Leading from Experience: Developing the Consultative Stance 2023

05/05/2023 06:00 PM - 05/07/2023 01:00 PM ET


Leading from Experience: Developing the Consultative Stance


Faculty: Donna Elmendorf,  Dannie Kennedy

Candice Crawford-Zakian, and Jim Krantz (Convenor)

Faculty in Training: Heather Forouhar-Graff, Megan Kolano, Alan Ruiz, Glenn Sigl

Administrator: Lori Schweickert

An in-person workshop to be held at The Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts


Registration Fee for Consulting Participants: $550 USD

Registration Fee for Non-Consulting Participants: $500 USD

This Workshop is endorsed by the A. K. Rice Institute, and is in partnership with The Austen Riggs Center

May 5th-May 7th, 2023

Workshop Description
This workshop is designed to strengthen participants’ ability to exercise leadership in abroad range of work roles through taking up a consultative stance. Participants learn to recognize the value of their inner experience - thoughts, feelings, associations, fantasies, daydreams, pre-occupations - and to articulate them to further the group’s purpose and task.

What is the Consultative Stance? 
The act of acknowledging one’s experience and sharing it to further the group’s aim is the consultative stance. Whether taken up formally as a designated leader, consultant, member or participant, the consultative stance recognizes that people in a group are inevitably, though often without being aware of it, in touch with the emotional life of the group. Paying attention to what one is feeling, thinking about and reacting to may open a window into what is going on in the group, just outside of members’ awareness. Speaking to this experience from one’s role, while checking it against both the experience of others and the purpose of the group, can help the work of a group evolve, particularly as it leads to discovery of previously unseen contexts and potentially challenging dynamics. Taking a consultative stance creates an opportunity to exercise this form of leadership; this is leading from experience.

Workshop Design
In the workshop, process groups and work groups are used to provide this learning opportunity. In the process groups, participants are invited to study the here-and-now unfolding group dynamics, evolving culture, emotional experience, etc., in relation to the task of the study of belonging. Belonging can be thought of as an experience of security, acceptance, and inclusion within a group, with the possibility of being better known and joined by others. In the process groups, designated consultants practice sharing their experience to further the work of the group. They then reflect on their use the consultative stance with the faculty, while other participants observe. In the working group, members work at a real-life problem presented by the faculty in the form a vignette. There are no designated consultants; any member is free to offer consultation as they work on the group task and learn about how sharing experience furthers that work. After each session, the entire group reflects on the process with faculty. Consulting roles in the process groups are open to anyone with previous group experience (attendance at the workshop or other intensive group experience). There are a limited number of consulting members, and they are available on a first-to-sign-up basis. Those who choose the consultant role will be assigned to co-consulting teams, who will then take turns consulting to the process groups. Non-consulting participants will take up the member role in these groups and observe the reflections of
consultants and faculty after each session. There is no prior LFE Workshop or group relations experience required for non-consulting participants.

Please contact the Workshop Administrator, Lori Schweickert at lori@lorischweickert.info for more information.


You can make payment online via credit card through the registration form.

Full payment is due by April 30th, 2023


We are pleased to be able to offer tuition discounts to those who wish to participate but cannot afford full tuition at this time.  To request a tuition discount, please send a letter via email to lori@lorischweickert.info, stating the reasons for your request. 

Registrants with current affiliations with CSGSS, AKRI and Austen Riggs will receive a $100 discount. Two or more participants from the same organization (other than these 3 organizations) will each receive a $50 discount. Only one discount will be available to each participant.


If an application is withdrawn on or before April 15, 2023, an administrative fee of $25 will be retained and the remainder of the tuition will be refundedNo refund will be issued after April 15, 2023.


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