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Maria Simpson - Two Minute Training
Sometimes all it takes is a...

Two Minute Training

Two Minute Training is a free, weekly column focusing on management communications and conflict resolution I began writing in October 2003.


The articles are short (I time them before sending them) and narrowly focused, so they're really useful as part of trainings, as weekly distributions to teams or departments, and for your own professional development.

Maria Simpson, Ph.D.

My Mission

Like so many other people, I was uncomfortable with disagreement and conflict, especially at work. I had a Ph.D. in communications and all the theory I needed, but few of the crucial skills and techniques necessary to becoming an effective leader. I lost jobs because of this lack of skills.


And then I took my first mediation training. For me, it was transformative. In fact, it was an absolute revelation.


I knew that if I could move just three or four mediation techniques into the workplace, work would be so much more satisfying. 


And that has been my mission ever since -- to give people the skills and techniques of mediation to build on and use in their own lives.


My goal is your success. I hope the ideas in these articles serve you as well as they did me.


Have a wonderful, peaceful week.


 To access the articles, click on one of the main topics—Listening, Language, Organizational Conflict, or Management Communications—in the main menu or click on “Learn More” in one of the panels below to read the rest of the article and find links to more articles in this category.

And of course, let me know how you're using them.



Organizationa Conflict Specialist

New Additions



Please just listen

"Every time we fill in the gaps of our understanding with information we already have, we preclude ourselves from learning something new."

Actually, there’s no “just” about it. Listening is often the hardest thing to do, if you really want to do it right. I once worked with a group in an organization that had become so polarized that the necessary work was done when...



When Emotions Take Over the Conversation

"In all mediations, the key dynamic is respect for the needs, interests, and values each party demonstrates."

So many wonderful advances are being made in neuroscience these days, that it’s hard to keep up with what is relevant to conflict resolution and mediation, but I have found...

Organizational Conflict


"Maybe this isn’t the same old dispute that can be solved in the same old way."

A long time ago I knew a smart, funny, and immensely curious seven-year old who could use the word “albeit” in a sentence, correctly, but couldn’t get by in school because of ADHD. At that time we knew little about that condition, so we...

Management Communications


From Professional to Personal 

"First, there is The Donald (Trump)..."

He’s such a perfect example of how the professional can be reframed as personal, and the consequences of that reframing, that he’s hard to ignore even if...



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Maria is all about finding solutions to your work situations. The best approach to managing teams, the best methods of handling various personalities, the best way to be a success at work are all part of her coaching process. Maria is a catalyst for resolution and effectiveness, and I have personally found her experience to be invaluable. 

- SAP Technical and Security Specialist

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