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Course 2

Moving Beyond Rewards & Punishment: 

Valuing Your People & Mutual Accountability

Conscious Attention & Presence to the People and Qualities that Matter

12-week course

This course represents a “spiral” of learning new skills and mindsets within the Conscious Leader Program. It is embedded in a structured learning process over three (3) months which includes these elements:

  • Weekly 80-min live, facilitator-led sessions

  • Structured resources in an online Course Portal and Course Workbook to support learning

  • Structured practice activities with feedback and coaching in group practice sessions

  • Mutual peer coaching

  • A conscious learning community of people learning together and offering mutual support in a multi-level cohort

This course focuses on the Conscious Leader's most potent skill:

the ability to bring full attention and presence to people, and to the qualities that matter within the team. 

At the human level, it means the ability to fully "see" and "hear" the people with whom we work. In short, it demonstrates respect for their humanity. It’s the “with” part of “power-with”  — the gentle, connecting qualities such as being valued, empathy and care.

"Gentleness is stronger than severity, water is stronger than rock, love is stronger than force.” —Herman Hesse, Siddhartha Novelist, poet and painter 1877-1962

That’s what the first half of this course is about. We build on the empathic listening skillsets from Course 1 | How Am I Showing Up as a Leader: Enhancing Self-Awareness & Self-Responsibility, and apply them in the day-to-day, moment-to-moment interactions that we have with the people on our team, in our organization, and in our lives. These are the moments that take a few seconds to a few minutes ... as we walk down the hall, in the few minutes before the meeting begins, or as we work side-by-side with someone on our team.

By consciously showing up in these brief but frequent moments throughout the day, the Conscious Leader activates and builds an environment of trust and belonging.


At the team or organizational level, it means enlivening the intrinsic motivators such as Shared Purpose, Core Values and Direction. These are the essential skills that activate the "power" of “power-with”: the fierce connectedness that leads us toward fulfillment of our shared purpose. 

Connection matters. And so does Purpose.

"Blame is the absence of accountability." —Brené Brown professor at the University of Houston

And that’s what the second half of this course is about. Mutual Accountability within an environment of intrinsic motivation looks very different than the accountability that we associate with blame and punishment. There are new levels of self-awareness to embrace and new skills to learn.

We will apply the self-awareness and self-responsibility that we learned in Course 1 to real workplace needs for effective feedback and accountability without blame.

The Conscious Leader is both gentle and fierce. This course helps us develop both sides.

  • Theme 1: Attention and Presence: The most precious of human resources ​

    • Why does attention and presence matter in the workplace?

    • ​Where is my attention? — Am I in control of it?

    • Directing my attention and presence with intention

    • Bringing attention and presence to human beings ... to myself, to others, to the whole of the group/team

    • Bringing attention to the intrinsic motivators, e.g. shared purpose, core values, thematic goal, team principles

    • "Being Heard" and "Being Seen" — the core way that we acknowledge each others' existence as human beings


  • Theme 2: "Hear Me": The foundation of being valued​

    • Why do so many people in the workplace have an experience of not being heard?

    • "Hearing" someone does not mean agreeing with them

    • As leaders, what are the things we do instead of hearing the other person?

    • The skill set: bringing one's full attention and presence to listen to another person until the person speaking has a sense of being heard

    • When emotions are present, it's not about content, but about acknowledging the feelings and needs of the person expressing

    • Designing systems and structures in the workplace that support people in being heard


  • Theme 3: "See Me": Redefining the need of recognition​

    • Being seen for one's contributions to the team

    • Beyond praise: it's not about saying "good job!"

    • Beyond "employee of the month: it's not an award or a competition

    • It's even different than appreciation

    • It's about being a part of something larger than ourselves

    • It's ultimately about belonging

    • The skill set: It's about "seeing" ... "witnessing": "I see you and the contributions you are making to the team."

    • Designing systems and structures in the workplace that "see" people and their contributions

  • Theme 4: Giving Conscious Feedback: Moving Beyond Praise & Criticism

    • Feedback in a culture of intrinsic motivation

    • ​​Understanding the key questions of conscious feedback

    • Expressing disagreement without blame

    • Differentiating conscious feedback vs. criticism/praise

    • Expressing agreement without praise

    • Structured Feedback Process: continuous learning 

  • Theme 5: Receiving Conscious Feedback: Hearing feedback as learning, not as a "mistake"

    • Conscious feedback is either celebration or learning — there is no "positive" or "negative"

    • Differentiating learning vs. "mistakes"

    • Differentiating "striving for excellence" vs. "perfection"

    • Coaching people to give you feedback that supports learning 

  • Theme 6: Mutual Accountability:  ​"Calling in" to alignment rather than "calling out"

    • ​How mutual accountability is different than accountability based on blame and punishment

    • What mutual accountability is ... and what it is not

    • In the conscious workplace, for what are we accountable? ... and to whom?

    • In an environment of mutual accountability, "speaking up" is everyone's responsibility

    • How "calling in" differs from "calling out"

    • Mutual accountability starts with self-accountability 


Course Description
Outline of Sessions
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