Pre-Conference Events

Pre-Conference Workshop Schedule – We are excited about the rich offering of these pre-conference workshops. This is an opportunity to go deeper into the materials with the presenters and participants. Come for the conference and plan to get here early and attend a few of the pre-conference workshops also. 

There is an additional fee to register for the pre-conference workshops. 

1. Social Construction, Relational and Transformative Practice with Sheila McNamee and Harlene Anderson – Tues., Nov. 6 at 4:00 pm –  7:00 pm, Wed., Nov. 7 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, and Thurs., Nov. 8 from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.

Sheila and Harlene invite you to join us as we bring our breadth of experiences together to introduce social construction and relational practices for those new to it and to deepen understanding for those familiar with it. Focus will be on the practical application of constructionist ideas in organizations, therapy, education, community development, healthcare, and more. We will focus on relational constructionist understandings of language and meaning making, polyvocality, transformative dialogue, and appreciative and future oriented perspectives.

Participants with a background in social construction will have an opportunity to explore issues of special relevance to their projects and practices. Taos Ph.D. students are encouraged to attend, as are all interested students and professionals.

CE Credits available for psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapist and professional counselors. If you want CE Hours fee: $20.00 – please let Harlene Anderson know and pay her directly.

2. Constructing Intersections: Social Justice and Relationality with Duane Bidwell and Monica Sesma – Wednesday, Nov. 7, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. 

How do issues of power, privilege, and oppression shape social construction? And how can social construction form futures that dismantle inequality and social exclusion? Duane and Monica invite you to explore intersectional theory as a constructionist tool for subverting inequality, oppression, and exclusion. By understanding race, gender, ethnicity, social class, education, religion, age, and other identity categories as social constructions, we can identify nuanced ways that they contribute to oppression, exclusion, and marginalization, especially among minority populations and targeted groups. Participants will examine their own intersectionality/positionality, clarify how they influence structural relations of domination in their organizations and practices, and learn strategies for minimizing the construction of oppressive relationships. Participants with or without a background in social construction will have an opportunity to explore alternative strategies for addressing social and cultural violence. The workshop will create a space to co-construct socially just and relationally responsible responses to interlocking oppressions.

3. Relational Practices for Positive Organizational Change with Diana Whitney – Wednesday, Nov. 7, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. 

Explore the design and facilitation of consulting practices grounded in social construction theory. Join Diana Whitney to consider organization culture change, strategic planning, leadership development and team building from a fully affirmative relational constructionist stance. Discover how social construction theory invites consultants to move from deficit to appreciative practices; from individualistic to relational approaches to leadership and organization development; and from organizational consulting as creating change to organizational consulting as working in the relational flow of positive possibilities. Beginner and experienced consultants are invited to bring situations from their current work to share and gain insight during this clinic in organizational consulting.

4. Improving our Practice of Relational Leading, with Ginny Belden-Charles  –Wednesday, Nov. 7, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. 

Any situation, relationship or event we enter provides a largely invisible context that shapes our engagement. How do we come to appreciate and be “fully present” to the constraints and enablers within each of us and the situation? How do we open possibilities for group intentionality and creative problem solving within this context? Using John Shotter’s “aboutness” and “withness” concepts, we will explore practices of relational leading that are generative and alive. Bring your leadership challenges to join a collective inquiry into relational leading that builds on dialogues begun in the Relational Leading online workshop.

5. Relational Theory and Practice, with Ken and Mary Gergen – Wednesday, Nov. 7, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. 

Relational theory now provides cutting edge ideas relevant to practices across the professions. The major theoretical shift is from the traditional focus on individuals to the relational processes that are co-produced. We will focus on the conceptual framework of relational theory as well as an exploration of practices in professional practice from a relational perspective.

6. Relational Research – Transformational Possibilities with Relational Practices in Research with the Relational Research Network Core Team – Thursday, Nov. 8, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.

In this workshop we will explore how relational practices in research are a resource with generative capacities, expanding spaces for participatory inquiry, and maximizing collective innovation to co-create different futures. The following questions will guide our dialogue about how we engage in research processes. How are we socially constructing the future? What kind of relations do we want to construct? How do we engage with all participants, including the “audience”? How do we engage in reflexivity? Participants will be able to share their research ideas and enrich other participants’ research. This will be an opportunity to network, co-learn, and create opportunities for collaboration.

7. Quiet Leadership: Building on Teamwork, Collaboration, and Relationships, with Tojo Thatchenkery – Thursday, Nov. 8, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.

Based on his book on invisible leadership (2011), Tojo Thatchenkery will show that the time has come to value quiet leadership again. Most of our understanding of leadership comes from research and theories developed in the United States. The assumption is that leaders are highly charismatic and very visible. However, genuine leadership is not about charisma or visibility. A significant amount of noteworthy accomplishments in organizations are made possible by “quiet leaders,” those who complete their tasks with commitment and often go above and beyond the call of duty, without seeking visibility. Such leaders often create innovation and new products and services because they are good in creating positive relational synergy in teams, valuing others, and building a collaborative and relational climate. Smart organizations must embrace a global view of leadership which values multiple styles and cultural practices. This experiential workshop will share approaches and tools to recognize, grow, and sustain quiet leadership. Examples will be shared from highly innovative organizations such as Apple and Google where quiet leadership has played a key part in their growth and success.