Grounded through conflict 

Tending the roots to keep the tree strong

When we look at a tree, we often appreciate it for what we see above the ground – its leaves, trunk and fruit. The roots, however, enable a tree to survive and thrive. 

The majority of our clients come to us feeling fear, shame and uncertainty. They say things like, “I can’t believe he’s making us talk about this in public” or “She’s just trying to jerk my chain. This could be handled so much easier”. 

Our role is to help people understand what’s important to them and to the person with whom they are in conflict. If we can help them set aside old habits and past disagreements, they can begin the process of shared understanding. 

The way we approach our clients is paramount to their outcomes. By honoring their dignity, we create an environment where they can thrive. 

The lived experience of our team supports this. When CDR staff interact with our clients, it’s in a way that says, “I see you.” 

Our mediators, who conduct mediation sessions almost exclusively online, foster deep listening and dialog, even over Zoom. They make sure each person feels heard and valued, which invites the participants to invite each other to feel heard and valued. 

Many of our clients come through our doors feeling a loss of dignity. Yet after they walk into their conflict, own their self-determination and reach resolution with the other party, they reconnect with their own sense of dignity. They stand taller, with more self-confidence and their roots are fed and stronger. 

And that is our reward.