Conflict Consulting


What is Conflict Consulting?


Sometimes it is not practical or possible to have all parties to a conflict at the table, and I work with one side only.

When I am only working with one side to a conflict (this could be an individual or more than one person), I call it Conflict Consulting.  It is not mediation because the process is not focused in the same way on getting opposing parties to agree, and there is not a legal document that comes out of the process.

I work with the client(s) to figure out what the best options are for reducing or resolving the conflict they are experiencing, and help them make strategic decisions regarding the conflict.  Specifically, this often means reviewing some history of the conflict, talking about the temperaments or positions of all the parties, and desired outcomes (i.e. agreement, avoidance of escalation or legal action, an improved relationship, avoiding future conflicts of a similar nature, ending unwanted or unpleasant communications, and more.)

Together we’ll identify goals and obstacles to reaching them, and then determine ways around those obstacles.  I will coach you on how to best express what needs to be expressed in a way that is effective, whether it is feelings or concrete requests or both.  While our focus will be on the immediate conflict you want to resolve, past clients have told me the process equipped them with tools that were useful in all conflicts.

Conflict Consulting is not therapy and it is not legal advice.  It is a process that anyone can use who wants to get unstuck without coming unglued.

Examples of situations that benefit from Conflict consulting:

  • Finding solutions to problems that are not suited to therapy, or to using lawyers

  • Breaking patterns of ineffective or unpleasant communications

  • Figuring out how to say things in charged conversations, whether to preserve or end a relationship

  • Dealing with challenging family or extended family relationships

  • Dealing with frustrating dynamics in the workplace or a roommate situation

  • Dealing with difficult personalities at home or at work




I felt really stuck between my husband and my sister-in-law over a family matter, and a friend suggested I consult with Kate. After speaking with me on the phone, she asked my husband to come in with me too, and although he was reluctant, he did. She quickly identified what was keeping us from understanding each other, and helped us change it. Then we made a plan together for approaching our problem, and the solution has worked for over three years to date. I wish I had known long ago that “conflict consulting” was a thing.
— D.R. conflict consulting client
Kate is an active and adept listener. She is quick to identify dynamics and assumptions that derail good communication and gently but effectively calls them out. She has helped me to think and express myself more fairly and in ways that vastly improve the quality of communication in my most important relationships. I remember very clearly the first time she (kindly, without judgment, but firmly) questioned long-held beliefs about my role in my troubled marriage. She helped me see how I was unwittingly, through highly-judgmental language among other things, bringing out the worst in my husband and sabotaging my chance of a nondestructive parting of ways. She helped me navigate a challenging separation and I credit her coaching with shaping the (mostly) compassionate and considerate basis of my interactions with my ex-partner as we move forward with shared parenting of our teenage daughter.
— S.A. Conflict and Communication Consulting client