relationship advice

About me

Based on my training as an attorney, mediator, coach and champion of the underdog in business offices around the globe, I created a program to help people stand up for themselves and ask for what they want without being confrontational.

Doing this work is my attempt to create peaceful and respectful environments at work and at home, one conversation at a time.

I love the business world. It is so compelling to me I chose the professional life of a long-term contractor so I could witness the behind-the-scenes operations of many organizations. Sadly, I found massive organizational dysfunction time and again, mostly stemming from breakdowns in communication.


Since training as a mediator more than a decade ago I have facilitated many negotiations between parties with starkly opposed positions and helped them reach agreement.

Despite my professional success helping others overcome fear and conflict in conversation, my personal life was a different story.

Navigating difficult conversations felt like flying blind. With no framework or tools to guide me through intimidating talks, they generally went badly. With one painful conversation after another, I began avoiding having them, at the expense of my relationships. “We need to talk” became an automatic source of terror.

Sound familiar?

One day the “aha!” moment arrived and I thought to apply the negotiation strategies I used in my mediation work to my own difficult conversations. This was a game-changer!

I was astonished and elated with the improved quality of my business dealings and personal relationships. The same techniques that worked to help others see eye to eye also worked for me in my own life, allowing me to address and resolve difficult and previously scary conflicts.

This was a thrilling discovery for me … and I want everyone to benefit by it.

Since 2009 I have successfully advised my blog readers who ask for help with tough relationship talks. These days I serve as a mediation coach for the MIT Conflict Resolution training program, give workshops on difficult conversations at MIT and coach professionals on how to speak up and get what they want without confrontation.