The course will be delivered through a combination of lecture, group exercises and practical coaching with the course leader, Jan Smith. All the exercises are designed to make you better equipped to:

Resolve annoyances and complaints of others, in partnership.

Uncover and solve problems that others were not initially willing to discuss.

Prevent costly mistakes that occur when someone interprets something that was not intended.

Use your own reactions under pressure to generate even deeper, more meaningful, more authentic connections with others.

Make clearer requests that generate the action and support of others.

Transform differences of opinion with customers, vendors, staff, and family into creative, relationship-enhancing conversations.

Following are typical topics that will be covered:

  • How do you react under friction?
    When confronted with something challenging, it’s human nature to go into our own familiar reactive behaviors. Our reactions tend to be some form of evading and avoiding, or speaking up without regard for how our speaking is received. In the course, you will become familiar with your personal reactive style. You will also be shown how to slow down your reaction long enough to make new choices.


  • Moving beyond “my view” versus “their view” to find the intersection of both
    Let’s be honest. Often, without conscious thought, we hold other’s points of view as less important than ours. Recognizing the validity of another’s viewpoint is a crucial leadership skill. You will see how to separate facts from your interpretation of those facts. This skill alone can aid you in resolving issues in a way that honors each person’s point of view.


  • How can you avoid having your future be your past repeated?
    According to research in how the mind works, most learning takes place by the age of 13 and tapers off by the early 20’s. Beyond that, the majority of adult thoughts and behaviors are simply the past repeated. You will learn how to recognize these barriers and generate new neuropathways consistent with a higher level of leadership.
  • Are you on auto pilot?
    In the split-second before you speak, several things are occurring that will determine the outcome of the conversation. You will see how it is possible to stay connected in conversation, even when you are upset, without endorsing another's behavior or changing your view.


  • Are you listening, or just waiting to speak?
    The most respected and effective leaders are those who truly listen, beneath words to what was meant. You will see how your own thoughts and reactions filter what you hear. In that space where you can see what shapes your thoughts, emotions and reactions, you can stretch to make new choices.