Leading from Experience: Developing the Consultative Stance 2021

05/13/2021 03:00 PM - 05/16/2021 03:30 PM ET


Leading from Experience: Developing the Consultative Stance


The Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems is pleased to announce 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-7:50PM 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

Start and end times are subject to minor modifications.

All times listed are Eastern Time




Faculty: Donna Elmendorf, Dannie Kennedy, Jim Krantz

Jerry Fromm (Convener) 

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


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


Leading from Experience 

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.

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.



Please send a letter via email to lori@lorischweickert.info, stating the reasons for your request. Letters requesting fee reductions must be received by April 15, 2021 to be considered.

Registrants from 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 May 1, 2021, an administrative fee of $25 will be retained and the remainder of the tuition will be refunded. No refund will be issued after May 1, 2021.

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