In 2010  Career Press approached Barbara Mitchell about writing another book. She had previously co-authored The Essential HR Handbook with Sharon Armstrong. When the proposal was accepted, Barbara reached out to her colleague, Cornelia Gamlem, with the offer to co-author The Big Book of HR. Drawing on their collective experience Barbara and Cornelia produced a great resource for HR professionals, managers, business leaders, small business owners, anyone who has to manage people.  A writing partnership was born. Since its publication, they’ve written The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook, The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book and The Manager’s Answer Book. They also collaborate on a weekly blog, Making People Matter. They are likely to write more books in the future.

Both Barbara and Cornelia are influencers to the business and HR communities. They are frequent speakers to business groups and have been quoted in major publications including the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Fortune, The New York Times, and Forbes. They have been interviewed in major radio markets around the country and contributed articles to numerous blogs and websites, including,,, CEOWorld Magazine,,, and

Cornelia Gamlem

Barbara Mitchell


Cornelia Gamlem

Cornelia Gamlem SPHR is founder and President of the Gems Group, a management consulting firm that offers Human Resources and business solutions. Prior to her consulting career, she served in a senior HR leadership role with a Fortune 500 IT services company with a global presence. She likes to say that she’s been in HR since “God was a girl.”

She has been active with national employers' groups focused on issues of equal employment opportunity, affirmative action and workplace diversity, where she served on a number of task forces that influenced public policy. She testified before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on several occasions. She has also served in national leadership volunteer roles with The Society for Human Resource Management. She has served as a technical editor for McGraw Hill Education and supported HR professionals by serving as an instructor at number of colleges in the Washington DC metro area.

Cornelia earned her master's degree in Human Resource Management from Marymount University and her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento. She achieved Life Certification as Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). She lives and writes in Albuquerque, NM

Barbara Mitchell

Barbara Mitchell is the Managing Partner of The Mitchell Group a human resources and organizational development consulting practice. She consults with a wide variety of clients on issues around people—hiring, retaining, engaging the best talent available. Most of her HR career was spent in senior leadership positions with Marriott International, Human Genome Sciences and as co-owner and Principal of The Millennium Group, LLC.

She entered the HR profession after gaining a strong business foundation and says, “working in HR was like coming home—I’d found what I was meant to do!”

Barbara has actively given back to the HR profession in a variety of ways. She served on the board of directors of the Employment Management Association, and has been president of several SHRM chapters. 

She is the co-author of The Essential HR Handbook, A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager of HR Professional (Click for Book Details), published by Career Press in 2008.  She contributed to On Staffing—Advice and Perspective from HR Leaders and Cover Letter for Dummies.  

She is graduate of North Park University, Chicago, Il, with a degree in history and political science. She has taken graduate level business courses at UCLA, the University of Denver, and Loyola University.

Barbara is a video presenter/docent at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum and is a past member of the executive committee of the board of directors of the Northern Virginia Habitat for Humanity affiliate.  Barbara lives and writes in the Washington DC Metro area. 

Other Books By The Authors:

The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book: 2,000+ Phrases For Any HR Professional, Manager, Business Owner, or Anyone Who Has to Deal with Difficult Workplace Situations
 By Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem

The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book is a great resource that everyone should have at their fingertips to approach any difficult situation with the assurance that the words will come out right! You will learn:

  • Positive things to say when you’re initiating or responding to a difficult conversation.
  • How to find and craft language to start a conversation.
  • The right words for you to positively influence the situation.

The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book is a natural complement to the authors’ previous best-seller, The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook. Click To Purchase.

The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook
 By Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem

Today’s workplaces are dynamic, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that tension can develop quickly and ruinously. The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook is the ideal resource for anyone ready to confront conflict at work rather than run from it. Managed correctly, conflict can be a positive source for innovation and creativity.

Using examples drawn from a wide range of corporate and entrepreneurial experiences, along with checklists and other practical tools, The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook will help employees, managers at all levels, and business owners. Click To Purchase. 


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Joe Sherrier
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