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.

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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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.

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