Relational Engagement for Service Providers

A series of workshops on tools for building respect, trust, accountability and empowerment in your relationships with the people you serve, and the people you work with.

The workshops in this series have been presented at conferences (including as part of Oregon Opportunity Network’s Resident Services track), and as in-house training for a variety of nonprofit and quasi-governmental service providers. They are designed to give service providers simple, concrete tools they can use to both make their work easier and improve outcomes.

These workshops are consistent with, and supportive of, trauma-informed care approaches.

Cultivating Accountability and Empowerment with Residents

This interactive workshop invites you to step out of the “fixer” role when it comes to helping people make new and better choices. It provides concrete tools that will help you to let go of your own assumptions and agendas and use active listening and other skills to create connection, and support the people you serve in building their own capacity to make the changes they want to make.

These tools can also be used with co-workers and volunteers, and in supervision. (I also do workshops designed specifically to address those relationships.)

Moving from Complaints to Collaboration

Do you dread going to certain meetings, or interacting with particular people because you know you’ll hear one complaint after another? Complaints are largely counter-productive ways to communicate needs and wants.  They are draining for both the person complaining and the person receiving the complaint, and rarely provide sufficient information about what is really needed. Learn – and practice – simple, effective ways to shift people (yourself and others) from being stuck in your/their complaints to communicating in ways that create generosity, cooperation and collaboration. (Components of this workshop are included in others in this series, but this can also be done as a stand alone training.)

Tools for Staying Sane a Tough Job: Taking care of yourself so you can be of service

The work you do is important; people’s quality of life, health and safety, are often at stake. But it is hard to be at your best when you’re exhausted, disheartened, frustrated, anxious, sad, or afraid that your efforts are not going to be enough. This highly interactive workshop gives you tools and frameworks that will help you stay engaged and compassionate with the people you serve (and with your co-workers) while setting the boundaries you need to keep yourself from being depleted. These are straightforward tools that you’ll be able to use immediately; tools that will make your work easier and less draining, and will also improve outcomes for the people you serve.

Modulating Your Time: Proactive vs. Reactive Communication and Services

Make your work easier and more effective by learning some concrete strategies that will help you:

  • Move out of the frustratingly reactive state that often gets triggered by the clients who are most difficult for you/eat up huge amounts of your time with no good results, and
  • Take concrete actions to both reduce the amount of time and energy you spend with these folks and be more effective in supporting them to make real change in their own lives.


Below are some of the materials used in these workshops, many of which stand alone fairly well as quick introductions to the topics they cover. Feel free to use them with your teams, and pass them along, but please keep my footers attached so people know where to go for more information.  Thanks!

Format and Cost

Each of the workshops in the series above can be done as stand alone sessions, or they can be done as a series, at conferences or inside your organization.  They can also be included in a larger facilitation, training or coaching package.  The cost varies based on the number of participants, the number of workshops you want, the amount of customization desired, and whether it is part of a larger package.  The cost for the stand alone, three hour version of any of the above workshops with only basic customization starts at $400. (If you are a small nonprofit and that fee is more than you can afford, please inquire about discounts.)

Call or email me if you are interested in knowing more or discussing a workshop or training. My phone is 503-788-2333.  I look forward to talking with you.

Integration with Trauma Informed Care Work

In the summer of 2015, I completed a 4 day training series on Trauma-Informed Care. While this does not make me an expert on creating trauma-informed processes and places, it does mean that I understand that framework. I can connect the work I do with goals around reducing re-traumatizing events, and being useful and respectful responders to trauma-induced behaviors. Trauma-informed care, co-active coaching and organizational diagnosis are complimentary, mutually supportive frameworks, and their tools work well together.

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