Complex relationships and dynamics are part of every organization and much of it is going on under the surface where it is tougher to be able to see the interconnections and relationships. There is a powerful advantage in knowing how to read the underwater world in your organization… and in these economic times, leaders, employees and managers collectively need the competitive edge that comes from having as much intel as possible on what is driving the current reality in the organization…

Ruth Sirman is not just a speaker – she is a 20+ year veteran Organizational Conflict Expert with a B.Sc. whose specialty is helping organizations leverage the conflicts that show up ‘on the surface’ to uncover the ‘below-the-surface’ dynamics that are influencing what is going on. Using a combination of her science background, human and organizational systems thinking, conflict analysis and organizational development along with intuition and an uncanny ability to get people talking about the ‘non-discussables’ she has spent her career helping leaders and employees connect the dots in new ways to create more realistic perspectives of their organization.

Her focus when working with your group will be to provide relevant, practical and insightful information in an engaging, safe and fun environment so that people leave believing that this session was a worthwhile investment of their time and resources. So whether your group would benefit from an increased understanding of human interactions and how to deal with those ‘challenging’ individuals that spark negative reactions and conflict… or a greater knowledge of the traps that can cause conflict to escalate… or a better capacity to read the hidden story that is influencing your organization, we can customize a program that will meet your objectives… We guarantee it! If you are not satisfied then you do not have to pay her fee… (some reality-based conditions apply…)

These are a sample of the customizable programs Ruth offers to clients:

Priorities, Perspectives and Personalities

Everyone is someone’s difficult person at some point in their life. We each have our own priorities and approach to getting things done… And we all have our own personalities and our own perspectives on what is going on – and others don’t necessarily see it that way or agree with us. It’s no wonder that we sometimes find ourselves struggling to understand WHY someone did what they did… or WHY they react the way they do… And, they are wondering the same things about us..

This session is a very practical exploration of the interactions between people and what happens when intentions and priorities are in jeopardy and the impact it can have on others when approaches and behaviour shift. Learn to recognize the root causes of the behaviour that is driving you crazy – and how to invite others to change for the better. (PDF)

Creating Organizations that Work

If you are part of an organization or a business, then you will have encountered the complex relationships and dynamics that happen when a group of people come together to ‘work’. Organizations are much like rivers – there are things happening ‘on the surface’ that are visible and easy to see, but there is even more going on under the surface where the connections and inter-relationships are harder to understand. The majority of people are only vaguely aware of the powerful influence that those hidden dynamics can have on what is happening on the surface. There is huge value in knowing how to read the ‘less-visible’ but powerful dynamics that influence what is going on in our organizations. This session explores what is really going on… and strategies to leverage the insights gained. (PDF)

Tales from the Barstool

People are amazing story tellers. These stories are incredibly powerful tools that we use to help us make sense of what is happening around us. This program is an excerpt from the acclaimed “I’m OK, It’s Everyone Else Who Needs Help™” program and explores one of the key traps that drives virtually every conflict situation in any context – the stories we create about what’s happening. The ability to understand the behind the scenes dynamics can make the difference between success and resolution or failure and escalation of a conflict.

The Accidental Mediator – Navigating Someone Else’s Fight

There are times when we need to help others resolve a conflict they are having so that we can get our job done. This is a common reality for managers, HR,  union representatives, teachers, parents and others and for some professions as well – real estate agents, project managers, consultants, community development workers and more.. This session focuses on practical tools and strategies that can de-escalate the situation and allow people to move forward.


Working Here is Killing Me

Is work a positive or a negative place to be? For you? For others? A negative atmosphere in an organization is an energy drain for everyone affected by it and it can result in high levels of distraction, increased costs due to absenteeism, lower productivity, poor morale and more.

For senior executives who have been mandated to create a healthy and functional workplace, the negativity that can be generated can be frustrating, complex and in some cases baffling. In addition to the legislated and mandated expectation on employers, conflict and dysfunction creates a level of distraction in workplaces which typically results in lost employee productivity and escalating costs. This can negatively impact our succession plans and influence our ability to recruit and retain top talent. (PDF)

Surviving in the Multi-Tasking Circus

Most of us live in a multi-tasking circus where we are juggling multiple balls at any given time and striving to make sure that none of them drop. But inevitably there will be times when things go wrong and the stress levels go through the roof. Then what? This session focuses on understanding the dynamics of multi-tasking, busyness and expectations… and strategies for bringing some sanity back into the circus. (PDF)