Brave Conversations


Mediation + Restorative Conversations

Virtual mediation for two co-founders needing to separate ways and getting through tough conversations necessary to save their friendship

Conflict coaching, mediation, and small group restorative conversations design and facilitation for a school district that needed immediate support with tough conversations between district administration, school administration, faculty, and staff

Ritualized grief and forgiveness conversations for a university department



A forming national coalition needed a facilitator for their retreat for group connection and scaling strategy design.

Inclusion and equity conversations for collaborative planning between grassroots and grasstops

Staff and board retreats


Leadership Coaching Examples

  • A technically experienced nonprofit leader wants to move into people and strategy leadership position.

  • A leader finds themselves in between a rock and a hard place as they make moves to increase equity and social justice in their organization

  • An overworked executive needs to untangle a range of issues to make a complex decision about their future with the organization.

  • A higher education administrator takes on the challenge of a new team in a new environment and finds their skills and style doesn't produce results as well in the new context.

  • Leaders preparing to be a part of workplace mediations, organizational trainings around equity, and similarly charged conversations need coaching throughout the process to stay centered and courageous.

  • Conflict coaching for leaders with non-dominant identities to address issues such as micro-aggressions, burnout culture, staff/supervisor accountability, career transitions, being invisible/hyper-visible, order at the expense of justice, holding back for fear of the angry label, imposter syndrome, and more


Example scenarios


You’ve recently hired someone who is disadvantaged by multiple oppressive social contracts. As a result, your new employee experiences high instability in their life, including lack of a reliable car. The impact of your equity hiring decision is that the rest of the team is affected by the new employee’s difficulties in getting to places and frequent changes in availability. You’d like to engage the employee and the rest of the team in a process that will increase connection, minimize the risk of re-traumatizing, and arrive at co-created solutions for reliability. You need an experienced guide to help you try on some language for the one on one, and a workshop on trauma-informed feedback for the whole team. 


Your organization has been around for nearly 30 years. In the past 10 years, the landscape changed but the organization hasn't. Now you are in a sink-or-swim, change-or-perish situation. You want to engage the board and staff in participatory planning without demoralizing everyone. You need a facilitator experienced in strategy planning as well as freeing emotional space for creative thinking.


There have been several rounds of layoffs with employees jumping ship in between the rounds. As an HR manager, you see indicators of toxic stress such as people having unofficial meetings, filing formal complaints about issues they would’ve previously addressed directly, and a general pattern of withdrawal. You would like to create space for people to share, grieve, and ask questions but you need help designing for safety and trust.


You learn that a parallel manager in another team makes nearly 15K more than you. You’re shocked, PO’d, and come to wonder if your supervisor even values you. In order to keep showing up at work with enthusiasm, you need to talk about this. You need help framing your approach with your supervisor, think through likely answers to your questions, and role play your responses.


You are a visionary leader. You want your teams to dream into possibility, not just repeat or amplify the same old. The conversations you’ve been leading keep getting stuck between risk-averse BUT-head thinking and recycled or face-lifted ideas. You suspect there is a deeper level of exchange the team needs to have but you’re not sure how to get there or if you can dynamically steer once you’re there.


A month into your new position as a director, you discover that the team you’ve inherited has survived a lot of change, including leadership turnover, in the past 3 years. They have adapted and now take a wait-and-see approach to any initiative that’s rolled out. In order to get people to buy in to your vision and co-create with you, conversations need to take place that validate people while shifting their approach. You need a facilitator who can walk with you from tension to aspiration. 


The organization you lead has several departments, which work in silos. Everything from branding and outreach to evaluation is has evolved organically in each department, some with thought and some out of pressured necessity. You want to scale the organization as a synched unit while maintaining some of the legacy culture in each department. You need a staff retreat designer for pulling out threads and patterns, and helping the departments align with the vision. 


You’ve been a part of a collective impact project for a year. The storming phase has kicked in. Growing pains require more specific definitions around roles and responsibilities. You'd like the members to engage in a process that looks at the inconveniences and costs of ambiguity without personalizing the message, and brainstorm solutions. You need a facilitator who has experience navigating ambiguity and designing a process for  co-creating just-in-time solutions.


Everyone from the board and management to the office reception staff agrees that equity is a top value for the organization. However, operationalizing equity seems to have a myriad interpretations, some of them conflicting. In fact, few can articulate the difference between diversity, inclusion, and equity; most use the terms interchangeably. The organization needs to examine how that value is practiced inside power differentials and what the unintended consequences of some interpretations are. You need a facilitator who brings knowledge around equity as well as the management experience to get the team from concept to decisions, behaviors, norms, policies, and practices.


Your department wants to dramatically improve its interaction with clients. You need a service designer who is well versed in transformative family and community engagement. 


Your organization is a lead for a community engagement project. You are excellent at your work with under-heard youth, families, and community members. You have helped distill, unify, and amplify the community’s message. Now the institutions that affect the community need to learn how to be in true partnership. You would like a collaboration designer who has experience working with public institutions.


The local government body you are a part of would like to increase its effectiveness with community engagement and learn to integrate an equity framework in its work. You need a foundational concept training as a start and an experienced facilitator who can support brave conversations as change in operations creates turbulence amongst the staff.