transformative communication

Dov Baron: Leadership and Loyalty Show


I recently had the privilege of presenting a pre-conference workshop, breakout session, and plenary session for the 2017 Kansas Conference on Poverty. It was a terrific experience sharing the message of compassionate accountability and leveraging personality differences to a passionate audience seeking to end poverty in our state.

I was pretty excited about making a positive impact until I heard Glenn Martin speak. Wow! Talk about putting things into perspective. Have you ever felt like others were making a bigger difference than you, like others were doing really important work compared to yours? Have you ever felt your efforts aren’t really that significant compared to others? I experience it from time to time, and here’s my story of a recent example. (more…)

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Five Most Popular Episodes On Nate’s Podcast

About a year ago I decided to start making podcasts as another way to share content that my readers and our clients were finding valuable. I made a few myself, and then began interviewing other thought-leaders about their perspective on leadership, communication, and healthy relationships. It’s been a wonderfully rewarding process and I look forward to continuing this.

In case you haven’t been following my podcast and want to give it a try, I’ve compiled a list of the five post popular episodes over the last year. Enjoy!

What is Compassionate Accountability?

In this interview I discuss the concept of Compassionate Accountability and how it can be used to improve relationships at work and home. Learn the difference between negative conflict (Drama) and positive conflict (Compassion), discover how positive conflict can be used to create amazing outcomes, and hear powerful case examples of these concepts in action.

Conflict Without Casualties Book Author Interview

I shares why I wrote the book, my relationship with the authors who have endorsed it, what’s unique about this book within the leadership field, and how it relates to Next Element’s Leading Out of Drama training and coaching system.

Leading Out of Drama

What does it mean to lead out of drama? I talk about the nature of conflict, how drama happens, and how everyone of us can make a choice to lead out of drama into Compassionate Accountability. What does drama cost organizations and individuals, and how can the concepts of Compassionate Accountability be put to work to make a difference in your life? Find answers to these questions and many more in this episode.

The Power of Questions: With Marshall Goldsmith

I interview Marshall Goldsmith, world renowned business educator and coach, on the power of questions. Marshall shares his wisdom around these topics:

  • What’s the difference between active and passive questions?
  • What are the Six Engaging Questions to start every day?
  • What are the top three questions we should ask ourselves when facing leadership challenges?
  • What are the most important things to focus on each day?

Making Better Apologies

Why do so many apologies fall flat? What makes a great apology. Using personal, real-life examples I outline a four-step process for making great apologies that balance compassion with accountability.
Copyright Next Element Consulting, 2017
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How To Communicate With People Who Make Silly Mistakes and Lose Confidence

This is part six in my six-part series on how to communicate with people in distress.

The problem

Some people in distress make silly mistakes that invite criticism and rejection. They second-guess their abilities and begin to believe they are not worthwhile, and it shows in their behavior. Whether they are putting themselves down or worrying about what bad thing might happen to them next, they expect to be hurt and rejected eventually. Consequently, they avoid making decisions, or make bad decisions that invite negative attention. (more…)

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How To Communicate With People Who Withdraw And Don’t Respond

This is part five in my six-part series on how to communicate with people in distress.

The problem

Some people in distress isolate and withdraw, turning inward and shutting down. They appear to be disconnected from reality and can become unresponsive in deep distress. They may start projects but not finish them, spinning their wheels for extended periods of time. They often forget to take care of themselves or their responsibilities, and don’t ask for help, so it’s easy to forget about them.  (more…)

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How To Communicate With People Who Blame Others And Accept No Responsibility

The problem

Some people in distress magically absolve themselves of all responsibility for their behavior and emotions. They blame everybody and everything for what happened, become blameless themselves, and resort to whining and complaining about how difficult and boring everything is. These people have excuses for everything. When things don’t go their way or someone tries to hold them accountable, they lash out vengefully as if it’s your fault they are in trouble. (more…)

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Compassionate Accountability Hits World Stage At ATD

thumb_IMG_5237_1024Returning as last year’s Newcomer of the Year, we didn’t know what to expect at this year’s Association for Talent Development International Conference and Expo in Atlanta, GA. We were committed to better focus, clearer branding, better materials, and even more emphasis on building high-quality relationships with our clients.

We were overwhelmed by the response!

Here’s what we experienced;

Companies all over the world want to build cultures of Compassionate Accountability.

They are yearning for a way to harness the positive potential in conflict.

They want more than theory and superficial prescriptions.

They want real strategies, real tools, and real behavior change.

Visitors to our booth got to try out our assessments, get live debriefing, and look through our training curriculum and support materials.

IMG_20170524_094336Using our experiential floor model, we demonstrated concepts “in action” and walked people through how to use compassionate accountability strategies to address their most pressing conflict communication challenges.

There was no down-time at our booth – we were busy continuously, keeping our team of eight on their feet! Part of it was that people wanted to go deep, spend some time, and really get to know our models and systems. Part of it, we guessed, was the intuitive appeal and attraction of conflict without casualties.


Nate’s workshop, Conflict Without Casualties, was full and the response was tremendous.

If you were at ATD and visited our booth or are part of our Next Element extended family, THANK YOU for your support and passion. If you didn’t make it and want to join the movement to transform negative drama into compassionate accountability, we’d love to hear from you.

See you next year in SanDiego!

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How To Communicate With People Who Manipulate And Create Negative Drama

The problem

In distress some people become major drama kings and queens. They triangulate, manipulate, and turn the tables to create negative drama. It seems they are constantly clamoring for the limelight while stepping on others along the way. They create smoke-screens and diversions to avoid responsibility and somehow manage to escape getting caught. They develop a narcissistic attitude that they are above the law. (more…)

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Apology Accepted, United

Today I received a personal apology from United Airlines’ CEO, Oscar Munoz. If you have flown United, you probably got one too.

I frequently fly United, and was shocked by the recent event of a passenger being forcibly removed from an overbooked flight. Following that I was disappointed by United’s response to the event. I’ll admit, I’ve fantasized about what I would have done in that situation and what advice I’d give United if they asked.

The letter I got today is what I’ve been waiting for. A real apology. It uses the principles of Compassionate Accountability, and almost exactly adheres to the four steps for an effective apology I described in a post on the topic last year. Here are the steps, what Mr. Munoz said to me, and my reactions.

Step 1: Share your feelings

“We can never say we are sorry enough for what occurred, but we also know meaningful actions will speak louder than words.”

I appreciate this, and I would really like to hear how you, Oscar, actually feel about this. Are you embarrassed? Ashamed? Anxious? Sad? Get honest and transparent with me.

Step 2: Identify your behavior and how it caused harm

Earlier this month, we broke that trust when a passenger was forcibly removed from one of our planes….It happened because our corporate policies were placed ahead of our shared values. Our procedures got in the way of our employees doing what they know is right.”

Thank you. This is important because if you don’t know what you did, why it happened, and how your behavior caused harm, you can’t make meaningful change.

Step 3: Make it right

“..we will no longer ask law enforcement to remove customers from a flight and customers will not be required to give up their seat once on board.”

“We will increase incentives for voluntary rebooking up to $10,000 and will be eliminating the red tape on permanently lost bags with a new “no-questions-asked” $1,500 reimbursement policy.”

Specific actions that show you intend to change your behavior are critical. Thank you United.

Step 4: Be receptive

“I have found myself reflecting more broadly on the role we play and the responsibilities we have to you and the communities we serve.”

I’m glad this experience is inviting United to step back and reflect. Even better, I’d like to know what’s going on with you personally? Any transformation on the inside that would give us confidence you are changing for the better? I would have also appreciated an invitation to share my feelings, ideas, and beliefs about what United can do to improve. A real apology reactively AND proactively takes into account the other person’s feelings and experience.

My wish for United and Mr. Munoz is that this experience has helped them recognize that no matter how big you get, you are still dealing with real people who have real feelings. This is a relationship business.

Trust is built by answering two questions every day, in every interaction.

Am safe with you?

Can count on you?

I will fly United again, and I look forward to struggling with you, Mr. Munoz, to turn this mistake into a stepping stone for success.

Read my entire letter from Mr. Munoz

Check out this fun site analyzing apologies.

Conflict without Casualties—Mobile, Tablet and PrintJoin the Compassionate Accountability movement with my new book, Conflict Without Casualties.

Inside…the template for making a better apology.

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My Manifesto For Change. Conflict Isn’t The Problem.

It’s not surprising that when I Google the word ‘conflict,’ the terms ‘resolution,’ ‘mediation,’ ‘management,’ and ‘reduction’ pop up. All of these words convey an important message about our association with conflict; that it needs to be managed, reduced, resolved and mediated.

The problem with conflict mediation, conflict management, and conflict reduction is that each one positions conflict as the culprit.

Whether intended or not, these labels and much of the methods used in the conflict and communication fields reinforce the misconception that if we can remove the conflict, things will be better.

When we mediate, manage, or reduce the conflict, we necessarily reduce the energy available for productive problem-solving. When we respect the tension and use that energy to create instead of destroy, the results can be transformative.

Read my entire manifesto at In it you will discover,

  • The Four Myths of conflict
  • My definitions of drama and compassion
  • The Compassion Cycle, a model for conflict without casualties
  • The unwritten rules of drama-based cultures
  • The 10 Rules of Engagement for Compassion-Based Cultures

Read my manifesto

Copyright Next Element Consulting, 2017

Conflict without CasualtiesGet the book that’s starting a movement!

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Conflict without Casualties—Mobile, Tablet and Print

Conflict Without Casualties: Q&A With Nate Regier

Conflict without Casualties—Mobile, Tablet and PrintOn April 24 my new book, Conflict Without Casualties: A Field Guide for Leading with Compassionate Accountability, officially launches worldwide in paperback, e-book, and audio-book. It’s been an amazing journey so far. I’ve been doing a lot of interviews, speaking engagements, and guest blogs so I’ve had plenty of opportunity to share the message of compassionate accountability and to answer questions about the book. Here are some of them. (more…)

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