Jun 23, 2020 10:42:04 AM

When we change the quality of our conversations it is possible to transform our relationships and expand our world. But too often, we first look for where we disagree and polarize around those differences. Our conversations are then filled with resistance and defensiveness rather than elevated thinking and creativity. The time has come to seek alignment in a polarized world.

In my work with teams, creating a safe place enhances dialogue and awareness of how the organizational system operates. Personal development work progresses when individuals see themselves as they are, and contrast this with how they want to be, without their ego being overly threatened. While the pain associated with maintaining the status quo, must outweigh the effort required to change, the ego needs to be challenged but within one’s “safe-zone.” For individuals, core values can be the fuel that energizes and holds the ego in check, and the same is true for teams. Aligning work teams on shared values and goals is the fuel that elevates the bigger picture over individual ego needs. Alignment on roles and meta-communication (agreeing how we will communicate) goes a long way toward intentionally building a team’s identity and culture.

Alignment with other(s) is complex, because it demands one look through the lens of “we” not just “me.” If we go back to basic communication, it looks like this:

Alignment Feedback Loop

When the Sender initiates communication, it is colored by:

Even with the best intentions, the message is distorted by one’s encoding and then again by the others interpretation or decoding. If one is to effectively communicate her unique perspective, then the sender must transmit through complex layers of reality that are different for everyone. And in turn the Receiver must hear the Sender’s message, not just in words but also by what is left unsaid and unknown. This level of communication, or dialogue, requires trust, care, connection, and commitment to the relationship(s). Pursuit of a deeper dialogue takes willingness, openness, practice, and risk-taking.

Using a monologue or focusing only on one’s own point of view is efficient and appropriate under certain circumstances. It is often used to attract and inspire those who share values, ideals, hopes, and dreams. This is a smart tactic to rally support, identify allies, and develop a tribe. By itself, it rarely changes the system or another, but it is a key element of empowering oneself. Finding voice is part of one’s personal growth and development and requires that we look inside. Leading change is part of the leadership journey and calls us to look outside and inside ourselves. Monologue and Dialogue have an important role to play, and to maximize impact requires attention and intention. Monologue from a need to be right perspective, feeds one’s ego. Dialogue that ensures all voices are heard, feeds our collective soul.

A willingness to be changed by a conversation is at the heart of coactivity and collaboration. Below are five tips for finding alignment with your business partner(s):

Xponents online program, Creating Collaborative Partnerships develops the mindset and skills needed to change the quality of the conversation. Check-out the details here, or register for a FREE webinar to learn more.

Deep Democracy Institute. (n.d.). Deep democracy explained. Retrieved June 20, 2020, from https://www.deepdemocracyinstitute.org/deep-democracy-explained.html

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Team Development

Quality conversations + High trust relationships = Better outcomes


Creating Collaborative Partnerships

Change the conversation 

Who would benefit?

  • Newly formed teams and partnerships.
  • Working relationships that are stuck, have reached a performance plateau, or struggling with competing priorities.
  • Teams experiencing dysfunction or unresolved conflicts.
  • Partnerships that want to learn more about effective and ineffective  behaviors that impact collaboration.

What are the participant outcomes?  

  • Understand systems theory and its application to partnerships and teams.
  • Design relationship agreements.
  • Gain self-awareness of effective and ineffective behaviors.
  • Learn techniques to repair workplace relationships.
  • Practice new ways to build relationships and deliver tough messages.

Transforming Conflict into Creativity

What if conflict was change in-action?

Who would benefit?

  • Individuals who are uncomfortable dealing with emotionally charged situations.
  • Members of intact work groups who are responsible for maximizing results.
  • Cross-functional team members who must deliver quality projects on time.
  • Newly forming or siloed teams that must collaborate despite competing priorities.


What are the participant outcomes?  

  • Learn four damaging behaviors and how to avoid them.
  • Become conflict competent instead of defensive, aggressive, or shut-down during conflict.
  • How to become resilient and reduce destructive conflict behaviors.

Strategic Alignment

Align the system on vision and strategy

Who would benefit?

  • A team at the onset of a change initiative.
  • Leaders who want to shift the culture.
  • Groups who need a safe and focused environment to get on the same page.
  • Teams who want to be more creative and generate fresh ideas to achieve success.


What are the benefits?  

  • A broader perspective.
  • A more complete view of the situation.
  • A cohesive approach to meeting objectives.
  • A holistic and collaborative plan.

Partnering Resource Tool

Download a free copy of our method for building trust at work.

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Team Development Program Features

Creating Collaborative Partnerships
Virtual Facilitation:
  • 6 modular sessions 
  • 90 minutes in length
  • Tailored, as needed
  • 6-8 participants per facilitator
  • 1 day 
  • 15-20 participants
Online Version:
  • Self-directed content
  • 6 modules (two topics each)
  • 12 videos, handouts, resources, practice assignments
Our methodology:
  • Support for the system to deepen awareness of how it operates and what is needed to accelerate success
  • Alignment on shared purpose, priorities and role clarity
  • Safe environment to discuss what isn’t working without blame or criticism
  • Design of relationship operating standards an contracting
  • Knowledge of enablers and disablers
  • Strategies to intentionally create sustainable success
  • Virtual group sessions, can be added in-between the self-directed, Online Version for intact teams.
  • 1-2-1 Systems coaching can be added-on to support the team leader.

Our approach allows us to flex based on each team or partnerships unique needs.

Transforming Conflict into Creativity
Virtual Facilitation:
  • 4 modular sessions 
  • 90 minutes in length
  • Tailored, as needed
  • 6-8 participants per facilitator
  • 1 day 
  • 15-20 participants
Our methodology:
  • Conflict is a signal for change
  • There are constructive and destructive behaviors during conflict
  • Awareness of one’s conflict response is an important step
  • Experiential exercises and dialogue 
Strategic Alignment
  • 90-minute to 4-hour segments, tailored based on objectives
  • Half to multi-day, tailored based on needs
  • Support of team leader in communicating business priorities.
  • Facilitated discussion on the current reality versus the desired future state.
  • Create a safe environment where disagreement is encouraged.
  • Identify misalignment and where alignment exists.
  • Interactive dialogue and exercises.
  • Collaborative and creative brainstorming.

Virtual group follow-up:

  • Facilitated review, evaluation and adjustments to ensure focus and accountability.
Let us collaborate with you!

Transfer of Learning

In this recorded interview, Deb discusses the challenges of transferring learning back at the job. She offers insight on how leaders and managers can reinforce change initiatives by using a coaching style.

What sets us apart?

Concepts - The Exponential Equation

We know that outcomes are a function of what (you do) x (how you do it), but we change the game with an exponent. We use the equation to help assess and diagnose the leading indicators of performance.

Methodology - Cycle of Transformation

We use the same coaching methodology that Deb wrote about in her book; The Cycle of Transformation: Igniting organizational change through the leader coach. This method is a transformational leadership coaching approach.

Tools - The Power of Why

The Power of Why is an approach to coaching that unleashes what creates meaning as the catalyst for change. It's the Xponent!

Methodology - Collaborative Partnerships

We use the same methodology that we teach in our Creating Collaborative Partnerships program; a systems based approach to team alignment on strategy, goals, roles, and rules of engagement.

Skills - Developing Authentic Trust

There are four skills and a process that help us know how to develop trust with our clients...and in some of our programs we will even teach you how we do it. 

Experience - Building Coaching Cultures

Experience building a culture of coaching and teaching organizations to use Leader as Coach strategies. 
We have coached in Financial Services, IT, Manufacturing, Construction, Oil and Gas, Government Agencies, and non-profits. 
Deb has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, and is a PCC through the International Coaching Federation. 

A few of the customers who have trusted us

Want to transform your world?

Schedule time with Deb to find out how you can ignite change, one conversation at a time.