Collaborative capacity is not transmitted in a ‘single loop’ learning process. Rather, it is developed through experience and reflection, new knowledge and insight, conscious practice and credible feedback.

Leadership Development

We help organizations develop collaborative & team-building skills.Today, the most successful leaders are not those that compete for individual advantage, but those that build involvement, bridge differences, and facilitate collaborative solutions. We help organizations develop this kind of collaborative leadership capacity.

Program participants range from accomplished, high-level leaders to new professionals – whether it is an intact work team, a new board of directors, or a cross-sector leadership group. Programs are designed as retreats, workshop series, off sites or on sites. The depth and range of ideas and activities depends on client goals and requirements, but modules include:

  • Myths and Realities
  • Today’s Leadership Challenge
  • Brain Science and Leadership
  • Ancient Wisdom
  • 100 Years of Behavioral Science
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Seeing Others, Seeing What’s Happening
  • Seeing Yourself, Seeing What’s Happening
  • Transforming Interaction
  • Engaging Constructive Conflict
  • The Power of Shared Vision
  • Current Reality
  • Systems Thinking
  • Assumptions and Mental Models
  • Collaborative Problem Solving
  • Ownership and Accountability
  • Leveraging Success
  • Defining Moments
  • Motivation

Team Building

We design and facilitate teambuilding programs for private, public, non-profit, and cross-sector groups. Team building is useful for:

  • Starting a new team, organization, collaboration
  • Building a more effective team
  • Assessing team skills and styles
  • Recognizing and celebrating accomplishments
  • Understanding and improving interaction
  • Developing collaboration skills and capacity
  • Using conflict productively
  • Learning to learn together
  • Improving working relationships

Programs are highly interactive and designed around principles of adult learning, experiential learning, and multiple learning channels. We recognize that different approaches are needed for different groups. Outdoor challenges may be invigorating for some, aggravating for others. Options include:

  • Learning labs on ‘real issue’ problem solving
  • Outdoor group problem solving challenges
  • Indoor group challenges
  • Action challenges
  • Facilitative Leadership
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator
  • Constructive Conflict Skills
  • Shared Visioning
  • Current Reality Indicators
  • Assumptions and Mental Models
  • Collaborative Problem Solving
  • Strategic Planning
  • Asset mapping

Ready to learn more? Call today for your free consultation →

Community Leadership

Increasingly communities are realizing that difficult public problems require energetic leadership from all segments of the community. Over the last 20 years evidence has been accumulating that collaborative leadership across the public, private, and non-profit sectors is a primary contributor to successful community initiatives.

However, collaborative leadership requires an entirely different set of practices and skills. We provide community leadership development programs to build collaborative skills for those who have never participated, as well as those who have always participated in their communities.

Programs are designed around specific needs of each group. Topics and activities from any of our other programs can be included, but core modules are:

  • New Challenges of Leadership
  • The Evidence: What’s Working
  • Facilitative Leadership
  • Becoming A Catalyst and Convener
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Asset Mapping
  • Shared Visioning
  • Managing Constructive Conflict
  • Public Participation
  • Collaborative Problem Solving
  • Consensus Building
  • Effective Public Communication

Conflict Resolution & Management Skills

Building Constructive Conflict Competence

We provide training programs to help individuals and groups become more adept in making conflict constructive. We do not claim to have easy answers. Humans have yet to unlock the mysteries of conflict.

While simple agreement is the easiest way to protect relationships, it is clearly not the best way to solve problems. The ability to clearly express differences without triggering defensive ness is a master competency. And since answers to complex problems are not solved in one-shot communication exchanges, we cannot rely on linear formulas. We have to become more adept at reading and adjusting to dynamics influencing behavior.

Our programs can be designed as a lunch series, half-or full -day workshops, or multiple day retreats.

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Interpersonal Dynamics
  • Learning and Change Theories
  • Conflict Styles
  • Dialogue
  • Disagreement Skills
  • Active Conflict Management
  • Reasoning and Elaboration
  • Assumptions and Mental Models
  • Collaborative Problem Solving
  • Consensus Building
  • Transformative Mediation

Emotional Intelligence

Key findings in recent brain research focus on the strength and speed of emotions in influencing interactions between people. Humans have emotional signal systems that are always on, and always transmitting information that influences others. The real dilemma is that we send, decipher and act upon those signals at lightening fast speed, below the level of consciousness.

For our ancestors, fast, automatic reactions were essential in propelling life-saving responses to danger. Today, the brain’s automatic triggering of powerful physiological responses in the face of perceived threats is not very helpful. The primitive part of our brain in charge of automatic reactions does not know the difference between a grizzly bear and an aggressive coworker. The result is the universal experience of suddenly being confused, offended, or even threatened by an initially insignificant interaction

Finding ways to influence our hard-wired, automatic response system is the focus of serious scientific research. The most promising approaches reveal the futility of ‘deciding’ to feel differently, and instead encourage better understanding of what is actually happening – within ourselves, within others, and between us.

Emotional intelligence is primarily about increasing awareness and developing fluency in emotional responses. Collaborative Solutions provides training, facilitation, and coaching in emotional intelligence and interpersonal competence. Content may include:

  • New Definitions of Intelligence
  • Brain Research
  • Different Approaches to Emotional / Interpersonal Competence
  • Evolution and Emotional Triggers
  • Recoding the Stimulus
  • Self Awareness
  • Other Awareness
  • Reading Emotions
  • Meaning and Dialogue
  • Interaction Dynamics
  • Seeing What’s Happening
  • Changing What’s Happening
  • Communication Signals
  • Communication Options
  • Speaking to be Heard
  • Listening to Learn
  • Motivation and Change

Facilitation and Collaboration Skills

Facilitation skills are required in an increasing array of workplace, organizational, community, and interpersonal environments. When group efforts involve problem solving or marshalling of diverse interests, skillful facilitation can make a big difference in moving forward or falling apart.

We prepare participants in specific methods, strategies, processes, activities, and styles of facilitation. Our focus is on developing competence in several approaches and building flexibility in meeting different group needs. Modules can include:

  • Creating Value
  • Types of Group Efforts
  • Facilitator Roles
  • Clarifying Group Purpose
  • Decision Making Options
  • Collaborative Process Overview
  • Dual Concerns: Tasks and Relationships
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Levels of Involvement
  • Stages of Decision-Making/Problem Solving
  • Process Design
  • Interpersonal / Group Dynamics
  • Constructive Conflict Competencies
  • Group Process Tools and Activities
  • Effective Meeting Components
  • Desired Outcomes
  • Agenda Creation and Recreation
  • Operating Agreements
  • Gauging Manner and Level of Interventions
  • Building Collaborative Norms
  • Stages of Group Development
  • Building Capacity

Not sure where to start? Call today to learn how we can help →


“Well designed theoretical constructs… Exercises were fun and illuminating.”

Leadership Training participant
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“Engaging… Enjoyed role-playing… Created trusting environment… Great timing and rhythm of the day… Insightful handouts.”

Federal Government, Training Program participants