The Mirror method for building healthy and productive workplaces

Marli Rusen knows the importance of respect in the workplace; she witnesses and remedies the damage caused by the absence of such respect. Marli has used her legal expertise to create the MIRROR Method, a six-step framework to build productive teams by addressing workplace dysfunction.

New Leadership Course!

We are excited to announce our second self-paced video course, “Building Respect and Resolving Conflict: The Critical Role of Workplace Leaders”. In this self-paced 11-video online course, Marli incorporates her 20+ years in workplace conflict resolution, investigations and arbitrations to provide all supervisors, managers and leaders with practical and necessary steps to build a respectful workplace culture. This can only happen when leaders take responsibility for their own conduct and learn how to hold others accountable in a respectful and defensible manner.

In this course, leaders will learn why it’s necessary – both legally and practically – to lead with respect. Marli will outline her “3 Ms of Respectful Leadership” (Modeling Respectful Behavior, Monitoring for Disrespect on their Team and Mitigating Risk to the Organization), and will show participants how to use her popular six-step MIRROR Method to make defensible and evidence-based decisions in the face of workplace disagreements and dysfunction.

Every organization deserves workplace leaders who know how to build and create a respectful workplace culture. Every workplace leader deserves an organization that actively supports them in learning these skills.

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New Book Release! 

I am thrilled to announce the publication of my third book:

Walking on Eggshells? A Practical Guide to Resolving Stressful Conflict at Work and Home

The Guide reflects lessons I have both learned from and shared with employees, unions, workplace leaders and teams in my 25+ years in the “conflict business” – first as a lawyer and now as a workplace investigator, mediator and arbitrator.  

Everyone wants conflict to end, relationships to be restored and environments to be safe, stable and inclusive. Few of us know how to make this happen. And that is why I wrote this book. Click the link to learn how my new Guide helps in resolving conflict.  

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My new conflict resolution Guide “Walking on Eggshells?” just received a great review by Jim Alkon and the US company BookTrib. See the attached link. I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on the Guide after you’ve read it!

BookTrib Review

Marli Rusen

Marli’s experience as a Labor, employment and human-rights lawyer, mediator and arbitrator has given her a profound understanding of how day-to-day leadership, interpersonal dynamics and communication affects the overall health, focus and productivity of the workforce. This understanding led to the development of the MIRROR Method.

Marli has helped thousands of organizations – through her training, services and support – learn how to build respect and identify, communicate through and effectively resolve workplace dysfunction.

To maintain a respectful workplace, all individuals must be told of their right and responsibility to participate in a civil, professional and respectful environment.

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Respectful Workplace Training

Becoming a high performing, productive and professional workplace doesn’t just happen. Organizations must train all employees, from senior leadership to front-line personnel, on how to practice inclusion, support diversity, communicate respectfully, and resolve workplace conflict in an effective and defensible manner.

Marli’s training and consulting services all embody the MIRROR Method – a reflective and practical way in which to address and resolve workplace dysfunction. The MIRROR Method has given thousands of organizations the knowledge, tools and techniques necessary to be successful while fostering the wellbeing of everyone in the workplace.

Marli’s popular training courses – for staff and leaders – are now available in two different formats: self-paced online training courses or workshops which can be remote (virtual) or in-person.

Individual Self-Paced Courses

Our online training courses are an excellent option to use for consistent and defensible education, onboarding and orientation regarding respectful workplaces. This format allows participants to complete the course independently using desktop and mobile devices connected to the internet, at their own pace and without interfering with scheduling and operational demands. Supplemental training materials are provided to further support learners in applying the course material to concerns that may arise.

Group Workshops

Workshops – delivered live remotely or in-person – are a great way to bring your team together to learn more about mutual respect, effective communication and early conflict resolution. Participants are able to engage and discuss with Marli their questions and concerns on these important topics. Marli can provide this comprehensive respectful workplace training through virtual platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

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Marli Rusen's Services

Training and education are essential in building and maintaining a respectful and productive workplace. However, they are not enough. Organizations also need to conduct timely, fair and objective reviews into workplace complaints and concerns. 

Marli offers many different services to help organizations resolve workplace dysfunction. Her services as an investigator are often necessary where there is a formal complaint of harassment, discrimination or bullying.


Marli’s services as a mediator or facilitator are commonly secured when the conflicts have not yet become formal complaints but require immediate attention and resolution. Marli also is retained when there are concerns about anonymous complaints, low engagement scores or high rates of turnover and absenteeism. Marli comes in – finds out the root cause – and helps leaders effect positive change. Finally, as a recognized member of the Arbitrators Association of British Columbia, Marli is retained to resolve formal grievances between Unions and Employers.


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What clients say about Marli Rusen and the MIRROR Method

The MIRROR Method is based on fundamental principles in labor and administrative law, and offers a close examination of what organizations must do to meet their obligations legally and ethically.


M – Monitor the Workplace

On an ongoing basis, leaders are expected to actively monitor the workplace for signs and symptoms of poor communication, conflict and general dysfunction. Marli shows leaders how to do so in a respectful, consistent and transparent manner.


I – Inquire into Possible Issues

No two environments are the same. Leaders should conduct an initial ‘screening’ of the alleged dynamics to determine what to do next. Marli shows leaders how to triage concerns that they observe – or which are brought to their attention – in order to determine how best to review and respond to them.


R – Review Concerns Objectively

Prior to arriving at any formal ‘findings’ of dysfunctional behavior, leaders must conduct a fair and objective review. Marli outlines the necessary components of this process as the third step of the MIRROR Method.


R – Remedy the Issue Based on the Review

Following the review, leaders are expected to remedy the situation by holding specific individuals accountable for their contribution to the dysfunctional environment, and by helping them avoid similar behavior in the future. Marli shows workplace leaders how to create an effective remedial plan, which includes aspects of both accountability and support.


O – Operationally Reflect, and Restore Team Trust and Communication

In addition to addressing ‘individual’ dysfunction, leaders should address any recurring cultural or systemic issues that are uncovered by the review. They also should consider whether their team – or a portion of it – needs a process of reconciliation, forgiveness (where appropriate) and closure following workplace investigations. Marli shows leaders how to detect and address systemic issues and assists teams to move forward following departmental ‘trauma and drama’ from unanticipated or long-awaited departures, significant workplace change or formal investigations.


R – Revisit the Issue at a Later Date

Leaders should revisit situations to ensure their remedial plans have successfully addressed the dysfunctional behavior or circumstances. If they haven’t, the remedies themselves need to be revisited and the MIRROR Method should be followed again.

MIRROR Method books for healthy workplaces

The MIRROR Method Book

Marli has transformed her six-step framework into the MIRROR Method Book and Workbook to give workplace leaders the tools needed to build a healthy, respectful and productive workplace. The MIRROR Method Book clearly outlines why a respectful workplace is necessary. The Book – and the Workbook – show leaders how to build and maintain respect through a clear summary of the six steps along with supporting forms, checklists, and critical Q&As. Together, these tools support organizations in diagnosing and resolving workplace conflict and dysfunction in a timely and appropriate manner. 

The MIRROR Method book and Workbook come in either paperback or mobile devices like Kindle, Kobe, Barnes & Noble, IOS or Android.

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Walking On Eggshells?

In my Guide, I will explain how to:

  • Quickly identify when you’ve been triggered so that you “step away” from the situation as soon as possible.
  • Give yourself space to recharge.
  • Better understand the most common types of disrespect and dysfunction (task-based conflict and relational conflict) to more easily identify and accurately describe what has caused your concern.
  • Properly set up a MIRROR conversation, rooted in “respectful reflection”, to communicate your concerns to others.
  • Manage your stress when you have been “invited” to a MIRROR conversation because of apparent concerns with your behavior or communication.
  • Respectfully respond to accusations about you, even (and especially) when you disagree with how you have been characterized.
  • Respectfully speak so that others can hear what you have to say.
  • Respectfully listen so that others feel heard when speaking.
  • Explore practical solutions for the future without having to agree on the past.
  • Deal with stressful dynamics that arise during these conversations, such as anger, stonewalling, defensiveness and deflection.
  • Involve third parties to help resolve your situation when you aren’t able to do so on your own.

Order your copy today to stop walking on eggshells and build healthier and more peaceful relationships at work and home.

Download a complimentary sample from my Guide to see what I mean! 

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To succeed, you need to build respectful, productive and dynamic workplaces.

High-performance organizations grow faster, have lower absenteeism, better morale and superior profitability.

However, becoming a high-performance organization doesn’t just happen.

You must train your employees, from senior management to front-line personnel, on how to embrace diversity, communicate clearly, and effectively resolve workplace dysfunction.

You need to do more than 'manage' conflict in your workplace.

You must teach leaders to lead in a way that respects and empowers their teams. Together, leaders and their teams must learn how to build strong team dynamics by committing to a culture of respect, trust and transparency.