For some time I have been contemplating setting up a vehicle for continuing to support individuals and groups facing challenging issues around conflict at work, in the community or in their personal lives. We (my wife Rose and I) have now set up ‘Ways4ward Ltd.’ I am currently doing some consultancy for a school in south London, the first under the new company’s banner. The blurb regarding our services briefly highlights what we offer:
Benefits of our work:
- More efficient and clear communication within organisations and between individuals
- Enhanced interpersonal relationships & team work
- Higher morale and productivity.
- Clarity and energy for pursuing individual and organisational goals.
How we can help:
- By facilitating group processes to work through conflict issues that impede relationships, communication and morale and supporting individuals in using conflict as a positive energy for change and moving forward.
- By building the capacity of individuals and groups for healthy communication, conflict resolution skills and team work through training.
- By providing one to one coaching and support for individuals facing challenging situations in personal and work contexts.
- By providing structured sessions aimed at helping organisations clarify their vision and aims and identify the optimal and realistic strategies for realising them.
I am looking forward to putting the 25 years of experience as a consultant / mediator and trainer at the service of third sector, faith and statutory organisations. Thanks to all those with whom I have worked over the years for offering the following endorsements of my work:
‘Conflict and Change was the first mediation scheme in the UK which I helped to establish in 1984. Chris McDermott has been an inspirational member of staff working in the education team and doing sterling work with schools at primary and secondary level. He is one of the leading educational practitioners in the field of mediation..’ Paul Regan, Vice Chair of Board of Directors at Citizens UK, Chairman at East London Community Land Trust, Trustee at London Catalyst
“Chris is generous with his time and talents. He motivated two very diverse churches in Newham, with a wide range of ages, cultures, and education, to develop their vision for their churches. His skills have in both instances released a lot of energy which has enabled rather fragile communities to move forward.” Fr. Pat Mossop, Rector of Parish of the Divine Compassion, Plaistow, London E13
“Chris has many years’ experience as a trainer and facilitator for community and voluntary groups. In fact I first met him when attending one of his trainings about 14 years ago, when I was impressed by his ability to combine subversive humour with deep and genuine learning. His participative approach to training ensures that the experience is always lively and involving, while his extensive understanding of interpersonal communication skills (from anger management to conflict resolution) means that he always has something new and relevant to offer.” Mike Shallcross, Counsellor and Psychotherapist
“ Chris is a gifted mediator. His professional experience and warm personality support those who are looking for a safe space for mediation to take place. He has the ability to hear what is being said and connect with others on the level of human needs.” Natalie Mahoney, Community Mediator and Development Officer, Conflict and Change Ltd.
“Chris worked as the team leader for Conflict and Changes school work for a number of years. He was a creative, energetic trainer and empathic supervisor. He wrote many excellent courses and materials for a number of different groups.” Ruth Musgrave, Peace Worker for MCC in Bangladesh and Coordinator, Conflict & Change 2000-2010
“Chris carries with him at all times an air of calm and the ability to lift spirits and motivate people, both of which are infectious. He has extensive knowledge and experience in conflict resolution and community development, working with both adults and young people, and is always willing to talk through ideas patiently and share his wisdom. Chris would be a real asset to any team.” Lucy Hawthorne, Faith Project Assistant at National Union of Students
“Chris is a very skillful facilitator being able to spellbind trainees and engage the team members. Having been both trainee and team member I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him in action and being in action with him. He has an eye for the individual in the group and takes very good care of everybody – trainees as well as team members. Chris is very empathetic and his positive mindset influences everybody around him in a very positive way.” Lisbeth Galtung, Evaluation Consultant at Ineva, Denmark
“Chris is a totally professional practitioner with the right life principles, excellent experience and empathy, and robust qualifications to plan and deliver high quality outcomes.” Dan Zamoyski, Owner, Advantage Management & Marketing
“I had the pleasure of co-facilitating several training projects with Chris, and found him to be an excellent and very inspiring trainer. Not only did he have a fun and effective way of teaching conflict resolution and mediation to adults and teenagers but as his colleague, I learned a lot about facilitation and training skills from him. Intellectually curious and full of humour, Chris always sought to incorporate his own learning from philosophy, psychology, spirituality, education, et al, into the conflict resolution training programmes, creating a vivid and highly engaging atmosphere for skills learning.” Jenny Engström, Trainer, Independent writer/researcher at Engström Unlimited