Leadership skills for high performance teamwork in adversity

  • Communication skills that build resiliency, adaptability, and creativity
  • Psychological safety, trust, and understanding for difficult conversations
  • Diversity, inclusion, empathy
  • Strengthened connections and collaboration
  • Giving and receiving uncomfortable and important feedback

 

"Through your training, you give people concrete tools and practices to turn conflicts into actionable resolutions."

          — Andrew Blum, CEO and Managing Partner, The Trium Group

 

Communication for Difficult Conversations and conflict

Google conducted an in-depth, company-wide research study to discover why some teams performed at high levels of effectiveness and others didn't. They found that the most important variable related to highly effective teams was "psychological safety" [article]. In these high performing teams, people were attentive and caring of each other's emotions and well being. Everyone trusted they would have an equal voice and be heard, valued, and respected, that it was safe to be honest and vulnerable, express new ideas and take risks, and that they could disagree and challenge each other and still stay connected.

John trains people in leadership skills in communication for dealing with adversity and challenge. These skills create an environment of psychological safety and trust for performing at high levels teamwork and effectiveness. People become leaders in the ability to strengthen self-connection and connection with others, and successfully navigate difficult conversations, conflicts, and breakdowns in communication. This ability produces well being, resilience, and adaptability with difficulty and change, and the capacity to tap collective intelligence and create new possibilities and solutions together.

 

"John Kinyon's approach is particularly useful because it focuses on managing attention and moving conversations towards understanding and clarity in powerful ways."
          — Isaac Schlueter, npm, Inc. Co-founder and CEO

 

CONVERSATIONS THAT CHANGE THE GAME

Change happens one conversation at a time. These are the crucial, difficult, and courageous conversations that catalyze change and move the individual, the team, the organization forward into new possibilities.  The training enables conversations to happen that aren't happening but need to in order to effectively meet challenges together, and innovate and evolve. Within conflict there is the power to be propelled to the next level of growth and success.

 

"Working with John on improving our team's approach to conflict is one of the best decisions I've made as a leader since founding the company five years ago. ... I feel confident in saying that if Flip Labs fulfills its vision to grow and make real change in the world by solving social and environmental problems, our work with John will be a key reason we were able to do so."
— Cheryl Dahle, Founder of Future of Fish, and Flip Labs

 

The Approach

The approach is simple and powerful. It is based in distinctions in language, communication skills, mindfulness, and a mediation framework and "maps" that shift experience from conflict to connection. The skills give the capacity to return to self-connection in the midst of intensity and challenge, the ability to reach understanding and clarity with self and others, particularly when it's difficult, and a way to have difficult conversations that makes them doable and successful. This work is based in the international work of Compassionate Communication (Nonviolent Communication, NVC).

 

These are cutting edge communication skills that I believe will be standard practice for top performing teams and organizations in a few years."
— Justin Nassiri, StoryBox, Founder and CEO

 

Learning modules of the training

  • Communication distinctions based in a language of universal human needs (Compassionate Communication/Nonviolent Communication, NVC)
  • A mindfulness-based self-connection process for returning to presence and choice in stress/trigger moments
  • Speaking and listening in a way that strengthens empathic connection
  • A process and structure for having difficult conversations, including, giving and receiving evaluations and feedback 

 

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Full Testimonials

 

"John, your method helps people see that conflict is not a negative to be avoided, but is actually the basis of productive relationships. Through your training, you give people concrete tools and practices to turn conflicts into actionable resolutions. Ultimately, through working with you people are to recognize the fundamental fabric of teams and organizations, which is that all of us are connected through universal needs. It is through hearing, seeing, and acknowledging our own needs and the needs of others that the strongest relationships are built."
— Andrew Blum, CEO and Managing Partner, The Trium Group
 
"I've studied NVC for years, and have found it to be a transformative force in my personal and professional life. John Kinyon's approach is particularly useful because it focuses on managing attention and moving conversations towards understanding and clarity in powerful ways. A company is a complex machine made of many people, and compassionate communication keeps the gears from grinding to a halt at npm, Inc. We are happier and more productive when we can trust one another and communicate clearly."
— Isaac Schlueter, npm, Inc. Co-founder and CEO
 
"Working with John on improving our team's approach to conflict is one of the best decisions I've made as a leader since founding the company five years ago. John's method gave us a simple, shared vocabulary and a process we could trust, even when we've been scared to dive into difficult conversations. We've been tracking weekly how many times we use the approach, and in just a few months, I can see the difference in how we relate to each other and how we perform more effectively. In a virtual company like ours, misunderstandings can easily turn into issues, and then become bad dynamics and ultimately stuck points that prevent us from doing our best work. Now that we have a way to clear those issues before then deepen and calcify, we are much more productive. I spend less time as a manager dealing with fallout from un-aired and unspoken conflict. I feel confident in saying that if Flip Labs fulfills its vision to grow and make real change in the world by solving social and environmental problems, our work with John will be a key reason we were able to do so."
— Cheryl Dahle, Founder of Future of Fish, and Flip Labs
 
"I see John's work in organizations being extremely powerful. Whether it is helping my Client Success team show empathy with clients in difficult conversations, training my sales team to show understanding on challenging sales calls, or helping our entire team have more effective and creative connection with each other, this work is essential in so many ways. I have also used these skills in my personal life with my wife and others with incredibly helpful and powerful results. These are cutting edge communication skills that I believe will be standard practice for top performing teams and organizations in a few years."
— Justin Nassiri, StoryBox, Founder and CEO
 
"We invited John to join our corporate retreat as a means to develop better communications with our team, specifically in regards to having difficult conversations with colleagues. I’m happy to say that since the retreat, we are continuing to use the skills and 3-chairs process, as they are proving to be invaluable for us in heading off unproductive conflict early on and communicating better as a team.  We are more willing and even seek to engage in tough conversations rather than push them off or avoid them.  The tools create a safe space to share opinions, thoughts, and frustrations without feeling like there will be the negative judgements or disconnection that can typically result from difficult discussions.  On average, I would say folks are practicing the tools twice a week with each other and regularly for self-management.  We have been incorporating the skills seamlessly into our communications as they have been so productive for us.  Hats off to you, John. This has really helped us become more empathetic and engage in conversations with a much more productive mindset and manner!!!"
— Peter Battisti, Executive Director, Future of Fish
 
"Effective leading happens in conversations held throughout the day. These conversations happen everywhere in the organization, from the boardroom to the break room. Nothing has enhanced my leadership effectiveness like John's training. I have integrated it into high stakes conversations such as contract negotiations, performance feedback, team decision making, conflict resolution, group facilitation and project debriefs. It supports me in the many brief encounters that happen in any given day — the physican in the hallway who is dissatisfied about the service she has received from my department, or a patient's frustrated family member trying to find their way to the cafeteria. My consistent practice of these skills has "hardwired" new communication habits that enhance my capacity for responding compassionately and authentically to a variety of situations. Connection has become the common thread that runs through my daily encounters. And from that connection arises a genuine spirit of collaboration that is central to the ongoing and dynamic process of creating something that works for everyone. I highly recommend this training for leaders and teams who want to tap their collective potential for creating brilliant ways to sustain their organization and fulfill their mission, while fostering deeply satisfying relationships with every conversation held along the way."
—   Christine Flaherty, Healthcare Executive

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Resources

Research on empathy, compassion, and mindfulness shows that these qualities lead to increased mental-emotional-physical well being and optimal functioning such as "flow" states, increased performance, heightened mental clarity and decision-making, and emotional resilience and intelligence.

Harvard Business School professor and researcher Amy Cuddy has also found trust to be the most important factor people evaluate each other on in work as well as personal settings [link to article].

For links to further resources on organizational leadership and creating an environment of safety, trust, and cooperation, click on:  Simon Sink;  Frederic Laloux — Reinventing Organizations;  Brene Brown — The Daring Way;  Bob Chapman — Truly Human Leadership;  Simon Sinek, Bob Chapman, and Amy Cuddy;  David Marquet — Turn The Ship Around.