Meet Delphine du Toit, Halifax, NS Mediator, Conflict Coach, and Workshop Facilitator

My workplace is everywhere

I work across all time zones, in-person and online.  I happily travel across the Maritime provinces of Canada to provide coaching, mediation, and training, as requested by my clients. I equally happily use online audio/visual media to interact with clients around the (English-speaking) world.

You do have a choice.

So What About That Zebra in my Logo?

Did you know that the Plains Zebra of Southern Africa isn’t just black and white?

Look closely. Hidden in the white is a sandy coloured shadow stripe.  It followings the same contours as the dominant black/white stripes in such an elegant mimicry of the obvious that often new visitors to Africa don’t even notice it until it is pointed out to them.

In conflict resolution, both parties often contribute to the conflict in various ways, including their attitudes, behaviors, level of attentiveness, and life experiences. To illustrate this concept, we can draw an analogy to the shadow stripe in the Plains Zebra’s coat, which represents the unknown or unseen factors influencing the conflict.

The work I do with you is represented by the zebra’s shadow stripe.

Attitude and Behavior:

  • Each party brings their own attitudes and behaviours into the conflict, which can either escalate or de-escalate the situation. Negative attitudes, such as defensiveness or hostility, can fuel the conflict, while positive attitudes, like openness and willingness to listen, can facilitate resolution.

Level of Attentiveness:

  • The level of attentiveness each party displays during the conflict can also impact its resolution. Lack of attention or active listening can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication, prolonging the conflict. Conversely, being attentive and engaged in the conversation can help uncover underlying issues and find common ground.

Life Experience:

  • Life experiences shape individuals’ perspectives, values, and communication styles, which can influence how they engage in conflict. Different life experiences may lead to misunderstandings or differing priorities, contributing to the conflict.

The Shadow Stripe Analogy:

  • Similar to the shadow stripe in the Plains Zebra’s coat, there are often unseen or unknown factors underlying the conflict, such as past experiences, personal biases, or unspoken emotions. These factors can influence how each party perceives the situation and reacts to it.

My Role as a Mediator

  • As a mediator, I help my clients recognize and acknowledge the “shadow factors” influencing the conflict. Through active listening and asking probing questions, I encourage parties to reflect on their attitudes, behaviours, and life experiences that may be contributing to the conflict.
  • By shedding light on these hidden dynamics, I facilitate a deeper understanding between the parties, allowing them to see the conflict from different perspectives. This awareness enables myclients to be more constructive in how they approach resolving the disagreement or conflict.
  • I guide my clients in reframing their attitudes and behaviors, fostering empathy and respect towards each other. By addressing the underlying issues and working towards mutual understanding, the parties can collaboratively find solutions that meet their needs and interests.

In summary, my role as a mediator is to help my clients “look closely” so that they can uncover and address the “shadow factors” contributing to the conflict, enabling them to approach resolution with greater understanding, empathy, and constructive engagement.

Once I help you to see what’s in the shadows you discover that the solutions are also there, waiting .for you to find them.   I work as your tour guide on this zebra-influenced journey.

Let me help you to break out of the black and white repetitive patterns of your life that stop you from changing the things you want to change. Once you have an eye for what’s in the shadows it it’s amazing how you never saw it before. Awareness is the first step. After that the possibilities are everywhere.

I help you to discover the possibilities in the shadow stripes of your life.

I support you in creating your best solutions.

On my BLOG page I share my thoughts on a wide range of topics so that you can catch a glimpse of me, the person, as well as the professional. 


“I enjoyed the conversations I was able to have with people I don’t normally talk to. I have never experienced being listened to, and really HEARD, such as I experienced at our culture/values conference that Delphine designed and facilitated. The overall level of participation from the entire group was awesome and I believe is going to make a difference to our culture aleady, even though there’s still some other processes to go through.” – Anon participant at a facilitated conference (June, 2023)

“Delphine is amazing. Her ability to connect on a personal level, coach and guide in a way so effective it feels like you’re chatting with a close friend. Her flexible approach allowed me to open up and be super vulnerable, which she also mirrored so that I was more comfortable doing so. Speaking with her was one of the places I felt 100% safe to share exactly what I was going through and the progress I got out of doing so, while immeasurable, is one of the most valuable things I gained from this journey.” – Janee Ortiz, June 2019: Participant in an 18-month leadership journey offered by Gaia-INSIGHTS

“We all have baggage, but growing up in South Africa gifts anyone from there with a special type of baggage. I’ve had to confront my white privilege, white guilt and the reality that those two things are very different between Canada and South Africa.

In Canada minorities are struggling for equality and to find a voice, ironically it’s the same way white people feel in South Africa. But unlike being a minority in Canada, very few believe a white South African when we speak the truth. Of those few that do some say we deserve it, despite contractual  promises being made to end apartheid by the ANC and IFP to treat whites fairly signed into law for equality…. promises never kept, much like the native treaties in Canada were never upheld. The lack of equality has made me very angry and something I need help to let go.

Delphine has helped me admit I had a little racism I had to be honest about and address, how to see things from the Canadian perspective and change my choice of words and to be realistic and make peace with some topics that they will never be  understood and to stay away from. 

Most of all we South Africans are fighters. I feel like I ran away from South Africa and didn’t stay to fight for the country I love, Delphine is helping me to forgive myself, and most of all she truly understands who I am, where I am from, and therefore how I am going to get where I’m going.” – Anon client, 2022


  • Basic Family Mediation – Family Mediation Canada (2022)
  • The 2021 Canada Divorce Act Amendments Take Hold: What You Need to Know about the First Four Months of Operation – Judge Nancy Flatters (2022)
  • Q.Med  – ADR Institute of Canada (2017)
  • Associate Certified Coach – International Coach Federation (2016 – 2022)
  • Elder Mediation training (2016)
  • Conflict Management Coaching Training – Cinergy Conflict Management Coaching (2015)
  • Practitioner Certificate in Alternate Dispute Resolution – University of Prince Edward Island (2013)


Dal rampant eagle (1) MSW, Dalhousie University, 1980

Alternate DisputeQ.Med – ADRIC




Family Mediation Canada


40+ years of international experience in

labour relations (collective bargaining, union recognition, shop steward training, organizing, strategizing, discipline and dismissals, disputes, job evaluation & classification, health and safety)

change management (organizational change/restructuring, cultural competence, multi-disciplinary teams, joint labour-management initiatives)

leadership development (Leadership training, facilitation of goal setting/planning workshops, mentoring, coaching)

conflict resolution (conflict coaching, training in conflict competence, mediation, workplace investigation)

Countries where I’ve worked/where clients were based: Canada, South Africa, USA, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, Tanzania, Zambia, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, India, China.