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Leading from Experience: Developing the Consultative Stance
Thursday, May 13, 2021 to Sunday, May 16, 2021
Category: Training Events

Leading from Experience: Developing the Consultative Stance

The Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems is pleased to announce registration is now open for the next in its series of weekend training workshops on the consultative stance.

The workshop will be offered on-line as we pursue the primary task of using the consultative stance to understand and provide leadership in work groups.


Beginning: Thursday, 5/13/21 from 3 PM-7:15 PM ET

Friday, 5/14/21 from 3PM-7:15 PM ET

Saturday, 5/15/21 from 10:30 AM-6:15 PM ET

Ending: Sunday, 5/16/21 from 10 AM to 3:30 PM ET


Faculty: Donna Elmendorf, Jerry Fromm, Dannie Kennedy

Jim Krantz (Convenor)

Faculty in Training: Megan Kolano and Glenn Sigl

Administrator: Lori Schweickert


 Registration Fee for Consulting Participants: $450 USD

 Registration Fee for Non-Consulting Participants: $400 USD

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.

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


This Workshop is designed to strengthen participants' ability to exercise leadership in a broad range of work roles through taking up a consultative stance. Building on concepts and practices from psychoanalytic and systems theories, as well as the group relations tradition, the Workshop emphasizes the value of inner experience as an important guide to advancing work in any group or organizational context.   Recognizing and speaking to thoughts, associations, feelings, fantasies and other forms of experience in relation to the purpose of the group is what we are calling the consultative stance. 

The consultative stance-whether taken up formally as a designated leader or consultant or informally as a member or participant-involves being immersed in the dynamics of a group and paying attention to what one is feeling, thinking about and reacting to.  Such experiences provide a window into what might be going on in the group just outside people's awareness.  Speaking to this experience from one's role, while checking it against 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-leading from experience.

In the Workshop we use self-study groups with a focus on the unfolding process to provide a grounding for participants to experience and develop their capacity to adopt a consultative stance.  Participants may take up formal consultative roles in the self-study groups, followed by focused reflection with faculty, or may participate exclusively as a group member.  All participants will have the opportunity for application, in which they lead an examination of their back-home organizational dilemmas through the window of their experiences both there and in the Workshop.

Consulting roles in the self-study group are open to anyone who has either previously attended the Workshop or a group relations conference or has had an equivalent group experience. There are a limited number of consulting opportunities, 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 self- study groups. Non-consulting participants will take up the member role in the groups and observe the reflections of consultants and faculty after each session. There is no prior Workshop or group relations experience required for non-consulting participants.

Visit CSGSS.org/events for more information and to register

Contact: [email protected]