Barry Chersky

collaborates with organizations to create and maintain respectful and inclusive work and learning environments. For nearly 30 years he has specialized in preventing and resolving workplace harassment, discrimination and bias, providing services to over 200 organizations in both the public and private sectors. His clients range from non-profits, to educational institutions, to multinational corporations. Using an interactive process of engaged dialogue, sharing information and perceptions, he assists organizational leaders, Human Resources professionals, management personnel, employees, faculty and students in finding avenues for building understanding and respect.

Values-Driven Services

Barry Chersky provides services that are informed by deeply held values and beliefs which determine
not only what work he does, but also how and why he does it. Those key values include:

A Social Justice Framework

which acknowledges the inherent inequities that advantage some while disadvantaging others based on social identity—such as race, gender, socioeconomic class, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation and religion. Social position is an important element in understanding why and how people perceive things differently. These inequities manifest in power imbalances at all levels in society—from organizational systems to interpersonal relationships—and are often expressed as bias, prejudice, differential treatment, discrimination and harassment.

Dialectical Thinking

an approach that recognizes life is complex and that multiple perceptions and realities, even those seemingly in opposition, can coexist in balance and harmony. It is an approach to viewing issues or positions from many sides while appreciating the shades of gray. It is also a strategy and technique for acknowledging diversity of experiences and viewpoints without having to invalidate or marginalize differing perspectives. Often referred to as “both-and” thinking, it advocates for seeing the truth in each point of view—rather than seeing positions as “either-or,” “black-and-white,” “all-or-nothing,” or “win or lose”—in the service of seeking solutions.

The Power of Listening

as a compelling conflict resolution strategy. Listening is not a passive activity. It requires the development and practice of several skills simultaneously, including assimilating information, practicing inquiry, emotional intelligence, clarification, acknowledgment, concentration, engagement, being present. The goal of attentive listening is not necessarily to reach agreement. Rather, it is to seek understanding and, when possible, to discover common ground.

Colleagues and clients most familiar with Barry’s work characterize it by saying he:

  • Facilitates difficult dialogues with patience, wisdom and years of experience
  • Challenges harmful assumptions/words/actions with clarity and kindness
  • Creates environments where people feel safe, heard and witnessed
  • Listens to people’s concerns with a balance of unbiased perspective and deep empathy
  • Supports participants to share and, collectively or individually, work toward solutions for more productive and collegial work environments
  • Helps people work together harmoniously and respectfully to build communities of allies
  • Relieves the tension in a room by his calming presence and insight
  • Frames all of his interactions through a social justice lens, always mindful of those whose voices are not being heard

Services

Coaching

Facilitation

Workplace Investigations

Coaching (text)

Barry Chersky provides coaching in a variety of contexts, from the traditional model of enhancing performance and professional skill development, to a more remedial approach. One of the most difficult challenges in managing workplace conflict, including discrimination and harassment issues, is to determine appropriate corrective action for the individual who has engaged in inappropriate conduct or violated the organization's policy. This challenge is compounded when that individual is in leadership, a position where accountability is often most difficult to enforce.

Barry has gained a strong reputation for delivering individual interventions that concretely impact behavioral change. The focus of the process, determined on a case-by-case basis, is on the issue of power. The intervention, both respectful and culturally sensitive, assists individuals in understanding guidelines for appropriate behavior, the impact of perception differences, and the legal implications and potential liabilities associated with misconduct. The process is centered on the development of a concrete plan of action to modify problematic behavior and support success.

Facilitation (text)

Barry Chersky is a facilitator of organizational development, strategic planning, employee relations, diversity and inclusion efforts, and team development. He facilitates workshops, small and large group meetings in the context of professional development, enhanced performance, communication skill development, and conflict resolution. He has years of expertise and experience in working toward effective resolution of informal and formal complaints in workplace and educational settings.

Workplace conflicts, including harassment, discrimination, and issues of bias can arise in any organization, regardless of prevention efforts. In such situations, an organization faces numerous challenges, including fair and consistent enforcement of policies; taking appropriate action in accordance with organizational, ethical and legal guidelines; selecting interventions that are culturally sensitive and effective for resolving specific situations; considering alternative dispute resolution approaches; and repairing damaged work relationships.

Conflict mediation, as an alternative to or in the aftermath of a formal investigation, can help to minimize many of the problems encountered in more traditional resolution methods. When conduct was perceived differently by the parties, intent was misconstrued, behavior was subtle and isolated, or where there has been genuine miscommunication, conflict mediation can provide a creative option for effective resolution.

Workplace Investigations (text)

Barry Chersky conducts independent, impartial fact-finding investigations of potential violations of employer policies including Equal Employment Opportunity, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, amorous relationships and whistle blower policies, as well as policies on employee misconduct. His approach is to respond in as timely a manner as possible, limiting the scope to involve the fewest number of people without compromising the thoroughness or fairness of the investigation. Great care is taken to protect the rights of all parties involved, maintaining confidentiality to the highest degree possible. He produces written documentation, summaries and reports of findings, when requested, adhering to best practices.

Barry has trained Human Resources professionals on conducting effective workplace investigations and has testified as an expert witness in court, has represented both plaintiffs and defense, and provided expert opinions on issues related to investigations. He is licensed as a Private Investigator by the state of California (#PI 27356).

Privacy Policy

Barry Chersky Consulting contracts with clients to perform a range of services, including to conduct confidential workplace investigations. Personal and private information supplied to or obtained in the course of providing client services is held by Barry Chersky Consulting in strict confidence. Such information may be provided to clients as part of a confidential investigative report, or produced as required by law.

Personal Information Disclosure--United States or Overseas: Barry Chersky Consulting does not supply any personal information to any person or entity outside the United States or its Territories for any purpose other than to, potentially, deliver a confidential investigative report to a client, or as otherwise required by law.