Pearce Associates, Inc.

Introduction
Contexts In Which We Work

Professionals

People in the professions have come to understand that their ability to communicate well is a vital part of their work. Our work with professionals results in:

  • Increased ability to listen to others
  • Enhanced understanding of communication processes
  • Development of specific communication skills
  • Enhanced self-awareness and understanding of their own communication styles
  • Increased control of themselves and of the situations in which they work

The Way We Work

We were invited to lead a three-day workshop on "Advanced Communication Skills for Experienced Mediators" in Medellin, Colombia. Most of the 35 participants worked for the government of the state of Antioquia as negotiators with the guerrilla and paramilitary groups or community organizers for violence prevention programs. Other participants were university professors who teach conflict resolution. The workshop focused on the skills of helping people remain in the tension between telling their stories and listening to others, and of co-constructing new stories that enable people in conflict to move forward together. The participants realized that the people they worked with came from different cultures and handled conflict differently, and they were working with long-standing violent conflicts. We approached these topics both from a conceptual and experiential basis. We described how conflict is handled differently in a variety of cultures, and then worked with some specific examples from the work of the participants. As a result, the participants became more aware of their own cultural biases toward conflict and more able to choose how to work with the parties with whom they were dealing.

Others With Whom We Have Worked

Kentucky Bureau of Blind Services: a full-day workshop for trainers and managers of programs that work with persons who are blind or visually impaired

Sistemas Humanos: we have offered several workshops on "Research Methods: A Systemic Communication Approach" for professionals in health and social services

KCC-International: we have offered several workshops on communication theory and dialogic communication for therapists

Mediatore (Rio, Brazil): we collaborated with Fundacion Interfas to offer a one-day workshop in systemic ways of thinking for mediators, therapists, and managers

Boston Consulting Group: we provided communication coaching for consultants and offered workshops in persuasion and leadership