Gestalt Therapy International

A community of dialogue

Programs around the world

Facilitating authentic living & working

10 Professional Workshops Available

#1 Personal Growth & Spiritual Growth

#2 The Unvirtues: A non-shaming exploration of self-interest in relationship

#3 Shame and Belonging

#4 Leadership and Power

#5 Family Constellations

#6 Authentic Dialogue

#7 Gestalt process oriented model of working with couples and families

#8 Phenomenology and the therapeutic use of awareness

#9 Field Theory

#10 Gestalt therapy

#4 Leadership and Power

A successful leader is skilful in managing relationships.

In this training seminar we explore the two major dimensions of relationship: vertical and horizontal.

The horizontal aspect involves collegiality and mutual influence; it is accompanied by connection and openness. The vertical component requires the use of power. This involves many strategic skills including making hard decisions, maintaining control, exerting influence and keeping a goal focus.

The way that power differentials are navigated determines whether leadership is effective on both horizontal and vertical levels. If people feel respected, they are more likely to follow directions. But insufficient decisiveness can result in a reduction of output and efficiency.

This seminar will examine the ingredients required for the competent use of power, relating the formal and informal aspects of organisational leadership in a coherent framework. The latest theories and research findings which help us understand power dynamics will be introduced, and we will look at how these can be applied to the challenges which leaders face.

In exploring the complexities of the use of power, we will address issues such as power styles, contextual influences and formative experiences of power, and the relevance of shame in understanding leadership effectiveness. The ethics of power will also be addressed, and the concept of the ‘Unvirtues’ - the underbelly of good intentions - will be introduced as a powerful tool to assist in transparency in leadership.

All aspects of the workshop will be applied to participants, leading them through reflective and experiential processes in order to gain insight and integrated understanding.


Topics to be covered include

  • Status, role and personal power sources
  • Negotiating power differences
  • Role differences and accompanying responsibility and effects
  • Risk, vulnerability and need
  • Task and relationship variables
  • The complex issue of harm
  • The 150% principle
  • Boundary styles - over and underbounded
  • Intention and impact discrepancies, and their remedies
  • Working in the power zone in relationship
  • Advanced feedback skills
  • Core strength, resiliency, and the significance of self care
  • Resolving and repairing the effects of the poor use of power
  • The connection between power and shame, and what to do about it
  • The power paradox
  • Power leadership style
  • The dangers of the underuse of power


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