Ethical Frames LLC Tools to bring us together Menu

How can we unite our country? And heal our relationships?

Learn how to bridge the divide by seeing what is hidden.

The problem

Our society is divided. This may be the most polarized the United States has been since Civil War times. We don’t know how to talk to each other, and we don’t know how to listen. This is affecting our politics, our communities, and our personal lives. Friends don’t talk to friends anymore and families are even disowning members. Some people fear we’re headed to another civil war or secession of the red states. We are stuck. What can we do?

What exactly are Ethical Frames? And how can they help?

Ethical Frames are a tool to view the world more clearly. They represent a way to see what’s underneath the things people do and say.

I’ve built the system of Ethical Frames based on findings from psychological research and other experts to help us understand what’s mysterious to us and to help us develop a way to heal. 

Ethical Frames are the critical lenses that allow you to see the six Ethical Zones™ that people operate in. Understanding these Ethical Zones changes the way you understand why people act the way they do. These zones are usually invisible to us. They represent deeply held values that people use to guide their life — values like belonging to a group, respecting authority, caring for other people and concepts of fairness. Some people are willing to literally die for these values, but we don’t see them!

This invisible force ripped the fabric of my family life. On my last visit to my Aunt Dot, she went on a rant about immigrants in front of her immigrant caregiver. I told her she was rude and stormed out. I didn’t call her. She didn’t call me. And I never saw her again. I didn’t know any other way to deal with that type of disagreement. I was stuck.

What I’ve learned from my study of the latest research and from experts is that there’s a way to talk to other people in way that you can avoid the explosions like the one that happened between me and my Aunt Dot. I wish I had learned this while my Aunt Dot was still alive. I can’t go back in time, but I want you to learn from my mistake. I’ve used everything I’ve learned to develop a technique that you can use to heal your relationships.  

When you recognize other’s deeply rooted drives, feelings, pleasures, and fears, you can get insight into the best way to talk to each other. Using this tool can change everything.

  • Your conversations will be friendlier and meaningful.
  • You’ll be able to recognize potential explosions and avoid them or use them to your advantage.
  • You’ll be able to more clearly state an idea that’s important to you in a way that others will be more likely to agree with.
  • You’ll be able to navigate cultural barriers.
  • You can mend your fractured relationships.

When you look at your relationships through Ethical Frames, you’ll truly see your friends, family members, and neighbors. And when you can really see them, you can learn how to speak to them in a new way.

Who needs Ethical Frames?

  • People who have a difficult relationship in their life and want to learn how to make it better. Click here to learn more.
  • Leaders who have conflict in their organization or want to build a bridge to other groups. Click here.
  • Marketers who need to understand how their product and marketing efforts intersect with tribal beliefs. Click here.
  • Business decision-makers who need to navigate the tricky issues of multiple stakeholders who disagree. Click here.
  • Compliance and ethics officers who need to develop more effective training programs. Email Karen for details. 
  • Anyone who wants to understand the underlying motivations of why people act the way they do.

Contact Karen to learn how she can help. And check out her books.


Learn how you can help unite this country. Invite Karen to speak to your business or organization.
Email Karen at


Karen, thanks so very much for your wonderful program this morning (and afternoon)!  It was so well done, very engaging, and thought provoking.  I think I speak for everyone in saying how well received it was.  It was a new perspective for me personally and one I will put into effect when dealing with challenging people.

Laura Mayer, Housatonic Quarterly Meeting, New York Yearly Meeting (Quakers)

"I am still thinking about your presentation, months later." 


"One of the best presentations I've ever seen"

Garrett Foster, Dean, One Spirit Learning Alliance

Karen Tibbals @KarenTibbals

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