Barb Barnes is an amazingly gifted, generous and talented human being. She is unusually both smart and kind. She is naturally empathetic, extremely insightful, profoundly curious, intelligent, energetic, an inspiring coach and facilitator, and a clear thinker. She is deeply ethical and consistently open-hearted, which makes her an outstanding mediator. She has a deeply inquisitive mind and a generous personality and I recommend her highly.
– Kenneth Cloke, author of The Crossroads of Conflict: A Journey into the Heart of Dispute Resolution (2nd edition) 2018.
Barb Barnes has a gift. She offers a grounded approach in guiding people of all ages toward clear, empathetic communication. Barb has come into our school on numerous occasions and worked with our staff, students and parents. With each visit she brings clearly articulated strategies that can be implemented immediately. She has helped our school community learn to communicate with care. When you hear people mediate difficult situations at Cottonwood, you can see Barb’s work in action. We will invite Barb in to work with our community year after year!
– Christopher Taleff and Sara Casey Taleff, Cottonwood Agile Learning Center
Barbara supported our group in having much needed and difficult conversations. Her expertise and compassion allowed our group to cover stuck patterns and begin envisioning new horizons and possibilities. Her work is transformative. I’m deeply grateful.
– A.J. Johnston
When we called Barb at Brave Conversations, we had pretty much given up hope that our team could continue to work together. She just has a way of helping get to the meat of what’s really going on and, why it is so hard to talk about. The process was not always comfortable, but we always felt safe. In addition, the skills we learned have continued to grow us in ways we didn’t expect. We even use them with our families and friends when we need to collaborate or get to the bottom of a conflict. One more thing, Barb’s style is not like others we’ve tried, there’s no “one size fits all – kumbaya” kind of approach. Instead, what she did with us was unique to our needs and even to our lingo and pace of integrating work.
– T.K. Executive Director, Financial Management Firm, Northwestern United States
Barb worked with three staff members on a very delicate situation that could have been very explosive and negative for our organization. I’ve asked to keep our firm confidential but wanted to share that her skills and compassion and clarity were exactly what we needed. The issue included sexual harassment and a possible toxic workplace claim. When she finished, all the members of the group (not just the three having the conflict) had a better understanding of each other and even better, the agreements they made had measurable goals and consequences if they were not met. This clarity made it possible to move forward and rely on the staff members again because they had become very clear about their roles in the disputes. We also have ways to prevent these kinds of problems from being ignored until they explode and cause harm to our teams and clients. The cost of this contract was worth its weight in gold.
– HR Director, multi-faceted, international consulting organization
The comparison our team makes when describing our work with Barb Barnes, of Brave Conversation, is that it feels like finding sacred ground, touching the earth after chaos and fear take hold in one’s being. We call her Mamma Tree, because the experience of working with her feels absolutely safe and rooted in deep wisdom. Even though some of the work we did with her was hard to untangle and challenged our own personal patterns with conflict; there was so much personal growth and learning that came through the process, which gave a sense of authentic and embodied hope regarding stuck personal patterns. It was as though these challenges we came to her for became this exciting and beautiful process of personal discovery that could be applied to all relationships and communication. The lessons and skills in compassion, boundaries and communication we learned from Barb are so valuable and useful to us both personally and professionally as a team. Barb remains a valuable resource for us as a team and when working through our own personal conflicts. The belief that Barb has in our own intrinsic bravery when navigating unclear waters, has become an embodied way of seeing more possibilities in our lives. We are forever grateful to have Barb work with our team.
– Jamie Anesi, LCPC and Co-Owner of The Lotus (Wellness Studio) in Helena, MT