General Session: Thursday Afternoon

Thursday, July 25th; 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm
Speaker: Ellen Kandell, Alternative Resolutions, LLC

Civility is a challenge in today’s political, professional, personal, and organizational life.  It feels like certain fundamental norms of discourse have been abandoned in many venues.  The lack of civility causes conflicts to erupt. Conflict is a naturally occurring phenomenon in our daily lives – and isn’t necessarily all bad …if there is no conflict it can mean that a relationship has become stagnant. 
This keynote will unpack conflict—its meanings, its connotations, the assumptions we make about it … and how to handle and manage it. As part of this analysis we will look at the model of human communication and how it can get us in trouble and contribute to conflict. Then we will define and elaborate on five strategies for handling conflict. Ellen Kandell will share some examples of where mediation and conflict resolution worked and others where it failed. She will help us identify “red flags"  before they escalate, to avoid drawn out confrontations and negative outcomes. Finally, she will address the importance of civility and share actionable tips and techniques for leaders on how to effectively handle conflict.

Speaker: Ellen Kandell, President, Alternative Resolutions, LLC

Ellen  F. Kandell is an attorney with over 30 years of diverse legal experience in the public and private sectors. Her company, Alternative Resolutions, LLC, ( provides mediation, group facilitation and training. Her clients include associations and nonprofits, government agencies, business, professional corporations, and educational institutions.   In 2016 she had a chapter published in Mediation for Estate Planners:  Managing Family Conflict, American Bar Association.  She is one of eight Maryland mediators featured on a statewide demonstration video of good practice.   In 2014 she became certified by the International Mediation Institute, based on a peer review and performance-based system.    She was an adjunct professor for 10 years at Catholic University’s graduate Human Resources program and at University of Maryland University College where she taught conflict management and negotiation. Learn more about Ellen Kandell.

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