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The YES Resolution Group
'I use the facilitation skills I learned from YES all the time to run meetings and work with groups.'


Conflict Intervention
Hospital improves communication, productivity and patient safety

Conflict arose recently at a large urban hospital, created by the amalgamation of three similar organizations. In one department, lack of communication and organizational problems developed. Conflicts and grievances became more common. Patient care issues arose when people couldn't agree on how to work together.

YES held a series of meetings with managers, employees and union representatives to address specific conflicts, identify the underlying problems, create channels of communication for working together effectively, and develop protocols for dealing with future problems. We helped people recognize their common interests.

The number of grievances dropped. Tension decreased. Communication and teamwork improved. Productivity rose as people had more energy to expend on work, rather than on their problems with each other. Quality of work life was enhanced. People were more confident of their ability to solve problems on their own, using the new protocols. Most importantly, patient service and safety improved.

Health care facility creates a five-year plan to advance research

A major teaching and research hospital wanted to maximize the opportunities and benefits of health research on site and with its partners. Advances in health care are based on innovative research discoveries, and lead to new treatments and cures. Yet research was being conducted in many areas with little coordinated direction or results.

YES facilitated a multiparty planning process to develop a five-year strategic plan for research. Key stakeholders from research, academic and clinical areas participated. Our goal was to ensure everybody felt the plan reflected the direction necessary for their organization or department. Thirty parties committed to the new plan.

As a result, everyone is pursuing a shared direction. Resources-people, space and funding-are allocated and shared more productively. Research has gained greater recognition and prominence as an essential part of health care. The facility has become a leading recipient of federal and provincial research funding, and is more successful at recruiting and retaining the best and brightest scientists. Research facilities are expanding.

High tech firm improves relationships, saves money and expands services

A small group of graduates founded a new internet technology business a number of years ago to help companies attract and sell to customers online. Two of the founding partners decided to leave due to professional differences, and the company encountered some problems with the separation. Everyone decided to bring in a YES mediator, rather than go through legal channels to resolve a difficult and potentially costly situation.

YES worked with the group to establish ground rules, identify and clarify the issues, and explore priority issues, cooperatively and constructively. After the first meeting, all sides left the table confident a mutually agreeable solution would be worked out.

By choosing mediation, the company saved money in legal costs. People were able to focus on their jobs, not the problems, which saved time too. An amicable agreement was reached. The owners learned new, innovative ways to communicate, negotiate and facilitate, and continue to use these techniques in meetings, with clients and outside of work. The firm has since expanded from five to 200 people, in four locations around North America, with major international clients.

Public/private partnership creates problem solving model to improve service and profitability

A large government organization and a consortium of four private firms recently established a business alliance to collaborate on a multimillion-dollar facilities management project. People from all four external companies regularly work with government staff. Problems would inevitably build if no one discussed the expectations for working together at the outset.

YES consulted with all parties and held joint training sessions to develop a charter that guides the partnership. The charter sets out goals and principles for working together, such as maintaining successful business relationships among the partners and practicing continuous innovation. Since differences of opinions and disputes will occur, a system was established to define how people would negotiate and resolve issues.

With YES, the partners developed effective communication and conflict management protocols, which support teamwork and success. Facility management systems have improved. Productivity has increased. Customer service has improved. Profit goals are being achieved. Because it works, the partnership contract was renewed.

Municipal employees learn how to negotiate and resolve conflicts

Many employees at a large urban municipality were having difficulty dealing with conflict among themselves and with external customers and businesses. The city decided to offer communication and conflict resolution training to staff.

YES delivered courses to introduce staff to effective communication and conflict resolution skills. Participants learned about the dynamics of conflict and different conflict resolution styles. They practiced an interest-based model for negotiation, and explored how anger and power are involved in disputes. Employees left with a greater level of self-awareness about their own conflict style, and confidence in their ability to respond to conflicts more effectively. People were more willing to listen to each other without judging. As a consequence, communication and collaboration improved.