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Presentations, workshops, in-service and professional development programs have been provided for the following:

  • Association For Conflict Resolution
  • Texas Association Of Mediators
  • Texas Wesleyan Law School
  • Texas Woman's University
  • Midwestern University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Behavioral Institute for Children and Adolescents - International Child & Adolescent Conference
  • Wolf Creek School District
  • Alberta Mental Health Board
  • Kamloops School District
  • Wetaskiwin School District
  • EPA – Community Involvement Conference
  • Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS)
  • Prevent Child Abuse Texas
  • Prevention and Early Intervention – Texas Department Of Family And Protective Services
  • Truce Dispute Resolution Firm, LLC
  • Wisconsin Association of Mediators
  • Safe And Caring Schools
  • Surrey School District
  • Family Mediation Canada



Workshops are designed to fit the needs of the agency, business, organization or program that is requesting the service. It is important that the workshop meet your needs, not just somewhat relate to the topic of interest. Since each workshop is unique, personal contact with the event or professional development coordinator is an essential part of the program development. 

Some of the most commonly requested business and conflict workshops include:


Teambuilding – Creating Harmony Not Headaches

(minimum 4 hours ideally a full day)

Using the DiSC model, participants learn about their multidimensional style in being a team leader and a team player. The workshop also explores the different DiSC styles and how effective managers harmonize teams based on an understanding of people's strengths and abilities. This fun yet educational workshop is a great idea for teams and cohort groups to participate in together.


Communication In The Workplace

(4 hours minimum)

A highly interactive workshop designed to have all members of an agency, organization or team consider how effective communication occurs and the specific skills needed to effectively get their message across. Issues address will include "I statements", active listening skills, reframing, summarizing, circular questioning and exploring motivation.


Planning Difficult Conversations

(2 hours minimum)

Issues such as racism, sexism, ageism, performance reviews, restructuring and downsizing leave managers in the position of having to deal with very emotionally charged issues. Planning these conversations in advance will help to ensure that an empathetic yet clear and concise message is delivered. Information on how to address difficult questions, attitudes and behaviors in these discussions will be highlighted in the workshop.


You Can Always Get What You Need – The Rolling Stones Were Right

(one day minimum)

Interest based negotiation is the most effective tool for ensuring that everyone at the table walks away with at least what they need and possibly most of what they want. Using the interest based negotiation model taught at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard, participants will learn the skills needed to become more effective in a business or personal negotiation. Role play, skill building and strategic planning for a negotiation will be included in the workshop.


Bullies In The Breakroom

(minimum 4 hours)

Workplace bullies are a real concern for managers and staff alike. Recognizing the signs of a workplace bully and developing a culture and climate that doesn't foster this type of behavior is an essential component of being and effective manager. This workshop explores the characteristics  and telltale signs of a workplace bully as well as strategies for managing these challenging individuals.


Mediation Basics For Non-Mediators

(two days)

This hands-on workshop introduces the basic skills needed to be an effective mediator, facilitator and communicator. The basic mediation styles are discussed and participants will become familiar with the advantageous of a transformative style of mediation in both formal and informal conflict resolution. Through having a better understanding of the process anyone becomes more effective in handling difficult conversations and working towards viable resolutions.

* Please note this 2 day program does not meet the requirements of the TMTR and will not qualify participants to be credentialed mediators.


Barriers, Blockades and Bandwagons – How We Think Influences What We Do

(minimum 4 hours)

Understanding our underlying assumptions, perceptions and beliefs helps us explore ways we may be incorrectly perceiving other's around us. This reflective workshop is designed to help participants discover any hidden or known biases and assumptions and how they may be impacting  personal or work relationships in positive and negative ways. Ways to consider how emotional and behavioral reactions occur and why they occur differently when interacting with different people is a major focus of the workshop.



Some of the most commonly requested workshops for schools and educational settings include:


Classroom Management Based On Positive Behavior Support

(minimum 4 hours)

Providing students with the right way to handle situations and respond inside and outside the classroom is the basis of the Positive Behavior Support programs. This workshop will provide an introduction to how teachers can alter their management styles from reactive to proactive while also building social skills and positive behavior habits in the classroom. Data management, developing student behavior goals and an introduction to functional analysis is included within the program. 


Responding To Challenging Behaviors

(minimum 4 hours)

Planning for difficult situations and possible behavioral issues is the most effective way to ensure these situations are handled efficiently and effectively. This workshop reviews the anger cycle and discusses appropriate staff interventions at each step. Upon completion of the workshop teachers and support staff will recognize the stages of the anger cycle and know what to do to de-escalate any situation based on the student's behavior. 


Functional Analysis - Not Just More Paperwork

(minimum 4 hours)

Based on Dr. George Sugai's Positive Behavior Support program, functional analysis provides teachers, parents, students and professionals with an analytical way to look at student behavior. Using actual behaviors those working with the child will outline the target problem behavior as well as the desired behavior. Options can be generated for small steps between the two that will help everyone involved measure progress and reward those positive changes. Anyone in any school system can use this method of understanding and planning for positive changes in student's behaviors. 


Schools, Conflict And The Art Of Communication

(minimum 1 day)

Often communication in school systems is both ineffective and contributes to internal conflict and discord, much which may be hidden or not openly expressed. Examining the challenges of working with groups of professionals, parents and students and developing a common understanding of effective communication is the major goal of this workshop. Participants will learn different communication skills as well as how to avoid using negative or conflict causing language. Active listening, reframes, negotiation skills, non-verbal and verbal cues as well as conflict resolution strategies in educational settings will be presented through lecture, group discussions, role plays and scenario development. 


Understanding and Planning for At-Risk Students: A Practical Approach

(minimum 2 days or 16 hours)

From real world experience developing a program for at risk-students, a practical and simple way to look at student behavior and positive change is presented. This workshop is designed for teachers, administrators, teaching assistants and parents that work with children of all ages with the following diagnosis:

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Tourette's Syndrome
  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder
  • Bipolar Mood Disorder
Emphasis is placed on working with the child's strengths will supporting and developing new skill development in appropriate and desirable behaviors both inside and outside of the classroom. Participants in the program will have a greater understanding of what is reasonable for these children as well as how to involve the families and work together to enhance the student's development of new skills. 


Designing A Bully-Proof School

(minimum 4 hours)

Bullies are a huge problem in every area of the community as well as at the school. Learning what motivates bullies, how to encourage a culture that doesn't accept bullies and creating programs to talk about bullying is the major focus of this workshop. Participants will learn what to look for in both victims as well as bullies and what strategies are most effective with dealing with both groups. After completing the program the participants will have a framework for addressing bullies on an individual, classroom, school and district level. 

Workshops are also available on the following topics:


  • Interest Based Negotiation Strategies For Professionals
  • Interpersonal Communication Skill Development
  • Conflict Resolution For Families
  • Mediation Basics For Non-Mediators
  • Peer Mediation In Middle and High Schools
  • Developing A Conflict Resolution Program
  • Workplace Issues - Harassment, Sexism, Ageism and Racism
  • Words Do Hurt - Learning To Talk With Criticizing
  • Preparing For Challenging Discussions
  • Listening
  • Positive Behavior Supports In Schools
  • Concensus Building
  • How To Make Your Meetings Effective
If you have a topic of interest but don't see it listed contact mardi@poscs.com for further information. If I can't provide the workshop, I usually can provide a referral to a professional that I personally know that can. 
Sample presentations for specific conferences. Please feel free to view and use with credit given to Positive Communication Systems.

Understanding The Dynamics Of Anger In Mediation - TAM 2009

Pieces Of The Whole - ACR Presentation 2009

Mediating Difficult Situations - 2008

Bullies In The Family - PCAT 2010