. So use that to connect because we have short time and then give each other 5 min. So somebody be a timer, and when you come back we'll pick up Anybody who wants to on. Mike should be welcome to offer comments and ask questions to Beverly and go have fun.


Garry: Look at all those smiling faces. Did we have breakthroughs in those rooms 

Welcome back. I hope you had fun getting to know each other a little bit and exploring the tool, and


Janet: Maybe got some ideas about your thorny problem. The floor will be open here. You're welcome to use chat, to make comments or ask a question. You're also welcome to use the reactions at the bottom of the zoom screen and raise your hand, and

We'll have the mics open if you want to talk directly. And Beverly was continuing to work with the story a little bit and had a couple of more examples come up. So why don't you start with that Beverly? And then that way people can make their way to raising their hand or writing, and chat, and we will explore.


Beverley: What I was talking when we before we got on today. I was reminding Janet about when I first spent any time with her. We went another city. Neither one of us can remember what city was, and that's been so long ago. But I was there for a meeting and she opened, and in the whole topic was the future of coaching. That was why we all came together in this place, for, like 2 or 3 days. First question she asked us was, what biases were we walking in with about the meeting?

And no one had ever asked me that before, and we really did have a different conversation, because that question was asked up front, and people share it honestly about. You know what was in their head that they thought was going to happen or not happen. But I think it. It.

It helped us to really get to know each other quicker. so that we could get that out of the way and really get down to work. And so I've used that question a few times. I've shared it with people often about having never been asked that question before or since. But I think it really was a great way to get people to really just be candid, put everything out there and then we could work together more collaboratively, and I think that that was that was great, so very memorable for me. So maybe you know, thinking about your biases and just acknowledging them, being aware of them and being brave enough to put them in the room might be useful.

Janet: And it strikes me, Beverly, that that's compassionate honesty, which is one of your mantras right. That's an in the invitation of the question says, this is the space that's open for that compassionate honesty.

Beverley: Yeah 

Janet All right. So who has a comment or a question?

Who is the brave person that's going to be first either in the chat or out loud.

All right. Well, I’m curious what you would do with this one.

I have a team of 17. All been doing their functional roles beautifully. New sheriff in town wants this team now to have collaboration. They are distributed across all 50 States and 2 continents. They have never been in the same room together. On 2 weeks notice, she brings them into the room.

What do you think we were working with? The level of conflict that was sitting underneath that? Yes, hi! How are you? Nice to finally meet you, was at least 2 days, I am going to say a day and a half before they were able to get past that to the to the next layer.

I watched this leader remarkably keep asking the question.

I acknowledged what's come before? What I want to know is, how is it shaping who you're being right now? All of the activities were about surfacing that habits and preferences, assumptions and bias, and the thing that was so amazing to me, and I hadn't introduced the tool to them, but she had that quality of a leader who could stand. She knew the break she needed which was bringing this whole team together and getting them to be cohesive and coherent, not just functional, but tied to the shared purpose and that she had a ton of conflict in the room. They were highly competitive with each other. They were some ways a little disrespectful.

It was certainly in the way of them performing, and the way that she wanted. It's a it's a sales service and marketing team. and she naturally realized that she could only go as fast as they were able to have the vulnerability to speak. What was their mind?

This was this was you know, right there in front of me, I'm watching a leader who can sit in the and sit and tolerate the discomfort of what was right underneath the waterline. Patience and perseverance over and over, asking the question. And who are you now? And how is that going to move us forward? Given what our North Star is? It's really quite remarkable to watch, and I think this this inspires me to keep bringing this work forward, and to find more leaders to engage it with.

Garry: Wow! Can't even imagine that one.

Janet: It was cool, and I am gonna get to be with them once a month for the next year. So I’m super excited about that.

 Garry: And what's resonating for me is courage.

 Janet: Yeah.

 Garry: Huge boat load of courage.

 Well, I’m curious with some of the people that went into the breakout rooms. What is some of the values you entered to the conversation with?

We have a lot of conversational values can either share in the chat or just come off mute. 

Beverly: I see several names of people that I know, and I so appreciate you joining us today. But I’d love to hear what you're thinking about that you talked about it. So somebody break the ice, and I think that'll

Garry: We're coming through in the chat now. Suzie said Authenticity, Rachel growth, Nona authenticity. Welcome to the Authenticity Club by the way. Kindness.

And if you knew Susie, like I knew Susie, she definitely kind and generosity 

Janet: Actions of being in service. 

Garry: So honesty and thanks, Pamela.

Beverley Wright: Yeah, One of the things I say often is that people that really care about you because what happens many times if they are other people that will watch you make the same mistake over and over again for their own entertainment. 

Janet: That's cruel.  

Beverly: That's where the lot of cruelest stuff comes from, right that nobody is talking. One of my friends wrote a book, Marcia Clark and embracing your power. And one of the chapters is top to me, not about me. Alright.

I will tell you the truth in a very compassionate way.

Janet: You said something to me, Beverly, a a couple of weeks ago, when we were chatting about this event, and it was we were. I don't know how we got on it. But if you need to have eyes on your people, then you have the wrong people.

Garry: I remember that one. 

Beverly: It's the wrong people, and sometimes, too, from a leadership perspective and I do think that that's what's going on a lot with the back to the office piece. There are people that think that they can't really tell if you're working unless they're passing you in the hall. 

You have the wrong people, or maybe you are the wrong leader. Yeah, right?

Because people, you know you want to have a work culture my opinion where people are engaged and they want to be there. They want to be part of the team, and I felt that when I worked with so many smart people when I was at IBM that I wanted to maintain my membership card because they made me better. Iron sharpens iron.

 And so you want a culture where people really want to be there, and because they're acknowledged, or they feel like they're doing something related to their purpose. So you shouldn't have to watch them.

And one of the things I used to say to my team, is it's okay if you called in and just say I need a mental health break today. I'm not sick. You don't have to pretend to be sick.

 Let's just be honest with each other. I don't need to be around people. I'm gonna work from home.

 You don't even have to go into much detail. But my goal was to make sure that they felt like they could come as they are and some days you, you just you need to be by yourself, and that's okay. You. You take care of the work. However, you want to do it, but we want it to build a culture where we could be honest with each other about what we needed from each other.

 When we weren't, carrying on wait, they come to me and say, Well, you know I don't think John is doing. And I said, Well, have you talked to John? I'm not parenting at work.

 These are all grownups. We're going to be authentic with each other, and we're going to work it out because that's what grown people do.

 Garry: That reminds me of the ongoing discussion about conflict.

 Janet: You all know me well enough to know I am a bit of a heretic, so I will confess to that bias. But very early on, when I started learning about conflict management. So I want to say, this is like early eighties.

 It just didn't make any sense to me. Why would I manage conflict if I didn't understand where it came from?

 What was the reason that conflict was bursting on to the scene? What is it that was putting people at odds with each other? And to me conflict is a harbinger of change wanting to happen.

 We may not know what change, but we know something needs to change, because there's enough passion behind the upset to be the momentum for whatever the breakthrough could be.

 And in some ways this was the seed of this thinking here about tensions, the presence that if I could be in the discomfort of the conflict with curiosity, something else would reveal itself.


Frank: Yeah. Well, I’m privileged to be, or to call myself, a friend of Bevs. When I was the SMU leading executive education she taught for me, and we got acquainted, and thank you for inviting me to this. I had the privilege of being in a breakout room with her sister, but anyway, and we agreed that neither one of us was prepared to, you know, share our appearance broadly in in a breakout room. But any

 Anyway, I’m here because I'm retired from SMU, but I’m involved in our church, and it's a big Methodist church here in Dallas, and it's like every Methodist church in the country, is fractured about gay marriage and gay pastors and stuff, and you know one of my sons is gay, so I know where I stand on those issues. But I have been talking to one of the pastors, and perhaps foolishly committed to see if I could come up with a template, for how we could have conversations about issues like this we think we're in conflict but we should be able to identify common ground that will enable us to talk to one another and listen to one another without feeling like we got to fight about it or walk away from each other.

 So I’m getting some ideas, you know, to supplement what I already know, and the little model about checking in on biases and assumptions and things is helpful you know some of the things that Sandra and I talked about as well. So you know. I don't know if we have a lot of time. But if there's anybody who wants toss out an idea that I could consider I would be happy to hear it.

 Beverley Wright: And, Frank, you might thank you so much for coming and for your comments, and you know Frank is minimizing his the role he played it, and in the work that we were able to do together. So you might, if you want people to follow up with you if they have ideas after this, maybe you put your email, or however, you want them to contact you in the chat.

Frank:  Oh, my gosh, Bev. What a great idea! Why, didn't I? 

 Beverly: It's great to see you. It's time for us to have this lunch again. We haven't done that in a while. Yeah, that's excellent, excellent.

Beverley Wright: Who else?

 Paige Christian: I would love an example of how people can use the handout to tangibly work through their thorny problems.

 We talked a lot about different types of problems, and how you can use conflict to move into breakthrough, and vice versa, and be comfortable with that, and can. What are the tangible pieces? What does it look like to kind of go through that exercise with yourself, or if you're a coach to use it with a client.

 Garry : well, you know right away. Thanks, Frank, because I can overlay right in here what some of the things that you're struggling with other people and number the second part, the clarity clarifying intentions, thoughts, police, attitudes of the other person.

You're clear on yours. What about to get really getting to know that other person and what their biases are?

 Frank Lloyd: Good point? Thank you.

 Garry: Yeah, I've been. I've been using a document and listening to Bev and others tell different stories, and I, as I said in the in the chat, it's clearly we're using awareness, clarity, and alignment. We talked about values we talked about, you know, like what? So Bev said. Notice what catches your attention and creates an impulse to act like just that distinction of Job to career.

 It's simple, yet monumental.

 FranK: Well, I’m a big believer in stories as well.Because when an issue like Lgbtq, kind of thing or racial justice, that when you.

 When you know someone as a friend or a relative, it makes a big difference in how you think about those issues with a coworker.

 So in whatever I come up with as a model, it's going to have a story component to it for sure.

Garry : Well, and remember, Bev in her own way, did the Dallas dinner party for a similar reason, right?

 Frank: I was a facilitator in this year's, and so bev don't rest easy. I'm not going to plagiarize the Dallas dinner table because I signed off. I wouldn't do it. Maybe you can give me a waiver. 

 Beverly: Yeah, we get a little smarter about that. But you know there's so much work to be done in the areas we're talking about that there's room for everybody. We just need to partner around those things to try to heal. How divided we are in so many ways that it's just sad I did a thing for a city, a city council group and a mayor a month ago and there was so much conflict and they asked me I was their facilitator, and they asked me what I thought. And I said, You know I’m just sad, I said. Our city needs you to work together.

 I grew up in this city. I have wonderful memories of going to school there, and I'm still connected to my 90 year old seventh and ninth grade teacher. She turned 90 in November autobiography.

 I said, so that's that we need you to work together, and you're on your phones when your colleagues are talking, and it's disrespectful and unprofessional.

 I just remember thinking my teachers were the smartest people in the world when I was going to school here and so I need those people to show up.

 Janet: You know, I think to your point, Frank, when people tell their personal story, and it's received not evaluated, not analyzed, not interpreted, not built on. Oh, yeah, I got one to make you know. Let me tell you my story and response. When it's truly received, there is something that shifts in the space.

 One of the things in using this tool that Paige has questioned is slowing the pace down is very important.

We often start with the second reflection: activity that's in the handout, which is what is the result? We're sitting in this room to talk about that you all found unsatisfactory.

 There'll be all kinds of reasons why you thought it was unsatisfactory hold that thought.

 What's the result? That we all can agree was unsatisfactory, and giving it some robustness in its description, Experiential language, not just the transactional language.

 What were all the actions that we took that produce that result?

 The process of reflecting and capturing the full story from the participants in the story and the observers of the story, because they often have the most number of assumptions and biases operating.

 But getting that all clear on the floor is really important and then to begin the construction of what was the basis of those choices of action. This is where values, principles, decision. Criteria. All of that starts to get transparent to each other like oh, my God! I had no idea that was what you were thinking about when you chose to do that?

 Oh, no wonder we were at odds, because I'm sitting over here looking at it completely differently. But we're not done yet, and the clarity step is really what did you believe?

 Where did that belief come from? How current is that believed with who you are today? Well, actually, it was the thing I learned from my family or it was the thing I learned from my you know, in this case, my pastor growing up.

 I've never stopped to think about whether it fits with who I am today. Hmm. So who are you today? Is the awareness stuff, right? What are the things that are in your life experience today that are influencing how you're thinking that now that you've got it consciously in mind, knowing all the rest of this, now we go forward.

 What must you believe in order to anchor to a different value, and make some different choices with the potential to produce a different result.

 So we're imparting a thinking process, not an answer. not telling them what to think. We're giving them a tool to refine their way of thinking, and to do that in collective process.

 Would that help or make it more confusing?

 Frank: I don’t know about the rest of you.

 Garry: Frank, as a man who is gay, I say, thank you for your work.

 Be patient, my friend. Let them come to you, because eventually they'll all see the light.

 Frank: I know we're committed to trying to help that happen in an institution that is not ready to do it yet.

 Beverly: And, Frank, you might tell them about your podcast as well, but don't miss an opportunity because they've done a lot of different things. 

 Frank: Oh, thank you, Bev. I'll put the name in the chat in a second, but i'm on the board of nonprofit here in Dallas that teaches English as a second language to adult immigrants, and our podcast is called When I got here, untold immigrant stories. We let highly accomplished immigrants tell why they left their own country, why they came to America. What attracted them, what they're doing, what they experienced when they got here, what support did they need? What obstacles did they have?

 And in 15 min episodes or less these are inspiring stories, and it makes the issues of immigration, not about policy, not about doctrine, not about legalities. It is about people.

 So I would recommend any of you. Give it a try. I'll put the name in here. You can find it on apple or Spotify, or in our Google and I'll put the website of the organization because you can get it there too.

 Janet: Excellent, excellent. We want to be true to our word. Well, let everybody go. Now. Notice that there is a link in the chat also to register for the whole series. It doesn't cost you anything registering gets you access to the recordings, and as promised, we'll be working through the rest of the tensions of presence throughout the year. We'll look forward to seeing you and come back. You'll get to practice with the tool some more. And thank you, Beverly really just a delight and Paige, as always, for holding our space. 

Thank you so much everybody.