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Relational Leading: Do we know what it means in practice? | Sept. 28 - Nov. 23

Wed, September 28, 2016

through Wed, November 23, 2016

Dates: September 28 to November 23, 2016
Facilitators: Ginny Belden-Charles, PhD and Keith Kinsella, PhD

Are you interested in:

  • Exploring the influence of social constructionist thinking in your leadership work?
  • Strengthening your capacity to help your team, organization or clients work together across differences; and in complex, multi-stakeholder and global contexts?
  • Developing new strategies for creating novel and generative solutions to entrenched organizational difficulties?

Relational Leading might offer one answer. By focusing on the conditions and processes for encouraging co-creativity, collective meaning making, fluidity and responsiveness in our action taking, and shared accountability for achieving systemic outcomes, this emerging viewpoint offers promise for thinking afresh about approaches to leading that can work in today’s complex, diverse, and uncertain environment.

In this 8-week online course we will seek to help you improve your practice of leading relationally through an intense focus on experimenting with and reflecting on your actual practice. Applying cycles of action research over the period of the course to your own selected practice challenge, we’ll explore relations between intentions, actions and outcomes, and identify both the benefits of, and what creates conditions for, leading to be experienced as relational. The course will use a dialectical approach to learning where theory provokes/enriches learning and new action in our practice, and learning from practice informs new theory building. We will make use of a range of learning processes, including:

  • Observing how you are relating to others in your practice
  • Taking part in structured exercises
  • Keeping a daily journal capturing your experiences and reflections
  • Engaging in dialogue both face-to-face and through interactive online writing (English)
  • Co-coaching with other participants and staff
  • Reflecting on curated readings

We want to explore what Relational leading looks like as it is unfolding in practice. And to contribute usefully towards this unfolding, we want to explore how we frame, orient and participate in ways that enable us to actively influence group developments from inside our leadership practice. In other words, how do we become a certain kind of contributor to leading who can responsively influence group conditions, support group coherence and generate constructive collective action? While it may not be possible to develop general ways of doing this, we aim to learn particular and specific ways in the situations we are studying, and see how this may be useful in other contexts.

The course is framed as a collaborative and dynamic inquiry informed by social construction and systemic ideas. We will respond to and build on ongoing questions and learning as these emerge from practice across the group, while structuring around these weekly themes:

1. Orienting to the course and the four learning streams
2. Inquiring into the evolving meaning of leadership
3. Launching your practice challenges and methods of inquiry
4. Engaging in dialogue to understand context and divergent perspectives
5. Applying reflection/reflexivity in your practice of leading
6. Fostering convergence through systemic inquiry
7. Orchestrating responses and preparing for next moves
8. Reflecting on the conditions and capabilities for relational leading

Expectations for Participants:

  • Have some background knowledge/experience with social construction
  • Complete the pre-reading and study selective papers from the curated bibliography
  • Identify a practice challenge that you will engage in reflecting upon, co-coaching with others, and planning and taking action
  • Participate in the live calls on a weekly basis
  • Participate in ongoing online dialogue by sharing your journal thoughts, responding to questions and generating new thinking
  • Engage in live partner/trio dialogues
  • Be prepared to be vulnerable, and ‘not knowing’ in order to be able to observe your experiences and those of others in different ways

The course runs from September 28 to November 23, Calls are scheduled each Wednesday at 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm EST (New York time) for the 8 weeks (Sept. 28, October 12, 19 26, November 2, 9, 16 and 23).

Weekly conference calls are scheduled each Wednesday at 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm EST (New York time) for the 8 weeks (Sept. 28, October 12, 19 26, November 2, 9, 16 and 23).

The cost of the course is $1,000.00

Click Here

Cancellation policy:

50% refund for any cancellations up to two weeks before class starts. 25% refund for any cancellations up to 7 days before the workshop starts. No refund after that.