Workshop Overview

Presence-Based Leadership: A Retreat for Leaders and Coaches

We all know, from our own visceral experience, that the world is complex and unpredictable. Many of us, and our clients, are in the midst of tremendous challenges; we seek resources and guidance for how to navigate territory for which we feel unprepared.

This new context demands new and resourceful ways for sensing the world and constructing meaning. It demands that we not only understand complexity as an external phenomenon, but also work skillfully and holistically with the complexity internal to us as leaders and humans.

This emerging Presence-Based® Leadership body of work gives us radical new perspectives and integrative practices for navigating this terrain. This work is a synthesis with deep roots in complexity work, leadership development, somatics, interpersonal neurobiology, and developmental psychology and coaching.

The retreat draws from the foundations of Presence-Based Coaching and the pioneering work of Carolyn Coughlin and her colleagues with complexity and adult development in some of the world’s leading organizations. Doug Silsbee’s new book also provides a major new synthesis of these important streams. This is the third time this retreat will be offered at Bend of Ivy Lodge.

Learning Objectives

In this retreat, we explore how complexity challenges our very identity, how the self organizes to defend that identity, and how embodied reactive behaviors often make things worse (albeit with the best of intentions!). We work in the present moment with coaching interventions such as somatic practices and unconventional perspective shifts to build a self that can function with clarity and resilience in the midst of complexity and uncertainty.

This highly experiential workshop is for experienced and practicing coaches and leaders with a significant level of training and pragmatic experience under their belt. Pragmatism, application, and evidence-based practice provide the grounding for this leading edge synthesis. It is crucial that you are enlivened by experimenting and practicing on yourself.

We will work experientially with a new model that offers pragmatic coaching and leadership strategies focused on:

  • Distinguishing complex contexts from complicated and obvious contexts
  • Sensing habitual reactions to complexity through emotions, body, language and meaning-making
  • Resourcing the self by cultivating internal states of awareness and resilience
  • Developing action learning strategies for engaging with complexity
  • Working with multiple perspectives and integrative practices within the self and with clients


Timing: The retreat will begin at 9am on Monday, June 17, 2019 and will end at 2pm on Wednesday, June 19, 2019.

Location: Bend of Ivy Lodge, a secluded and beautiful retreat center 20 minutes north of Asheville, North Carolina. The retreat will include intensive, highly experiential days, morning practices, and evening sessions. Because the community experience is a vitally important element of the retreat, and there are few nearby alternatives, we strongly recommend staying on-site. If you have a special situation and prefer to stay offsite please let us know and we can offer options.

Cost of Workshop: $1,900 plus meals and lodging.

Meals and Lodging: Meals and lodging are NOT included as part of the package. Lodging and meals prices include three nights’ double occupancy lodging, shared bath, and gourmet meals prepared with locally sourced, organic foods. Meals are provided from breakfast on Monday through lunch on Wednesday. Three nights’ lodging starts the evening of Sunday and goes through the end of the retreat.


To register for this workshop, please proceed to the Presence-Based Coaching website.


*This workshop is a joint offering between Growth Edge Coaching and Presence-Based Coaching ©. This is the third running of a program that was previously called Resourcing Clients for Unknowable Futures.  Growth Edge Coaching is also running a 3-day version of this workshop in New Zealand, under the name of Cultivating the Self for Complexity.