The Curriculum


Tuesday, September 24

In this introductory session, participants connect with each other to establish the tone and dynamic for group learning moving forward. Participants are introduced to the basic framework and four competency domains of Relational Leadership™ and discuss how Relational Leadership™ skills complement traditional approaches to leadership. Participants are introduced to their small learning groups, where they begin developing group norms and destinations in addition to identifying their own leadership development goals for the course.


Saturday, September 28

Developing strategies to engage both the heads (e.g., data, research) and the hearts (e.g., values, experiences) of others is critical to effective change — to building new teams, reshaping organizations and institutions, and supporting the well-being of others around us. Narrative leadership is an emerging framework to cultivate resilience, establish connection, and motivate action through strategic public storytelling.

In this workshop, participants explore both the art and the science of story, as well as the essential components of compelling and deliberate storytelling. Through crafting their own story and responding to others’ narratives, participants learn how narrative can help build teams in healthcare, foster well-being, and inspire necessary action.


Saturday, September 28

Many of us find ourselves on an increasing number of teams in healthcare: clinical, research, education, innovation, and advocacy teams (among others). How do we build these teams from scratch? If they’re already formed, how do we fortify these teams so they can be most effective? In addition to the traditional approach of “selling” a compelling vision to others, effective leaders engage one of the primary forces that truly motivates others to join teams and work with others: their values, passions, and interests.

This highly interactive workshop introduces participants to the one-to-one — an intentional, face-to-face interaction exploring others’ motivations, cultivating shared connections, and surfacing individuals who would be ideal teammates to engage in core teams. Participants will leave with a new tool for team building and a concrete plan for organizing one-to-ones in their professional lives.


Saturday, October 26

Each of us are wired to be more energized by some kinds of activity (e.g., brainstorming new approaches to problems), and less energized by other types (e.g., diving deep into budgeting). Sometimes there’s a natural fit between the task at hand and the amount of energy we bring to the task, keeping us engaged and energized; other times, there isn’t, leaving us drained and overwhelmed. The same is true with teams — many teams get “stuck” on differences between team members’ hard-wired energies, and mismatches in the team’s energy and the task at hand.

In this workshop, participants are introduced to a methodology called 5 Dynamics, a powerful tool for understanding work, learning, and collaboration styles that can be used to optimize the performance and satisfaction of individuals and teams. After learning about the basic theory of individuals’ energy preferences and the phases of work all projects must pass through, participants will leave with a better understanding of how to optimize their own performance and satisfaction, and how to do the same for their teams.


Saturday, October 26

As our work in healthcare, health systems, and public health has become increasingly complex, we need to redefine what it means to be a high-functioning team. Some teams are fairly stable, with a consistent, long-term membership. In contrast, other teams are much more short-lived, forming to address a particular challenge—like a committee coming together to address a priority issue— and disbanding almost as quickly. Regardless, there are specific preventions and interventions we can engage in to give all of our teams their best chances of achieving success and satisfaction.

In this workshop, participants are exposed to a basic framework for understanding the stages of team development, as well as interventions to both prevent and manage the normal developmental challenges that all teams face. Participants will discuss the real challenges they face in current or past teaming environments and concrete interventions to both address and prevent such challenges in the future.


Saturday, October 26

If you feel like more and more of your work life is spent in meetings, you’re not alone. Surveys indicate that up to 35% of the average professional’s day is spent in meetings. Despite best intentions, meetings intended to ensure essential coordination, effective communication, and interdependency of action, more often than not, feel unproductive. How do we, as leaders, manage our meetings so that they advance our collective work, while enhancing engagement by all members and developing an ideal culture on our teams?

In this workshop, participants are introduced to the basics of optimal meeting management. Participants learn a practical meeting framework, and are introduced to tools that promote engagement, trust, psychological safety, and effective planning. At the end of the workshop, individuals will have a set of concrete approaches to meeting management that they can use in all domains of their professional lives.


Saturday, November 16

To make lasting, powerful change in healthcare — from transforming health systems to introducing new approaches to health professional education — we have cultivate leaders who will usher in that critical change, motivate people to step into leadership positions, and help more colleagues lead from where they stand.

Based on a strengths-based, Gestalt approach, our coaching training is an opportunity to develop a comprehensive set of tools for building leadership capacity in others. In this interactive workshop, participants learn basic coaching theory, draw on powerful tools to bring out the best in others, while empowering peers to find their own answers to vexing questions.


Saturday, November 16

As the healthcare system transitions toward team-based care, conflict is becoming a more frequent aspect of our professional lives. Though diverging perspectives, stressful situations, and interpersonal tensions may be inevitable in team-based healthcare, the negative impact of conflict in group settings can be minimized by cultivating leaders who can recognize the widespread impact of “silence” and “violence” — two common response styles in stressful situations — and work to foster a team environment where conflict is normalized, surfaced, and addressed in a relational manner.

In this session, participants reflect upon their own responses to conflict in the work setting, and the impact these responses may have on one’s own well-being, as well as on healthy team functioning. Increased self-awareness of one’s tendencies in response to conflict will help participants understand and practice the crucial conversations framework, a relational approach to conflict management that emphasizes creating psychologically safer interactions.


Tuesday, November 19

Healthcare professionals face increasing barriers to address systems and social change needed to improve health and advance equity: ever-expanding amounts of clinical work, burdensome administrative requirements, reimbursement policies, and larger political efforts that are attempting to derail progressive reforms. And yet, from the macro perspective, healthcare professionals and students occupy a uniquely powerful position in our society because (1) they are some of the most deeply trusted professionals, and (2) they have direct relationships with patients — a group that, when mobilized, can have an incredibly powerful voice. What would it look like to mobilize that power to effect change at the team, organizational, community (or even state and national) levels?

This workshop focuses on integrating previously learned Relational Leadership™ tools, all of which are needed to develop the advocacy mindsets and skills needed to accelerate change. Participants explore their own understanding of and feelings toward power, examine real examples of building relational power to accelerate change in healthcare, and apply the strategies and tools of the Changemakers’ Cycle to create collective action towards desired organizational, systems, and/or social change.

Closure is an integral stage of team development, providing an opportunity to identify areas of growth, opportunities for improvement, and protect time and space for individual- and team-level reflections to enhance resilience. It is not unusual in our professional lives, however, to forgo steps to acknowledge closure and transitions of teams/projects, amidst our busy lives. The emotions that closure surfaces may even be uncomfortable for some team members. 

This session provides space for participants to engage in a formal closure activity together, to identify individual and collective accomplishments in their time together in the program. It also provides an opportunity for participants to synthesize their learning, exploring ways to act individually and collectively to incorporate and spread Relational Leadership™ practices into their professional and personal lives.


Tuesday, December 3