2020/21 Seminars + Speaking

All sessions are designed to be informative, practical, interactive learning experiences that empower everyone with skills to lead and live with more confidence, self-awareness, empathy, and courage. These can be adapted for either virtual or in-person events. Engagement length is negotiable, based on needs, format, number of participants, etc. I’d love to work with you! Contact me to start the conversation.

Everyday Conflict and Mediation Skills

Most of us feel woefully under-prepared in dealing with conflict. Any number of issues get in our way, from lessons from our family of origin to fear of retaliation. Usually, it all tends to point us toward a single reaction: AVOIDANCE. As a result, we grow less able to engage with others with whom we disagree. There’s no cookie-cutter solution to the challenge, but by developing deeper awareness and choosing new behaviors, we can all become more at ease with conflict. We’ll explore a simple, easy-to-apply framework that uses mediation strategies, nonviolent language, and compassionately direct communication to transform conflict into cooperation.

The Inner Game of Conflict

When we think of conflict, we often think of it as something “out there,” involving other people and to be avoided at all costs. But what if our responses to conflict had nothing to do with others, and everything to do with ourselves? This is the Inner Game: recognizing that outer conflict is rooted in our personal experiences, fears, and filters. It’s also related to the competing internal voices duking it out inside each of us, every day. This session introduces you to the Ladder of Inference as a method for understanding how you move from observation to action; how to notice and acknowledge your triggers, privileges, biases, and assumptions; and strategies for deescalating conflict from the inside out.  

Giving and Receiving Feedback

Our relationship to feedback is complicated and contrary. On the one hand, people crave it as a way to learn and grow. It’s evidence that their work has been noticed and considered. On the other, we fear feedback, as it might hold up a mirror to something we’d rather not see. It potentially points out our weaknesses and could leave us demoralized and deflated. Feedback is critical to a thriving culture, so it’s important to know how to give and receive it in a productive, effective, and compassionate manner. We’ll go beyond the “feedback sandwich” and discuss the different types of feedback; how to share criticism and praise so it’s received appropriately; using coaching techniques to bring about desired behaviors; and how to make feedback a natural part of your ongoing operations (not just something saved for annual reviews).

Becoming a Developmental Leader

What does it mean to be a “leader”? It’s not about being the person who knows all of the answers, makes all of the decisions, or is always in front of the group. It’s about being the person who has the self-awareness, self-trust, and the generosity to support others in finding the answers, making decisions, and being visible. While many know this intellectually, the day-to-day demands often cause us to default to a transactional, problem-solving leadership style that misses the opportunities for a relational, developmental leadership approach. This seminar will offer simple, concrete, easy-to-implement methods for adopting a Developmental Leadership perspective. We’ll talk about how to use specific coaching and mentoring strategies to bring out the best in your team and in you.

Addressing Stress, From the Inside Out

(can be presented as a stand-alone or 2-part)

Part 1: Individually oriented solutions

Stress doesn’t have to be, well, stressful! When we understand the roots of our stress and how to turn it around for our benefit, our capacity to be compassionate, resilient leaders increases. In this session, we’ll use two primary tools as catalysts for individual exploration of our leadership stressors: Kelly McGonigal’s TEDTalk “How to Make Stress Your Friend,” and a “reauthoring” exercise that offers a private way to process and reframe stress.

Part 2: Community-based solutions

Isolation – or “the dangerous disconnect” – is one of the biggest challenges leaders face. It follows, then, that one of the keys to resilient leadership is being able to ask for and receive support and input from others. Picking up from Part 1, we’ll continue to explore healthy responses to stress, this time focusing on group processes. Along with other tools, two particular strategies will be introduced and practiced: the QuestionBurst (from the work of Hal Gregersen) and the Circle of Trust process (from the work of Parker Palmer).

Three Little Words That Will Change Your Life Forever

The problem can manifest in multiple ways: micro-managing, control issues, martyr syndrome, being the hero. We try to do good that’s not ours to do. We become helicopter colleagues and leaders. Our intentions are good; But there’s a dark side to those well-meaning actions. Taken too far, the result is dis-empowered employees, colleagues, family, and friends. If we want to cultivate relationships based on trust, respect, and personal agency, we must examine how we sabotage that effort through our tendency to play the hero, martyr, or puppeteer. This presentation explores the seductive pull of each of these roles and offers a simple framework that will support self-awareness of unhealthy patterns and how to flip them.

Stop the Meeting Madness! Tips and Tricks for More Productive, Enjoyable Meetings

Do you want to undermine productivity? Squash creativity? Shred money? Go ahead, have a meeting! The average middle manager spends around 35% of their work time in meetings; if you’re a leader, it’s more like 50%. It’s time to challenge your assumptions about meetings (they’re necessary/time-wasters/boring/etc.) and learn how to turn them into generative opportunities that move business forward. We’ll look at why meetings fail and ways to turn that around while increasing engagement, teamwork, creativity, and trust. You’ll leave with practical strategies to improve even your most dreaded meetings (virtual meetings, too!).

Who’s Zoomin’ Who?: Productive Virtual Meetings

During these weeks of sheltering-in-place, “business as usual” has lost all meaning as we move from an in-person to virtual existence. We still have to keep the wheels turning, and Zoom has emerged as the tool we turn to make meetings happen. While certain basic practices of in-person meetings translate well to virtual settings, there are important differences that must be addressed if you’re going to have a productive gathering. Whether you’re relatively new to online gatherings or would appreciate a few reminders, this short seminar will provide you with the technical info and virtual meeting tips you need to have productive meetings via Zoom.