Getting to Yes: Global Organizational Development

"Susan is a mature and experienced practitioner who knows herself well. She is able to stay calm and centered in the middle of a storm."

"Susan is comfortable in most cultural settings, with most kinds of people."

"Susan is personable, warm, insightful and able to make a difference in systems with her presence."

"Susan is passionate about supporting people in creating collaborative, respectful, creative, thriving workplaces for the 21st century. She believes that organizations are the building blocks of our globe: what happens there happens planet-wide."

 As a master negotiator, mediator, coach and facilitator, Susan blends the best practices of working with leaders, teams and systems to find shared creative vision and manage conflict especially with the challenge of identity group difference. The primary influences which inform her work are Gestalt Organizational models for coaching and systems intervention, years of teaching Negotiation, Mediation and Intercultural Communication for the United Nations worldwide, Columbia University and many other global organizations. Being the host of The Peacebuilding Podcast: Bridging the Divide helps her stay current and expand her repertoire of the best tools, techniques and processes to build collaboration. Susan is on faculty of the Center for Global Affairs, New York University where she teaches “Working with Groups”.

Mediation -- Mediation is a facilitated negotiation and Susan has specialized in negotiation and mediation since 1988.  She has applied her craft in a wide variety of commercial and public settings including court-annexed processes and many closely-held family and partnership disputes.  She has also taught tens of thousands of people both negotiation and mediation skills in global settings. Susan created the United Nation's first internal mediation program and a similar program at Columbia University. In her current practice, she supports leaders and organizations to manage, resolve and use conflict as an opportunity for growth and change.  Her style is to blend mediation, coaching and whole-system change methodologies. Services may range from facilitating difficult conversations, whole systems change initiatives and retreats, mediating partnership or business disputes, and supporting leaders to manage conflict.

Large Group (Retreat) Facilitation – Susan is deeply trained in working with whole systems around change and strategic visioning. She frequently runs retreats where she mixes and matches large group processes to customize blends that best meet client goals, budget and time. A typical engagement involves assessment, design, facilitation of the event and follow-up. Susan is very comfortable with Open Space Technology, Future Search, World Café and other large-group designs and overlays these with gestalt theories of change.  She consistently deepens her knowledge of tools, techniques and processes in her teaching at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University and through her global interviews as Host of the Peacebuilding Podcast with creative practitioners who are building common ground in complex systems.

Leadership, Team & Systems Coaching -- Susan embraces the Gestalt concept of the paradoxical theory of change, that change occurs when one becomes what one already is, not when one tries to become what one is not. Whether working with an individual leader, small group or team, or the whole system, her coaching lens is always systemic. She strives to align with, and support her coachees to heighten awareness of themselves and their impact and contributions to the organization or system in which they work. She provides clients with specific tools about empowerment, influence, managing conflict more effectively and navigating diverse workplaces with respect and vision. Susan’s coaching is holistic, helping the client makes links between all aspects of how they show up – mind, body, spirit, behavior . She supports them in building awareness about the emotional triggers they bring to work and reducing projections so that they see more clearly.

Collaborative Negotiation Skills, Conflict Management and Related Topics Training -- Too often we approach negotiation as an adversarial contest where the winner takes all or, at the very least, compromise and settling for less becomes the name of the game.  However, research tells us that the most successful negotiators view the negotiation process as an opportunity for both parties to have their primary needs expressed and met.  The better negotiations are "win-win", with both parties getting more of what they want in the end.   And in business, where repeat sales, reputation, and relationships are critical, it is crucial that both sides be satisfied. . . again and again.  Susan’ program, versions of which have been used to train tens of thousands around the world, generally focuses on the following objectives but is always customized to client needs. The program is highly interactive and fun.

  • To understand that conflict inherent in negotiation is a natural and necessary part of life and that competition and cooperation are the two main strategies for managing it
  • To learn and apply the elements of cooperative negotiation
  • To differentiate between a negotiation position v. underlying need/interest
  •  To be able to reframe a conflict into a joint problem to be solved
  •  To learn to highlight common ground
  • To gain increased awareness of the impact of culture on the negotiation process
  •  To learn how to plan for negotiations
  • To learn and apply a communication model for cooperative negotiation
  • To understand the ideal stage flow of effective negotiations
  • To gain insight into managing one’s own and other’s emotions more effectively in negotiation
  • To increase skill in transforming someone who is competitive and adversarial, or avoidant, into someone who is willing to negotiate

Culture and Identity  -- Our workplaces and communities are becoming increasingly diverse, interesting, connected and global.  Simultaneously, where the climate is adversarial, people are getting increasingly isolated and polarized in their tribal bunkers.  Through many years of working group conflict, it’s crystal clear to Susan that identity group polarization only really happens in adversarial settings and climates. Shift the organization’s culture, teach people about collaboration, and human differences becomes more a source of exchange and creativity than a reason for fear, conflict and struggle.

Susan's practice has made culture and identity an integral part of everything since it's outset.  With her early business partner, Ellen Raider, she became known for expertise in intercultural negotiation and mediation and delivered programs for corporations and public service organizations globally.

Assessments -- Susan is the co-creator or the AEIOU Negotiation and Communication On-Line Assessments which is available both as a self-assessment and as a 360.  She uses this tool along with some of her other favorites such as DISC, the NBI Whole Brain Creativity Assessment, Leader Nation, Strength Finders and others.

Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.

Lao-tzu