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Print For more than two decades Berney Associates, which specializes in organization development and management training, has been working with blue-chip companies and prestigious organizations to help them with organizational change, team building, conflict resolution and interests-based negotiation. Dr. Liz Berney is the president of the company. Amongst her clients have been the American Red Cross, AT&T, the IRS, the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts and the US House of Representatives.

Holder of a BA in Psychology from Yale and an MA and Ph.D. Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland, Dr. Berney earned a Psychology Award at Yale and a Teaching Excellence Award at Maryland while still a graduate student. She has taught on the Accelerated MBA Program at George Washington University, on Executive Programs at the University of Maryland's School of Business and Management and for the Office of Continuing and Extended Education at the University of Maryland. For five years she directed a program that she herself developed, the Organization Development Program at Georgetown University. She has also taught management courses for the American Management Association and was a tenure track Professor of Organizational Psychology at George Mason University.

One of Dr. Berney's specific areas of interest and expertise is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the ways in which it can be applied to leadership, teams and organizational change. Using this indicator she has worked with many high-level clients including federal agencies to improved teamwork and workplace relationships.

Full Profile

Dr. Berney is President of Berney Associates, an organization development and management training company. Berney Associates consults to organizations on organizational change, team building, conflict resolution and interests-based negotiation for the past 20 years.

Selected clients include: Agency for International Development, American Red Cross, American Resort Development Association, AT & T, Fannie Mae, Internal Revenue Service, International Dairy Food Association, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Marriott Corporation, MCI Telecommunications Corporation, National Institutes of Health, Public Welfare Foundation, Raytheon Corporation, State of the Art, Inc., U.S. Departments of Commerce, Education, Treasury, Veteran Affairs; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. House of Representatives.

Dr. Berney has taught for the Accelerated MBA Program at George Washington University, Executive Programs at the University of Maryland’s School of Business and Management, and for the Office of Continuing and Extended Education at the University of Maryland. She developed and for five years, directed, the Organization Development Certificate Program at Georgetown University. In addition, she has taught management courses for the American Management Association. She was also a tenure track Professor of Organizational Psychology at George Mason University.

Dr. Berney received a B.A. in Psychology from Yale University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland. She earned a Teaching Excellence Award as a graduate student from the University of Maryland and a Psychology Award at Yale University.

She has specific expertise in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and its application to leadership, teams and organizational change and conflict. She has worked with groups including Tropicana, Quaker Oats, Marriott; a variety of national associations; many federal agencies and foundations using the Myers Briggs to enhance intrapersonal, interpersonal, group and intergroup communication and effectiveness.

Liz also facilitates group meetings and retreats and works with many scientists and technical experts from all over the world. She worked with malaria experts at the Gates Foundation and H1N1 experts at the National Institutes of Health.

She also does a great deal of public speaking at local and national meetings and has spoken for groups including: National Council for State Housing Agencies, Thomson Prometric, Dun & Bradstreet, Coca Cola, Fannie Mae, the U.S. House of Representatives, Baldrige Quality group and Starwood Hotels.

Liz Berney ON Speaking Back to top


I want people to leave feeling energized and inspired to make changes that help them, their teams and their organizations.

SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn/take away from your presentations?

BERNEY: A couple of things: I want people to leave feeling energized and inspired to make changes that help them, their teams and their organizations. I want them to understand current best practices and the research around what we know works. Finally, I want them to gain concrete strategies that they will apply pronto!

SPEAKING.COM: What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

BERNEY: I always tailor my talks to the needs and the culture of the audience, because it makes all the difference. Once I clarify what the organization wants to achieve as a result of the talk (and I ask for concrete examples), I ask to speak to a sampling of folks that will be attending to learn what is on their minds. I also do research on the industry and its practices so I have a good enough understanding of what participants do and how I can be helpful to them.

SPEAKING.COM: Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?

BERNEY: Well there was that one plane I missed a plane by going to the wrong airport (DC area has three), which resulted on my driving on dark, windy, barren roads to Dartmouth College at 2 in the morning!

Seriously though, there are many memorable ones. I spoke for an international association through Wharton Exec Ed (University of Pennsylvania) in Budapest for international leaders in which we facilitated an actual organizational change simulation with them. It was incredibly powerful to see them dealing in the moment with the change; then, we helped them integrate their learnings with my talk on Change.

Ultimately, I think great speaking is about: (1) knowing your audience and their challenges, (2) engaging and inspiring them, (3) having interaction with them rather than lecturing at them and, (4) keeping it lively, upbeat, practical and real. I use many stories from 25 years of consulting in their particular industries as well as case studies, skill practices, demonstrations and panels. It can’t be about me – it has to be about them!

Given that all people need to listen, negotiate, play on teams, live with others, give and receive feedback, motivate and be motivated, my content applies to most everyone.

SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

BERNEY: Honestly, people are people. Given that all people need to listen, negotiate, play on teams, live with others, give and receive feedback, motivate and be motivated, my content applies to most everyone. That being said, I find that I work a lot with people who are different from me – engineers, scientists, IT specialists, doctors, lawyers, and accountants, for example.

Since I want to impart new ways of thinking and practices that will help make a difference at work, I like to work with these groups, many of whom were not afforded the opportunity to learn about my topics. How many engineers had training in learning to team? Doctors in active listening? Lawyers in giving and receiving feedback? You get my drift!

SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?

BERNEY: Since I only cover topics close to my heart, I can’t say I have any favorites. I love introducing the MBTI to folks because it can honestly save work and non-work relationships. What’s most important to me is matching the topic to the client’s need.

SPEAKING.COM: What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements?

BERNEY: When I was a full-time tenure track professor, I loved the doctoral students who worked all day and took classes at night. They had a zeal about them. They wanted to take what they learned and put it to work at work. I realized I could continue “teaching” and help people at work through speaking more than teaching. Once I had that realization, I left academia and started my speaking, facilitation and coaching business.

I always have a plan and do my homework to understand the group...but then I work with the energy in the moment to address the audience’s greatest concerns.

SPEAKING.COM: How do you keep your audience engaged and actively listening during your keynotes? Do you use case studies, personal stories and/or in your speeches?

BERNEY: All of the above – no matter the size, I make the presentation interactive. I had one keynote of 300 people where I put 6 people up on the stage, gave them microphones and interviewed them. It wasn’t planned. Someone in the audience voiced a question, germane to the topic, that garnered a lot of energy in the crowd and it was clear there were differing opinions, so I asked for representatives of the different opinions and asked the rest of the audience to question them directly. I then integrated panel responses with the central points of my talk. I always have a plan and do my homework to understand the group (through interviewing and research) but then I work with the energy in the moment to address the audience’s greatest concerns.

SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you've helped clients achieve?

BERNEY: I think my proudest accomplishment was facilitation work I did at the Gates Foundation. I helped a group of international leaders in the field of malaria with competing interests and needs come together and agree on a future direction for the very important field of malaria.

For The Society of Women Engineers and BP, I helped women engineers identify strategies to enhance their work effectiveness; many struggled in a primarily male work environment.

At Dun and Bradstreet, I provided listening and feedback techniques tailored to different Myers Briggs personality types. For the Society of Actuaries, I provided multiple talks on areas that were fairly new to many actuaries: how to gain input from their folks, how to tailor their feedback to different personality types, and how to collaborate with others. At PepsiCo, I helped leaders learn concrete strategies to team more effectively with their peers in different departments.


Liz Berney Speaker Videos Back to top

Demo Video


Dr. Berney shows her audience how to manage change and to deal with difference. She says, “The analogy I want to give you, is imagine you're in a brand-new couple, you just started dating someone, and everything about them of course is wonderful, and everything is in common, you like the same things… what stage are we in? Honeymoon! Does it last forever? No! However, to become a high performing couple, what do you have to do? You have to manage your differences."

She explains how difference and its management is actually a positive thing: “If you ever hear a couple saying we don't argue, then danger, danger! Think about groupthink, when groups all agree very quickly… the Vietnam War, the Cuban missile crisis, danger, danger! You want conflict, you want different perceptions, you want different beliefs, and you want dialogue, so that they become functional rather than dysfunctional."

Continuing her theme, she explains just why difference is important in teamwork: “The differences have to get out on the table, like that old model which actually has empirical support for groups, Tuchman: groups have to perform, then they have to storm, they are not going to become high performing until they learn to manage their differences. What we're talking about here is how to manage the differences, there is a functional and dysfunctional way to manage your differences."


Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Dr. Liz Berney offers a series of presentations that employ her expertise gained in an illustrious career guiding organization development and management training. She can explain exactly how office relationships work, and how you can leverage them for both your advantage and the advantage of others. She explains the reasons for conflict, with customers, employees, colleagues or bosses, and shows you how to tailor your communication strategies in order to minimize clashes.

As a management expert and organizational psychologist, Dr. Berney can explain what motivates people and how you can encourage them to achieve at the very highest level. She can also show you how to manage challenging people effectively and minimize the effect of challenging behaviors.

Dr. Berney can take you through a checklist of what makes a phenomenal team and help you to discover any errors you may be making which are preventing your team from being truly effective. She can also guide you through the steps needed to acquire the emotional intelligence to be an effective leader, and show you how to thrive through continuous change.

Creating Win-Wins at Work
Win-Win Negotiation is the only kind of negotiation that solves problems while building relationships. Learn the key tenets of Win-Win negotiation including: getting to interests, identifying options, developing a BATNA. Learn how to think outside of the box & move from lose-lose to win-win. Liz demonstrates how to use Win-Win negotiation to get a raise, a new job, work out a problem with a customer or colleague.

Don′t Speak Louder -- Just Make Sense!
Personality differences are one of the major reasons conflict occurs at work, sometimes resulting in turnover. Learn specific strategies for relating to customers, employees, colleagues and bosses more effectively at work. Learn how to tailor your communication strategies with those that are different from you, how to influence and persuade and how to have difficult conversations.

From Pain to Gain: Leveraging Conflict for Advantage
Is your conflict style so accommodating that everyone takes advantage of you? Do people steer clear from you because you are too combative? Do you find yourself stuck in the middle as the peacemaker all too often? Take a mini-assessment to help identify your style. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of your style and which conflict style works best when.

From Slug to Star: Motivating People at Work
Learn what motivates different people and how to help direct someone′s passion, energy and skills. From her years consulting and teaching as an organizational psychologist, Liz will explain what motivates people and how to mentor and coach people to reach their personal best. Using anecdotes from her consulting and mini-case scenarios, Liz will show you how to inspire the best in your employee, colleague, customer, even your boss!

Managing Challenging People Before They Manage You!
The workplace is filled with different kinds of challenging people, or at least challenging behaviors, with which one must deal. Cranky customers, controlling employers, uncooperative colleagues and passive aggressive subordinates are only a few examples. Learn the different types of challenging behavior and tailored strategies to address these challenges. Challenging people will never go away but their behavior can be managed effectively with the right skills!

Phenomenal Teams: What Makes Them Tick?
Why are some teams high performing while others are mediocre at best? Learn what it takes to be a top performing team. Take the "Berney checklist" to see if your team is on its way to success. Learn how to address the specific challenges of cross-functional teams with unique tactics to raise these teams to top performance.

The Emotionally Effective Leader
In this day and age, emotional intelligence can make the difference between good performance and top performance. Learn the key components of emotional intelligence, and how you can become more emotionally intelligent. Learn how to listen actively, be curious and come to win-win solutions.

Thriving in Continuous Change
Whether at work or at home, we live in a time of constant change. In order to continually adapt to change, Liz teaches how to navigate the high and low waters of change. Learn specific strategies for managing feelings of loss, isolation and anxiety throughout the change process. Learn how to find opportunities for personal and career growth and development during times of change. Leaders, find out how to respond most effectively to staff struggling with change.



Liz Berney Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    “Liz Berney is definitely a speaker/trainer for our times. In her address to the entire national leadership of NCSHA, she energized the audience, helped them reexamine their role in leadership, teamwork, and office dynamics in today’s fast-paced society.…With Liz’s keen insight and funny, fast-paced delivery, the time sped by. Liz Berney is one of those speakers who can make you laugh, make you cry, but most of all, make you want to be better at what you do.”
    Cynthia Adcock, Director of Marketing and Communications,
    National Council of State Housing Agencies

    “It is my observation that Dr. Berney is high energy, humorous, and entertaining as well. She has an excellent ability to ‘read’ her audience and engage their interests and enthusiasm and be responsible to their needs. Dr. Berney’s personality is such that people are drawn to her warmth and vivaciousness. I can honestly say that the success of the Mentoring Program at NIST is due in large part to Dr. Berney’s presentation skills.”
    Rhoda Levin, Former Chair, NIST Mentoring Program
    National Institute of Standards and Technology

    “Liz is an engaging and entertaining trainer and speaker, and more importantly, she is extremely knowledgeable in her field. We received positive comments from every staff member about her sessions. I think it is most revealing however, that our staff continues to reference points/comments/suggestions that Liz made during her sessions over a year after her sessions.”
    Karen Titlow, Director of Operations
    The Leapfrog Group

    “Liz’s training skills are excellent. She is able to get information across in an understandable and entertaining fashion. In addition, Liz checks in with people individually and as a group to ensure the message is clear. Liz is very good at group interaction exercises. I have seen her take a group who appears not to be interested in a particular exercise – encourage participation – with the net product being strong participation and buy-in. This is where Liz truly excels”. 
    Helen Noble, Director, Workforce Relations Division
    National Institutes of Health

    “While our staff can be critical, they described Liz as ‘excellent’, ‘energetic’, ‘enthusiastic’, ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘very approachable’. Likewise, they spoke highly of the ‘interactive exercises’ and the ‘variety of training approaches’ that kept the day moving along. Liz made the day both productive and valuable through her high energy, positive attitude, and tremendous subject knowledge and facilitation skills.”
    Jamie Ambrosi, Acting Deputy Director
    Baldrige National Quality Program


    Partial Client List:

    ABB, Inc.
    American Management Systems
    AT & T
    Banyan Global
    Booz, Allen & Hamilton
    BP
    Broit Light
    (C) Management Services
    Cal-Amforge
    Cherry Road Technologies
    Christopher Consultants
    Cisco
    Clark Construction
    Coca Cola
    Commvault
    Crestline Hotels
    DAI
    Davies Consulting
    DBC Public Relations
    Dun & Bradstreet
    Edgewood Realty Corporation
    EG&G Technical Services
    ESAB Welding and Cutting
    Fannie Mae
    Global Risk Capital
    HOK Architecture
    Hughes Network Systems
    ICF Macro
    LLE Translation Services
    Lockheed Martin
    Logicon
    Marriott Corporation
    MCI
    MedImmune
    Merritt Group
    MITRE Corporation
    MTI Advantage
    Northrop Grumman
    Quaker Oats
    Raytheon
    Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren
    Re/Max Allegiance Location Services
    Savantage Solutions
    Shannon & Manch
    Sheraton Hotels
    Strategic Management
    Tauri Group
    Tech Data
    Tropicana
    We Localize
    Westin Hotels
    Dartmouth College, Office of Alumni
    Georgetown University, School of Summer & Continuing Education
    George Washington University, School of Business
    John Hopkins University
    Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance
    American Association of Museums
    American Association of Oriental Medicine
    American Institute for Cancer Research
    American Institute of Architects
    American Podiatric Medical Association
    American Psychiatric Association
    American Resort Development Association
    Society of Women Engineers
    American Red Cross
    Asia Foundation
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
    Congressional Management Foundation
    Daughters of the American Revolution
    United States Army
    Central Intelligence Agency
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Congressman Wexler′s Office
    Department of Agriculture
    Department of Commerce
    Department of Education
    Department of Health and Human Services
    Department of Homeland Security
    Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Department of Labor
    Department of Treasury
    Department of Veteran Affairs
    Environmental Protection Agency
    House of Representatives
    Internal Revenue Service
    Library of Congress
    NASA
    National Institutes of Health
    National Park Service
    United States Navy
    United States Senate
    Smithsonian
    World Bank




Exclusive Interview with Liz Berney

Even when the conflict looks, smells and feels like it is ALL the other person’s fault, we have contributed to the conflict in some fashion. Only by recognizing our contribution, can we identify and apply strategies of conflict resolution.
In this interview, Dr. Liz Berney discusses:
    • The common causes of conflict in the workplace.
    • Strategies for seemingly impossible negotiations.
    • How understanding personality differences can turn dysfunctional conflict into constructive opportunities .

* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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Liz Berney needs 18 vote(s) to make it into the Top 25 speakers on Speaking.com!


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    “Liz Berney is definitely a speaker/trainer for our times. In her address to the entire national leadership of NCSHA, she energized the audience, helped them reexamine their role in leadership, teamwork, and office dynamics in today’s fast-paced society.…With Liz’s keen insight and funny, fast-paced delivery, the time sped by. Liz Berney is one of those speakers who can make you laugh, make you cry, but most of all, make you want to be better at what you do.”
    Cynthia Adcock, Director of Marketing and Communications,
    National Council of State Housing Agencies

    “It is my observation that Dr. Berney is high energy, humorous, and entertaining as well. She has an excellent ability to ‘read’ her audience and engage their interests and enthusiasm and be responsible to their needs. Dr. Berney’s personality is such that people are drawn to her warmth and vivaciousness. I can honestly say that the success of the Mentoring Program at NIST is due in large part to Dr. Berney’s presentation skills.”
    Rhoda Levin, Former Chair, NIST Mentoring Program
    National Institute of Standards and Technology

    “Liz is an engaging and entertaining trainer and speaker, and more importantly, she is extremely knowledgeable in her field. We received positive comments from every staff member about her sessions. I think it is most revealing however, that our staff continues to reference points/comments/suggestions that Liz made during her sessions over a year after her sessions.”
    Karen Titlow, Director of Operations
    The Leapfrog Group

    “Liz’s training skills are excellent. She is able to get information across in an understandable and entertaining fashion. In addition, Liz checks in with people individually and as a group to ensure the message is clear. Liz is very good at group interaction exercises. I have seen her take a group who appears not to be interested in a particular exercise – encourage participation – with the net product being strong participation and buy-in. This is where Liz truly excels”. 
    Helen Noble, Director, Workforce Relations Division
    National Institutes of Health

    “While our staff can be critical, they described Liz as ‘excellent’, ‘energetic’, ‘enthusiastic’, ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘very approachable’. Likewise, they spoke highly of the ‘interactive exercises’ and the ‘variety of training approaches’ that kept the day moving along. Liz made the day both productive and valuable through her high energy, positive attitude, and tremendous subject knowledge and facilitation skills.”
    Jamie Ambrosi, Acting Deputy Director
    Baldrige National Quality Program


    Partial Client List:

    ABB, Inc.
    American Management Systems
    AT & T
    Banyan Global
    Booz, Allen & Hamilton
    BP
    Broit Light
    (C) Management Services
    Cal-Amforge
    Cherry Road Technologies
    Christopher Consultants
    Cisco
    Clark Construction
    Coca Cola
    Commvault
    Crestline Hotels
    DAI
    Davies Consulting
    DBC Public Relations
    Dun & Bradstreet
    Edgewood Realty Corporation
    EG&G Technical Services
    ESAB Welding and Cutting
    Fannie Mae
    Global Risk Capital
    HOK Architecture
    Hughes Network Systems
    ICF Macro
    LLE Translation Services
    Lockheed Martin
    Logicon
    Marriott Corporation
    MCI
    MedImmune
    Merritt Group
    MITRE Corporation
    MTI Advantage
    Northrop Grumman
    Quaker Oats
    Raytheon
    Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren
    Re/Max Allegiance Location Services
    Savantage Solutions
    Shannon & Manch
    Sheraton Hotels
    Strategic Management
    Tauri Group
    Tech Data
    Tropicana
    We Localize
    Westin Hotels
    Dartmouth College, Office of Alumni
    Georgetown University, School of Summer & Continuing Education
    George Washington University, School of Business
    John Hopkins University
    Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance
    American Association of Museums
    American Association of Oriental Medicine
    American Institute for Cancer Research
    American Institute of Architects
    American Podiatric Medical Association
    American Psychiatric Association
    American Resort Development Association
    Society of Women Engineers
    American Red Cross
    Asia Foundation
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
    Congressional Management Foundation
    Daughters of the American Revolution
    United States Army
    Central Intelligence Agency
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Congressman Wexler′s Office
    Department of Agriculture
    Department of Commerce
    Department of Education
    Department of Health and Human Services
    Department of Homeland Security
    Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Department of Labor
    Department of Treasury
    Department of Veteran Affairs
    Environmental Protection Agency
    House of Representatives
    Internal Revenue Service
    Library of Congress
    NASA
    National Institutes of Health
    National Park Service
    United States Navy
    United States Senate
    Smithsonian
    World Bank


Creating Win-Wins at Work
Win-Win Negotiation is the only kind of negotiation that solves problems while building relationships. Learn the key tenets of Win-Win negotiation including: getting to interests, identifying options, developing a BATNA. Learn how to think outside of the box & move from lose-lose to win-win. Liz demonstrates how to use Win-Win negotiation to get a raise, a new job, work out a problem with a customer or colleague.

Don′t Speak Louder -- Just Make Sense!
Personality differences are one of the major reasons conflict occurs at work, sometimes resulting in turnover. Learn specific strategies for relating to customers, employees, colleagues and bosses more effectively at work. Learn how to tailor your communication strategies with those that are different from you, how to influence and persuade and how to have difficult conversations.

From Pain to Gain: Leveraging Conflict for Advantage
Is your conflict style so accommodating that everyone takes advantage of you? Do people steer clear from you because you are too combative? Do you find yourself stuck in the middle as the peacemaker all too often? Take a mini-assessment to help identify your style. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of your style and which conflict style works best when.

From Slug to Star: Motivating People at Work
Learn what motivates different people and how to help direct someone′s passion, energy and skills. From her years consulting and teaching as an organizational psychologist, Liz will explain what motivates people and how to mentor and coach people to reach their personal best. Using anecdotes from her consulting and mini-case scenarios, Liz will show you how to inspire the best in your employee, colleague, customer, even your boss!

Managing Challenging People Before They Manage You!
The workplace is filled with different kinds of challenging people, or at least challenging behaviors, with which one must deal. Cranky customers, controlling employers, uncooperative colleagues and passive aggressive subordinates are only a few examples. Learn the different types of challenging behavior and tailored strategies to address these challenges. Challenging people will never go away but their behavior can be managed effectively with the right skills!

Phenomenal Teams: What Makes Them Tick?
Why are some teams high performing while others are mediocre at best? Learn what it takes to be a top performing team. Take the "Berney checklist" to see if your team is on its way to success. Learn how to address the specific challenges of cross-functional teams with unique tactics to raise these teams to top performance.

The Emotionally Effective Leader
In this day and age, emotional intelligence can make the difference between good performance and top performance. Learn the key components of emotional intelligence, and how you can become more emotionally intelligent. Learn how to listen actively, be curious and come to win-win solutions.

Thriving in Continuous Change
Whether at work or at home, we live in a time of constant change. In order to continually adapt to change, Liz teaches how to navigate the high and low waters of change. Learn specific strategies for managing feelings of loss, isolation and anxiety throughout the change process. Learn how to find opportunities for personal and career growth and development during times of change. Leaders, find out how to respond most effectively to staff struggling with change.


Demo Video


Dr. Berney shows her audience how to manage change and to deal with difference. She says, “The analogy I want to give you, is imagine you're in a brand-new couple, you just started dating someone, and everything about them of course is wonderful, and everything is in common, you like the same things… what stage are we in? Honeymoon! Does it last forever? No! However, to become a high performing couple, what do you have to do? You have to manage your differences."

She explains how difference and its management is actually a positive thing: “If you ever hear a couple saying we don't argue, then danger, danger! Think about groupthink, when groups all agree very quickly… the Vietnam War, the Cuban missile crisis, danger, danger! You want conflict, you want different perceptions, you want different beliefs, and you want dialogue, so that they become functional rather than dysfunctional."

Continuing her theme, she explains just why difference is important in teamwork: “The differences have to get out on the table, like that old model which actually has empirical support for groups, Tuchman: groups have to perform, then they have to storm, they are not going to become high performing until they learn to manage their differences. What we're talking about here is how to manage the differences, there is a functional and dysfunctional way to manage your differences."


Constructive Conflict with Dr. Liz Berney

By Liz Berney

Dr. Liz Berney is the president of Berney Associates, which specializes in organization development and management training. For over two decades she has used her expertise in organizational and industrial psychology to help blue-chip companies and prestigious organizations with organizational change, team building, conflict resolution and interests-based negotiation. Her impressive list of clients includes American ... more

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