Support Your Supervisor - How to Get to a Yes
Conflict transformation skills can often carry over into the workplace and may be covered by organizations' learning and professional development funds. If applicable, we encourage you to reach out to your employers and share the benefits of a SEEDS Alumni Network membership to potentially access funding for this purpose.
To get you started, we've created a basic template below for you to reference, use, and customize as needed to help your employer help you join our Alumni Network. We have left [placeholders] in areas that will require your personal touch.
Request for Conflict Transformation Learning Development Funds
Dear [SUPERVISOR’S NAME],
I write to request your approval to use learning development funds to join the SEEDS Alumni Network. SEEDS envisions a future in which all individuals, organizations, and communities recognize conflict as an opportunity for positive growth. SEEDS believes everyone should have the skills and capacity to engage in effective dialogue and promote peaceful resolution of interpersonal and intergroup challenges and conflicts.
I previously completed the [TRAINING NAME] and my certification allows me to join this global network of other SEEDS-certified practitioners in conflict resolution for movement leaders, facilitation, restorative justice, and mediation.
[ACKNOWLEDGEMENT IF APPLICABLE: Thank you for encouraging me to complete the SEEDS certification, and for providing past professional development funds to pay for the course. This certification training taught me valuable professional skills that have enhanced my performance at [ORGANIZATION or COMPANY NAME], and now qualify me to join the SEEDS Alumni Network where I can further develop these skills to serve myself and [ORGANIZATION or COMPANY NAME].]
In addition to individual coaching, access to a community resource library, and other membership benefits, I will also have the opportunity to network with professionals focused on the same challenges as [ORGANIZATION or COMPANY NAME] and learn competencies in the following areas:
Communication Skills: Active listening, empathizing, asking clarifying questions, checking assumptions, identifying possible solutions
Conflict Styles: Identifying and supporting with different conflict styles
Power, Culture, and Identity: How race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, education, and other factors impact conflicts and mediation
Conflict Resolution Skills: Fostering multi-partiality and respect, identifying and framing issues, facilitating communication and negotiation, dealing with power dynamics, biases, feelings, and assumptions
SEEDS Training Models: Access to SEEDS training model for conflict transformation skills for [facilitation/mediation/movement leaders/restorative justice/restorative justice in schools]
Practice Sessions: SEEDS staff-led training on peer practice sessions and extensive practice in small groups with peer coaching
Hands-on Practice: Time to practice new skills through role plays and experiential activities
Members who join at Tier 2 enjoy the benefit of organizational/company recognition on the SEEDS website. Members who join at Tier 1 enjoy recognition on the website, as well as on social media and in emails sent out to the SEEDS community, which consists of more than 2,000 practitioners committed to conflict transformation. Once I am a member, I would plan to share takeaways from Alumni Network events, coaching, and connections with my colleagues, including how we can implement concrete skills immediately internally to support a conflict positive workplace and externally with clients. Below are just a few testimonials of how others in my practice area have benefited from SEEDS' trainings.
[INCLUDE APPLICABLE TESTIMONIALS FROM BELOW]
I have [AMOUNT OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUNDING AVAILABLE]. I am requesting [$____] in professional development funds to join SEEDS Alumni Network at the [TIER LEVEL, OPTION LEVEL, PRICE].
Thank you for your consideration. If you have any other questions about the SEEDS Alumni Network or the membership options, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or view their page. I look forward to hearing from you.
Testimonials for Employers
To give your employer more reasons why your membership is beneficial, we've gathered some participant testimonials you can include in your letter. See below for the testimonials sorted by practice area.
“I had an experience recently where I had to take on a very difficult mediation situation and reached out informally to the SEEDS network. I spoke to 3 colleagues from the network and each were extremely helpful. I would love to have this be offered in a more formal structure, and would love to give back by offering support to others.”
“Given that mediation is a skill which needs practice, who better to do that with than those I learned it with. As a community of mediators, we would be stronger together than solo. We can build on what we all learned together.”
“When I found SEEDS… I loved hearing from other educators about what [challenges] they ran into; no words for the community space… We created a really special space, and it would be great to grow.”
“The trainers created a safe container to learn in and modeled effective communication. This made me feel safe to practice and make mistakes. It empowered my growth and caused me to feel more connection to the others in the class. I went on a personal journey and came out the other side feeling successful. Priceless!”
“The investment of energy and presence in the training; I don't want to let [it] go stale or lose its aliveness. I took the certification for a reason, and I’d like to hold myself to further embodiment of conflict resolution.”
“I would like to keep building from this training and keep connecting with folks to not only build relationships with folks, but also to keep connecting around resources and ways to dig deeper into this work!”
“This training has really improved my confidence in my ability to step into the facilitation role—I felt a lot of impostor syndrome in the past, but more concretely learning/structuring both things I already do and new skills helped a lot! I already found myself using the [foundational facilitation] skills when mediating and have a feeling I'll find lots of other places to carry these skills forward soon.”
“Now, I think more robustly about how I navigate co-planning and honoring the differences in my co-facilitators. I will also be thinking more about how to practice cultural humility in real time and being more adaptable to moment-by-moment changes as opportunities to be more sensitive to cultural differences arise.”