What is the Leadership Learning Lab?


Leadership Learning Labs are an experiential three-day workshop designed to increase participants’ skills in adaptive leadership, especially in times of high stress. Based on the Skills Group methodology, developed by the Leadership Institute of Seattle (LIOS), participants are introduced to the concepts and skills of emotional intelligence. They are given multiple opportunities to practice these skills, real time, with other participants. By the end of the workshop participants will be able to describe and apply these communication skills, essential to collaboration in times of intensity. 


Skills for Adaptive Leadership 


When a leader is faced with a challenge, the first response is often to rely on proven methods of meeting that challenge. This is a rational response when it comes to solving problems that require a technical solution or ones that have known answers. An adaptive challenge is a particular kind of problem where applying current technical know-how or routine behavior cannot close the gap; adaptive challenges require innovation and learning. The learning required is not simply conceptual. Logical argument is rarely sufficient to change peoples’ hearts and minds. Creating something new takes emotional work. It requires curiosity and the ability to remain in ambiguity for a period of time. It requires collaborative conversations and discernment. Leading this kind of change requires the ability to collaborate in times of intensity.


What is Skills Group? 


Skills Group is an intensive skill-building workshop designed to build participants’ capacity to collaborate in times of intensity. The goal is to build our adaptive leadership skills and knowledge, which in turn will increase our ability to collaborate in times of intensity. This group method directly evolved from the classic T-group methodology.  Theoretical models will be presented over three days, interspersed with opportunities to practice. After each theory segment, there will be numerous sessions, called Skills Group, where participants apply the theory and learn experientially through interactions with each other.

Learning Objectives​


You will improve your interpersonal effectiveness by:


      Enhancing self-awareness

  • Effectively manage your self in ways that are more influential.
  • Identify external behaviors and internal thoughts, emotions and intentions, and as a result, make more informed choices regarding action.
  • Communicate thoughtful stances on important issues.


·     Enhancing important work relationships

  • Create greater interpersonal clarity and connection.
  • Deepen curiosity, inquiry and learning.
  • Identify and close interpersonal communication gaps (misunderstandings).
  • Manage emotional reactivity (your own as well as others’).
  • Manage interpersonal conflict and differences more effectively.



In-house and Public Trainings


Leadership Learning Labs are especially potent when brought in-house to improve the performance of a leadership team or frame a new cultural initiative.  Public workshops are held on a semi-regular basis.  Please contact us for more information.  

Leadership learning labs

“Leadership has to take place every day.
 It cannot be the responsibility of a few.
 Followers want comfort, stability, and       solutions from their leaders.  But that’s babysitting.  Real leaders ask hard questions and knock people out of their comfort zones.  Then they manage the resulting distress.”


Ronald Heifetz and Donald Laurie

McAuliffe CONSULTING