Client driven leadership training programs
Resilient Leadership Development

We only truly see what we are looking for

  • Fact: We naturally assume that the ability to see is located in our eyes, since that is the critical organ that we immediately identify as essential for the gift of sight. But science reminds us that the ability to see is located in our brains every bit as much as in our eyes. Emerging neuroscience has further broadened our understanding of perception as an extremely complex phenomenon that goes well beyond the mechanics of eyesight. Perception is shaped in decisive ways by deliberately focused attention, and a host of emotional factors both filter and highlight what and how we “see” the world around us.
  • Action: Practice Resilient Leadership’s “New Way of SEEING” by committing to a regular practice of observing how the emotional dynamics of your work or home system play out. Choose settings where you can “get on the balcony” and simply observe without being so heavily involved that you lose your focus. Watch your children at play or observe the roles that co-workers play in routine meetings. Make notes on such things as the subtle reactivity you observe around anxious conversations, the reciprocal patterns that characterize certain triangles, the over- and under- functioning on the part of certain individuals and others with whom they are connected. Regular practice, even for 15 minutes daily, will strengthen your ability to SEE the emotional systems to which you belong.
  • Fact: We naturally assume that the ability to see is located in our eyes, since that is the critical organ that we immediately identify as essential for the gift of sight. But science reminds us that the ability to see is located in our brains every bit as much as in our eyes. Emerging neuroscience has further broadened our understanding of perception as an extremely complex phenomenon that goes well beyond the mechanics of eyesight. Perception is shaped in decisive ways by deliberately focused attention, and a host of emotional factors both filter and highlight what and how we “see” the world around us.
  • Action: Practice Resilient Leadership’s “New Way of SEEING” by committing to a regular practice of observing how the emotional dynamics of your work or home system play out. Choose settings where you can “get on the balcony” and simply observe without being so heavily involved that you lose your focus. Watch your children at play or observe the roles that co-workers play in routine meetings. Make notes on such things as the subtle reactivity you observe around anxious conversations, the reciprocal patterns that characterize certain triangles, the over- and under- functioning on the part of certain individuals and others with whom they are connected. Regular practice, even for 15 minutes daily, will strengthen your ability to SEE the emotional systems to which you belong.

Looking for the “Sweet Spot” when relationships become anxious? Aim to be “Close Enough to Influence” and “Distant Enough to Lead”

  • Fact: In the routine of both family and work life, moderate anxiety-producing situations arise all the time. And, too easily, those minor stresses can erupt into a major crisis. Whether the stressful situation is small or full-blown, we all have a default tendency when managing anxiety. We naturally tend to become overly involved, or we distance ourselves from the drama produced by the crisis. Both responses are understandable; neither response is optimal.
  • Action: Reflect on two or three stressful situations you have experienced in recent times. What was your default tendency in the midst of these situations? Did you become overly involved as a way to manage your anxiety, or did you withdraw (physically or emotionally) from the situation? And did your behavior serve to lower anxiety or increase it? Write a note to yourself about how to manage your anxiety in better ways by being “Close Enough to Influence” and “Distant Enough to Lead” in such situations.
  • Fact: In the routine of both family and work life, moderate anxiety-producing situations arise all the time. And, too easily, those minor stresses can erupt into a major crisis. Whether the stressful situation is small or full-blown, we all have a default tendency when managing anxiety. We naturally tend to become overly involved, or we distance ourselves from the drama produced by the crisis. Both responses are understandable; neither response is optimal.
  • Action: Reflect on two or three stressful situations you have experienced in recent times. What was your default tendency in the midst of these situations? Did you become overly involved as a way to manage your anxiety, or did you withdraw (physically or emotionally) from the situation? And did your behavior serve to lower anxiety or increase it? Write a note to yourself about how to manage your anxiety in better ways by being “Close Enough to Influence” and “Distant Enough to Lead” in such situations.

Watch Your Default Tendency

  • Fact: The ability to strike a healthy “close-distant” balance is key to maintaining enjoyable and fruitful relationships. When we move in too close or retreat too far from others we lose perspective and may make poor judgements.
  • Action: Become aware of your default tendency to merge or drift apart in your relationships. Study your actions, thoughts and self-talk about relationships that matter to you. Keep on rebalancing to keep relationships strong.
  • Fact: The ability to strike a healthy “close-distant” balance is key to maintaining enjoyable and fruitful relationships. When we move in too close or retreat too far from others we lose perspective and may make poor judgements.
  • Action: Become aware of your default tendency to merge or drift apart in your relationships. Study your actions, thoughts and self-talk about relationships that matter to you. Keep on rebalancing to keep relationships strong.

What was written at the entrance to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi in ancient Greece?

  • Fact: The wisdom of the ancients inscribed at Delphi was captured in two words, variously attributed to a dozen different Greek sages, from Socrates to Pythagoras. “Know Thyself” is as important today as it has ever been. Contemporary sages, from fields as diverse as neuroscience, positive psychology, organizational development, and leadership studies echo—each from their own perspective—this fundamental truth. Only when we come to understand ourselves more deeply will we be able to lead others along the path to enlightenment, whether that be as a more resilient leader, a parent or teacher, an athletic coach or a business consultant.
  • Action: No matter how daunting or difficult it may seem, carve out some “sacred” time and space for yourself on a regular basis where you can be alone with yourself, your thoughts and feelings, your moods and memories—a place where you can simply “be aware” and where your only agenda is to “know thyself”.
  • Fact: The wisdom of the ancients inscribed at Delphi was captured in two words, variously attributed to a dozen different Greek sages, from Socrates to Pythagoras. “Know Thyself” is as important today as it has ever been. Contemporary sages, from fields as diverse as neuroscience, positive psychology, organizational development, and leadership studies echo—each from their own perspective—this fundamental truth. Only when we come to understand ourselves more deeply will we be able to lead others along the path to enlightenment, whether that be as a more resilient leader, a parent or teacher, an athletic coach or a business consultant.
  • Action: No matter how daunting or difficult it may seem, carve out some “sacred” time and space for yourself on a regular basis where you can be alone with yourself, your thoughts and feelings, your moods and memories—a place where you can simply “be aware” and where your only agenda is to “know thyself”.

Triangle Management = Emotions Management

  • Fact: Building and maintaining healthy and authentic relationships is the hallmark of good friendships and good leadership too. To be a great friend, be open and welcoming but courageous too.
  • Action: Even your best friends will, on occasion, try to draw you into a toxic conversation about someone else. Don’t take the bait. To preserve great relationships keep them wholesome by keeping them free of gossip, scapegoating or third person criticisms.
  • Fact: Building and maintaining healthy and authentic relationships is the hallmark of good friendships and good leadership too. To be a great friend, be open and welcoming but courageous too.
  • Action: Even your best friends will, on occasion, try to draw you into a toxic conversation about someone else. Don’t take the bait. To preserve great relationships keep them wholesome by keeping them free of gossip, scapegoating or third person criticisms.

Resilient Leadership provides a fresh approach to leading with calm, clarity & conviction to Catholic Schools of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, VA

Resilient Leadership LLC has recently completed an innovative Leadership Development Program for the Catholic Schools Office of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Virginia. An initial professional development day at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year introduced principals from schools throughout the diocesan system to key concepts of the Resilient Leadership model. Thereafter, Bridgette Theurer and Bob Duggan provided 1-on-1 leadership coaching throughout the academic year to a select group of principals from both elementary and high schools located in the northern Virginia diocese.

Evaluations of the program and feedback from participants have led Dr. Jennifer Bigelow, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, to engage Resilient Leadership LLC for a continuation of the program during the 2018-19 scholastic year. Theurer and Duggan will be providing both training and coaching to a second cohort of principals, as well as sustainability coaching to those in cohort 1. For more information contact Jim Moyer at JimM@resilientleadershipdevelopment.com.

In a Toxic Triangle? Look After Yourself!

  • Fact: It happens all the time. Two colleagues who are caught up in a heated debate have you cornered. Both want you to side with them in “their debate”. You feel caught, obligated, duped.
  • Action: Don’t take a side but do take a stand. Your colleagues will benefit from your input on the issue needing resolution. They will not benefit from you taking a side on the debate of the issue. Remain emotionally neutral and place the resolution where it belongs – with your two colleagues.
  • Fact: It happens all the time. Two colleagues who are caught up in a heated debate have you cornered. Both want you to side with them in “their debate”. You feel caught, obligated, duped.
  • Action: Don’t take a side but do take a stand. Your colleagues will benefit from your input on the issue needing resolution. They will not benefit from you taking a side on the debate of the issue. Remain emotionally neutral and place the resolution where it belongs – with your two colleagues.

Recognize Balance in Relationships: Not too close. Not too distant.

  • Fact: Each of us instinctively maintains a comfortable balance between “close enough” and “distant enough” in our relationships. To a great extent, our balance point is “built in” from childhood. But under stress the balance point can shift toward fusion or cutoff to relieve anxiety.
  • Action: Think for a moment about people in your social networks. Has the close-distant balance shifted for a friend or colleague? If so, look for an anxiety producing cause that may be responsible. Consider if a re-balancing step on your part might help your friend or colleague regain their balance.
  • Fact: Each of us instinctively maintains a comfortable balance between “close enough” and “distant enough” in our relationships. To a great extent, our balance point is “built in” from childhood. But under stress the balance point can shift toward fusion or cutoff to relieve anxiety.
  • Action: Think for a moment about people in your social networks. Has the close-distant balance shifted for a friend or colleague? If so, look for an anxiety producing cause that may be responsible. Consider if a re-balancing step on your part might help your friend or colleague regain their balance.

One Key to Leadership Success: Mining the “hidden gems” buried in your organization’s past

  • Fact: Every organizations, like every family, has an inheritance of both strengths and vulnerabilities, but these are usually hidden in plain sight. Embedded “default tendencies” and patterns of functioning during stressful times can bring out the best and the worst in the corporate culture. Knowing in advance what those strengths and vulnerabilities are, what tends to trigger them, and how best to manage them puts an organization at a significant competitive advantage.
  • Action: During strategic planning, risk assessment, or contingency preparedness conversations, bring up the topic of this mixed inheritance, and ask those present to reflect on and name how best to minimize the organizational liabilities and leverage strengths whenever anxious times strike.
  • Fact: Every organizations, like every family, has an inheritance of both strengths and vulnerabilities, but these are usually hidden in plain sight. Embedded “default tendencies” and patterns of functioning during stressful times can bring out the best and the worst in the corporate culture. Knowing in advance what those strengths and vulnerabilities are, what tends to trigger them, and how best to manage them puts an organization at a significant competitive advantage.
  • Action: During strategic planning, risk assessment, or contingency preparedness conversations, bring up the topic of this mixed inheritance, and ask those present to reflect on and name how best to minimize the organizational liabilities and leverage strengths whenever anxious times strike.

In a Toxic Triangle? Reposition yourself!

  • Fact: In a few seconds, we can be drawn into an emotional triangle. For example: A colleague at work comes out of the boss’s office fuming and makes a beeline to your desk. “You won’t believe what just happened…”.
  • Action: How you respond in this situation will strengthen or weaken your position in the ongoing triangle between you, the boss and your colleague.
    1] Avoid feeling sorry for someone, blaming someone or offering solutions,
    2] Listen without judgement and then help your colleague clarify their thinking about what happened in the boss’s office,
    3] Avoid the “togetherness position” which means avoid commiserating or feeling responsible to help your colleague figure out how to patch things up with the boss.
  • Fact: In a few seconds, we can be drawn into an emotional triangle. For example: A colleague at work comes out of the boss’s office fuming and makes a beeline to your desk. “You won’t believe what just happened…”.
  • Action: How you respond in this situation will strengthen or weaken your position in the ongoing triangle between you, the boss and your colleague.
    1] Avoid feeling sorry for someone, blaming someone or offering solutions,
    2] Listen without judgement and then help your colleague clarify their thinking about what happened in the boss’s office,
    3] Avoid the “togetherness position” which means avoid commiserating or feeling responsible to help your colleague figure out how to patch things up with the boss.