Speaker, L&D


Gary Furlong

Expert in Conflict Resolution and Corporate Performance

Gary Furlong can help you to diagnose, analyze, and resolve conflict in any situation. He shows mediators, negotiators, managers―and anyone else needing to resolve conflict―how to simply and effectively understand and assess the situation they face, and offers specific and practical guidance on how to intervene to resolve it successfully.

A graduate of Stanford University, Furlong is past president of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario, is a Chartered Mediator, and holds his Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School. He is the author of The Conflict Resolution Toolbox and the co-author of The Construction Dispute Resolution Handbook.

As a mediator, Furlong has worked in numerous areas of dispute resolution and specializes in intervening in difficult organizational and workplace differences. He has delivered conflict management training for the National Judicial Institute, The Law Society of Upper Canada, and law firms across Canada.  He has trained RCMP officers, firefighters, and hundreds of frontline managers and employees for companies such as Purolator Courier and Transport Canada, and has worked with numerous departments of the federal and provincial governments, and many municipalities.

Furlong sits on the Law Society of Upper Canada complaint mediation panel, and on the Teachers College of Ontario mediation’s panel.


This is Your Brain in Negotiations: How Your Mind Can Prevent (and Help!) You Get What You Want

Negotiation and problem solving is hard enough without our own mind working against us. Your mind has very specific tendencies, biases and traps – as well as key strengths. In addition to leveraging our own mental strengths, we can find specific approaches to negotiation and problem solving that make it easier for others to work with us, and get us what we need.

Relationship Magic: The Two Most Influential Natural Laws of Living Successfully

Okay, there aren’t really “Rules” – but there are Natural Laws of Behaviour that virtually all people rely on and follow – mostly without thinking. Trust is the foundation of all relationships – understanding the dynamics of trust, of how to consciously build it every single day, is a skill that can be learned. And every human society follows the Rule of Reciprocity – without ever thinking about it intentionally. When you know these Natural Laws, and put them to use, they’ll be the most useful and valuable strategies you’ll even learn for successfully working with other people.

Conflict is a Dirty Word

In this case, we hate talking Dirty – when we should like it. Conflict is, and should be, part of every relationship and conversation – handled well. When we’re good at addressing and working with conflict, we open almost every door of opportunity. How you handle conflict creates either walls that end the relationship, or doorways that lead to even better relationships. The simple principles and tools you take away from this session will open doors to better results.

Building Trust in Leadership

Duration: Half Day, Full Day
Target Audiences: Executives, Leaders, Managers

For a leader, there is nothing more important than trust and credibility. Without these qualities, the leader has no traction or commitment from the organization and people she leads. Trust is the foundation for just about all success as a leader. Trust is a unique resource that can be expanded through the conscious use of specific processes and techniques. This workshop takes state-of-the-art research and writing into how trust operates and delivers a simple model for understanding the dynamics of trust. This model can operate as a roadmap for leaders, guiding them to effective diagnosis of trust-related barriers along with specific interventions that can help.

“The glue that holds all relationships together – including the relationship between the leader and the led, is trust…” – Brian Tracy

“Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work.” – Warren Bennis

For a leader, there is nothing more important than trust and credibility. Without these qualities, the leader has no traction or commitment from the organization and people she leads. Trust is the foundation for just about all success as a leader.

Trust is also one of the least understood qualities in life. Trust, or lack of it, can be a significant barrier to effective problem solving; indeed, it can prevent parties from having any meaningful communication whatsoever.

On the positive side, trust is a unique resource that can be expanded through the conscious use of specific processes and techniques. As leaders we need effective strategies for directly impacting the level of trust with the people that work for and with us.

This workshop takes state-of-the-art research and writing into how trust operates and delivers a simple model for understanding the dynamics of trust. This model can operate as a roadmap for leaders, guiding them to effective diagnosis of trust-related barriers along with specific interventions that can help, including:

  • Attribution theory, how it shatters trust and prevents any rebuilding;
  • How to directly build positive attributions
  • The two types of Trust, how each operates, and how we can systematically build trust in organizations
  • How leaders inadvertently break trust, and how to change this
  • Move trust out of the cult of personality and charisma, make it a core competency.

Building Trust in the Sales Process

Duration: Half Day, Full Day
Target Audiences: Sales Professionals

One of the core issues in client relationships is trust. What, exactly, develops trust? What causes one client to refer new prospects, and another to resist? Why are some clients easier to work with than others? Trust, or lack of it, can be a significant enabler to building and deepening professional relationships; the lack of it can end relationships quickly. During this session, we will learn a working model for understanding the dynamics of trust, and why it is both difficult to build and easy to lose. Participants will gain practical strategies for consciously building trust with clients as well as colleagues.

One of the core issues in client relationships is trust. What, exactly, develops trust? What causes one client to refer new prospects, and another to resist? Why are some clients easier to work with than others? Trust, or lack of it, can be a significant enabler to building and deepening professional relationships; the lack of it can end relationships quickly.

Trust is a unique resource, one that is expanded rather than depleted through use. The more we establish and build trust with others, the more useful and effective it becomes in solidifying relationships. Therefore, trust is a key resource in the client relationship.

During this session, we will learn a working model for understanding the dynamics of trust, and why it is both difficult to build and easy to lose. Participants will gain practical strategies for consciously building trust with clients as well as colleagues:

  • Turn Trust from a noun into a verb that can be actioned every day
  • Learn and apply Two Kinds of Trust effectively in every situation.
  • Move from a soft and “feel-good” approach to trust, to a direct, practical, skill-based approach that you can apply every single day in every situation.
  • Turn your high-risk clients into high-trust clients
  • Make them want to refer you to new prospects

NOTE: For account teams selling high-cost, high-value offerings, this workshop can be combined with a day-long session called “Strategic Account Planning”, where the skills and tools of this workshop are applied directly to high value accounts in a coaching framework.

Conflict Management for Customer Service Representatives

Duration: Half Day, One Day
Target Audiences: Executives, Leaders, Managers

The ‘Customer Service’ culture is here to stay. To be successful, companies must create and build upon customer relationships at all times, and especially at times when your customer perceives that their goals are at odds with yours. Outstanding client service has, as its foundation, a commitment to explore and understand the customer’s underlying needs, wants and concerns. This workshop is designed to uncover and explore the internal conversations that are going on leading up to, during, and after the difficult conversation. We look at common, unconscious mis-steps that people make in responding defensively to a situation.

“Conflict Should Build Relationships…Not End Them.”

The ‘Customer Service’ culture is here to stay. To be successful, companies must create and build upon customer relationships at all times, and especially at times when your customer perceives that their goals are at odds with yours.

Outstanding client service has, as its foundation, a commitment to explore and understand the customer’s underlying needs, wants and concerns. Some of these may appear obvious, but others are subtle.

This workshop is designed to uncover and explore the internal conversations that are going on leading up to, during, and after the difficult conversation. We look at common, unconscious mis-steps that people make in responding defensively to a situation.

Topics include:

  • Understanding your customers wants, needs, concerns and values building trust with difficult clients
  • Making clients happy without giving away the store
  • Working with the psychological interests of the customer
  • When to escalate a problem, when to hold on to it
  • Turning them from adversary to ally
  • Using the customer service function to solve systemic problems

 

Diagnosing and Understanding Conflict - Facilitating Change in the Workplace

Duration: One Day, Two Day, Three Day
Target Audiences: Managers, Human Resource Professionals

Based on the critically acclaimed book, “The Conflict Resolution Toolbox”, 8 core models and tools for diagnosing and addressing virtually any type of conflict that arises are taught. Conflict often escalates because we fail to understand the root causes before we try and resolve it. In this workshop, simple and practical tools and frameworks for understanding the root cause of any conflict are taught. In addition, the models give clear direction on how and what to do about it, giving us a roadmap for resolution.

Based on the critically acclaimed book, The Conflict Resolution Toolbox, author Gary Furlong teaches 8 core models and tools for diagnosing and addressing virtually any type of conflict that arises.

Conflict often escalates because we fail to understand the root causes before we try and resolve it. Not many of us would allow our doctor to start treating us before diagnosing the illness, yet we do this with conflict more often than not.

In this workshop, Gary teaches simple and practical tools and frameworks for understanding the root cause of any conflict. In addition, the models give clear direction on how and what to do about it, giving us a roadmap for resolution.

Key models taught in this workshop include:

  • Types of Conflict and their impact – the Circle of Conflict tool
  • Working with Unreasonable People – the Triangle of Satisfaction
  • The Dynamics of Trust – Learn how to build trust in any situation
  • Three Approaches to Resolution – The Stairway
  • Setting and Managing Boundaries – Dealing with recurrent conflict

Effective Conflict Management - Facilitating Change in the Workplace

Duration: One Day, Two Day
Target Audiences: Executives, Leaders, Managers, Supervisors

Conflict Management is rapidly becoming a fundamental skill set for managers in the organization. The costs of systemic conflict are very real. In human resource terms, costs include low productivity and morale, absenteeism and turnover. In customer service terms, these costs are seen as low customer retention and bad word-of-mouth. In the larger picture, costs can range from lost opportunity and grievances all the way to an unmotivated workforce and protracted strikes.

“Change causes conflict – People and organizations that effectively manage conflict achieve change faster, better, and more effectively.”

Conflict Management is rapidly becoming a fundamental skill set for managers in the organization. Good conflict management skills have broad application for Director, manager and even supervisor level employees.

The costs of systemic conflict are very real. In human resource terms, costs include low productivity and morale, absenteeism and turnover. In customer service terms, these costs are seen as low customer retention and bad word-of-mouth. In the larger picture, costs can range from lost opportunity and grievances all the way to an unmotivated workforce and protracted strikes.

Good conflict management skills have broad application for supervisor and manager level employees. Although systemic conflict can originate at any level, many of these challenges begin at or near the front line employees, and tend to grow in size and magnitude as they move through the organization.

This workshop is skill and experience based, and explores the following key topics in detail:

  • Understanding and Re-Framing Conflict
  • Conflict Analysis Skills
  • Core Conflict Management Skills
  • Active Listening Skills
  • Basic “Win/Win” Negotiating Skills

Interest Based Negotiation - Tools for Effective Collaboration with Workgroups and Clients

Duration: One Day, Two Day, Three Day
Target Audiences: Managers

Most people find negotiation very stressful. People face a dilemma: Either they stick up for themselves (and risk harming an important relationship) or they focus on preserving the valuable relationship and give up way too much, ironically harming the value of the relationship in the long run. There is a better way of understanding the task of negotiation that will both reduce stress and enhance effectiveness — Interest based or Collaborative Negotiation. This workshop explores the relationship among the three dynamic approaches to negotiation, along with the costs and impact of each. We examine ways of breaking deadlocks and dealing effectively with positional strategies.

Most people find negotiation very stressful. People face a dilemma: Either they stick up for themselves (and risk harming an important relationship) or they focus on preserving the valuable relationship and give up way to much, ironically harming the value of the relationship in the long run.

There is a better way of understanding the task of negotiation that will both reduce stress and enhance effectiveness — Interest based or Collaborative Negotiation.

Our Interest Based Negotiation workshop is aimed at those who work within interdependent relationships where achieving a win/win outcome is a necessity, not a luxury.

This workshop explores the relationship among the three dynamic approaches to negotiation, along with the costs and impact of each. We examine ways of breaking deadlocks and dealing effectively with positional strategies.

Participants will use case studies and simulations to practice negotiation skills and apply their learning using a number of straight forward tools for preparing for negotiation.

Topics include:

  • Asking and applying Powerful Questions
  • Uncovering Objective Criteria to Overcome Obstacles
  • Managing Angry or Aggressive Behaviour
  • Confidence-Building Measures for the Strained Relationship
  • Closing the Deal: Concluding Agreements That Will Last

Partnering - An Innovative Process for Building Strong Alliances

Duration: Two Day, Three Day
Target Audiences: Managers

Partnering is a powerful, structured teambuilding process that works to define and build relationships and preventatively manage conflict at the earliest possible stage. Partnering has proven itself uniquely successful in the litigation-prone construction industry by dramatically reducing claims filed and delivering on-time, on-budget projects that are satisfying and profitable. This program has developed to cover other areas. The participants learn to apply the Four Pillars for effective working relationships. This is done through hands-on application of the principles in detailed simulations and participants’ real world situations.

Partnering is a powerful, structured team-building process that works to define and build relationships and preventatively manage conflict at the earliest possible stage.

Partnering has proven itself uniquely successful in the litigation-prone construction industry by dramatically reducing claims filed and delivering on-time, on-budget projects that are satisfying and profitable.

Agree has developed and expanded the application of the Partnering process to cover other areas, such as:

  • Joint Ventures
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Inter-Departmental Conflict and Turf Wars
  • Employment Equity Plans
  • Union/Management Collective Bargaining

The participants learn to apply the Four Pillars for effective working relationships. This is done through hands-on application of the principles in detailed simulations and participants’ real world situations.

Speakers' Spotlight represents a wide variety of motivational speakers who present energetic talks that will inspire you and your staff to take action, be it in your personal lives, your workplace, or both. Read More

Conference Speakers

The Impact of a Speech Can Last Forever

Speakers' Spotlight represents a talented roster of some of the world's most extraordinary conference speakers. Our conference speakers' experience is as broad as it is deep, and they are all leaders in their fields, which include business, politics, sports, the media, academia, science, technology, culture and entertainment. Our conference speakers are thought-provoking and action-oriented and leave their audiences, whether speaking to a group of 10, 100, 1000 or more, enlightened and inspired.

Speakers' Spotlight's conference speakers frequently go the extra mile to be in touch with meeting planners - or even CEOs and presidents of companies and organizations themselves - in advance of their talks in order to tailor the message and hit on key points specific to the client's needs. Our conference speakers arrive on time, and will have conferred with you in advance to ensure they have everything they need in order to deliver an impactful speech. Our conference speakers frequently use well designed visuals, such as photos, slide shows, or video clips to bring other elements of interest into their talks, and our conference speakers frequently build-in time during their talks to allow for an audience Q&A, ensuring your staff has a chance to ask questions of the particular conference speaker they have just heard.

Some of our conference speakers in high demand include David Chilton, Bruce Croxon, General Rick Hillier, Clara Hughes, Ron James, Amanda Lang, Stephen Lewis, Patricia Lovett-Reid, Mark Kielburger, Kevin O'Leary, Jeff Rubin, and Margaret Trudeau.

Speakers' Spotlight is committed to serving the diverse needs of the corporations, organizations, companies, non-profit and government groups that contact us when seeking conference speakers, and we work hard to find the conference speakers that will best meet and exceed your needs. Whatever you require are when it comes to conference speakers, Speakers' Spotlight will work had to ensure that you get the conference speakers that are right for you.

Keynote Speakers

Speakers' Spotlight: The Key Ingredient To Finding Your Perfect Speakers

Speakers' Spotlight represents a vast roster of some of the world's most extraordinary keynote speakers in fields such as business, politics, sports, the media, academia, science, technology, culture and entertainment. Our keynote speakers run the gauntlet from spoken word poet Sarah Kay, to business guru Simon Sinek; from young athlete Olympic athlete Adam van Koeverden to the wrongly incarcerated former boxer Ruben Carter; from Margaret Trudeau to her son Justin Trudeau. Whatever your needs are for your keynote speakers, Speakers' Spotlight the keynote speakers that will fill them.

Our keynote speakers can adjust their talks to suit your needs, whether you're looking for an address by keynote speakers of 15, 30, or 45 minutes or more, our keynote speakers will confer with you before your engagement to ensure that their talks meet your needs. Our keynote speakers frequently adjust their speeches to include important talking points your organization or company needs emphasized, and will also often adjust content so it is individually tailored to your audience. For instance, if your audience is primarily those in the auto industry, our keynote speakers will draw on anecdotes from that industry in order to ensure their speech is relatable. Our keynote speakers are usually available in the days and weeks prior to your event to discuss your needs and go over any details (such as audio visual requirements) that arise.

Speakers' Spotlight is committed to meeting the different needs of the corporations, organizations, companies, non-profit and government groups that contact us when seeking keynote speakers, and we work hard to find the keynote speakers that will provide the best match for your event. Whatever you require are when it comes to keynote speakers, Speakers' Spotlight will work had to ensure that you get the keynote speakers that are right for you.

Motivational Speakers

Motivating the world

Speakers' Spotlight represents a wide variety of motivational speakers who present energetic talks that will inspire leaders and employees to take action, be it in their personal lives, their workplace, or both. Speakers' Spotlight's motivational speakers address everything from encouraging audiences to adapt healthy lifestyles to unifying groups to achieve professional goals. Our motivational speakers work with an astonishing range of companies in sectors such as science, technology, finance, advertising, and manufacturing, as well as professional organizations, cultural institutions, and non-profit entities and government, throughout North American and around the world.

Motivational speakers that work with Speakers' Spotlight frequently go the extra mile to be in touch with meeting planners - or even CEOs and presidents of companies and organizations themselves - in advance of their talks in order to tailor the message and hit on key points specific to the client's needs. Our motivational speakers arrive on time, work with the client in advance to ensure the proper set up of their audio/visual needs so that everything will go smoothly when they hit the stage, and often include Q&A sessions in their talks so that your staff can ask any questions of our motivational speakers that they may wish.

Using Speakers' Spotlight to book your motivational speakers obviously offers many advantages. You reap the benefits of our experience and expertise, as we can help you select the best motivational speakers for your motivational speakers' engagement.

Our motivational speakers include prominent motivational speakers - and many of them household names -- such as Roberta Bondar, Michael "Pinball" Clemons, Terry Evanshen, Scott Harrison, John Izzo, Simon Jackson, Craig Kielburger, Dr. Samantha Nutt, Simon Sinek, Severn Cullis-Suzuki and Brett Wilson.

Whatever your needs are when it comes to motivational speakers, Speakers' Spotlight has the motivational speakers that will both meet -- and exceed -- your expectations.

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