Workshop Overview

Cultivating the Self for Complexity

A Whole Self approach to Supporting Clients to to Thrive in a Complex World

Everywhere they look, today’s leaders are being told that the world is complex and we know this from our own experience. Many of us, and our clients, are in the midst of complex and unpredictable challenges. Clients come to us, in fact, specifically because they seek resources and guidance for how to navigate territory for which they feel unprepared. Often the very habits and strategies that enabled success in other conditions are proving woefully inadequate.

The yearning for certainty and clear pathways forward persists, even when the very nature of the territory we are navigating can trigger anxiety, overwhelm, and confusion.

The dissonance between our yearning for certainty and the reality of the world we are facing can provide a catalyst for significant developmental shifts. To benefit, we and our clients must first see our context for what it is– endlessly complex. We must be willing to sense the dissonance between how we’ve been conditioned to see the world, and how it is actually showing up. And, we must develop the personal strategies and capacities to tolerate this dissonance so that we can lead in ways more appropriate for a complex world.

This new context demands new ways of reading the world and constructing meaning. It requires deepening our resilience and resourcefulness. And, it asks us to act in new ways that invite our intended futures to emerge.

This workshop* offers a developmental perspective on how we can respond to complexity. We explore significant and sometimes radical shifts in our Sensing, Being, and Acting. We investigate resourcing in the midst of complexity: both for our clients, and for ourselves. And in these investigations, we experiment with ourselves, using real and immediate challenges as an experiential laboratory for discovery.

Learning Objectives

This workshop is for experienced coaches, organisational consultants or other support professionals. Leaders familiar with coaching methods are also welcome. While no particular coaching approach or training is required, we do suggest that you have experience, that your primary work is supporting leaders (at any level and of any kind,) and that you care deeply about supporting them to become more capable of leading in a world where they can’t predict and control everything. It is also crucial that you are willing to engage by experimenting and practicing on yourself.

In this experiential three night and three day retreat, we will explore pragmatic coaching and leadership strategies that focus on:

  • Distinguishing complex contexts from complicated and obvious contexts
  • Sensing habitual reactions to complexity through emotions, body, language and meaning-making (Sensing)
  • Resourcing the self by cultivating internal states of awareness and resilience (Being)
  • Developing action learning strategies for engaging with complexity (Acting)

If you have been searching for professional development that really challenges you while supporting you and also provides insight into new ways of thinking then this is the retreat for you.

*The Cultivating the Self for Complexity Workshop has its foundations in a collaboration between Carolyn Coughlin of Cultivating Leadership and Doug Silsbee of Presence Based Coaching, and both draws from and contributes to Doug’s forthcoming book, Presence-Based Leadership.