Workshop Overview

Complexity Fitness

Cultivating a self that is fit for the complex world we live and work in

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 specifically seeking resources and guidance 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 itself can trigger anxiety, overwhelm, and confusion.

The dissonance between our yearning for certainty and the reality of the world we face 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 work and in ourselves, a: both for our clients, and for ourselves, and as we investigate, we experiment with ourselves, using real and immediate challenges as an experiential laboratory for discovery.

What you will experience

This workshop is for experienced leaders, coaches, organisational consultants or other support professionals. You will be asked to come with a personal or work challenge that you are finding difficult to resolve and to be willing to work on that with others and to help others work on their challenges.

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 and supports you as you gain insights 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 ©. Together with Presence Based Coaching © we offer a version of this workshop under the name Presence-Based Leadership: A Retreat for Coaches and Leaders.


Workshop Testimonials

As a facilitator myself, I have high expectations for workshops I attend. Patrice and Carolyn are a masterful combination. Both thoughtful, provocative and well based in their work, they manage to take challenging work and help participants make sense of it. I found the work 'Cultivating the Self for Complexity' profound for my own development journey. It was easy to trust Carolyn and Patrice’s expertise as I chose to take the work as deeply as I could. Personal learning has made it easier to experiment using the work with my own clients. I loved the interweaving of complexity, somatics, adult development theory and presence based work, and it came together well as a program of development. Please do this work, it makes a difference.

Jackie Crispin Brown, 2018 CSC participant

I came away from Cultivating the Self for Complexity with a new sense of what the word ‘integration’ really means. Backed by years of experience and cutting edge work with clients around the world, Carolyn and Patrice crafted an experience that allowed me to go beyond learning at just a ‘head’ level to coming to grips with complexity in my bones. I have come away with learning and practices for my own development and for becoming a better leader. This is a must do for becoming ‘match fit’ to navigating and leading in today’s unpredictable world.

Mary Beth Robles, 2018 CSC participant

I highly recommend the Complexity Fitness workshop to both leaders and leadership coaches.

Patrice and Carolyn have put together a range of thought-provoking activities that help participants to explore how they respond to complexity and challenge. The workshop gently encourages participants to develop new ways of thinking and behaving when life is asking a lot.

This is one of the best workshops I have ever been to. A lovely mixture of cutting edge theory and well-designed activities.

The experience has had a noticeable impact on my coaching and leadership.

Rachel Collis, Executive, leadership and career coach