Presentations by Mary V. Gelinas

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Four Keys to Constructive and Productive Interactions

We exert a great deal of influence over the outcomes of our interactions with others. By learning to manage ourselves and our contributions to our conversations we can benefit with better productivity and improved relationships.

  • Managing reactive, self-protective mechanisms in the brain
  • Identifying positive intentions
  • Listening like your life depended on it
  • Asking questions of genuine curiosity

Solving Public Problems WITH Public Participation

Believe it or not, solutions really are better when a variety of perspectives contribute to solving the problem. Often that means garnering participation from our communities to solve problems that impact those same people. But never fear, with a good process, it won’t be scary and it will be productive.

  • Defining what you want to accomplish through public participation
  • Developing an education and outreach plan
  • Creating a sense of safety for everyone participating, including decision makers
  • Clarifying how decisions will be made, by whom, and when
  • Agreeing on and sticking to ground rules
  • Building in clear links to decision makers and decision-making processes
  • Engaging multiple, diverse stakeholders in meaningful ways
  • Providing unbiased information about the topic or issue at hand
  • Facilitating participatory small group discussions around strategic questions

Interacting Effectively Through Difference: Challenges and Antidotes

Anytime we speak with another person, we are overcoming differences. But, when those differences seem big we feel faced with a big challenge. Learn antidotes to help you bridge differences and enjoy the rewards of a bigger, richer life.

  • Challenges
  • We like to talk with people who are like us
  • We can get scared when we talk with people who are not like us
  • When we get scared we are less able to build relationships and to think clearly
  • When we get scared we can go on automatic, loss awareness, and say and do harmful things
  • We can get caught in a web of confirmation bias, loss aversion, and unhelpful priming
  • Antidotes
  • Defining positive intentions
  • Developing mindful awareness
  • Tracking thoughts and emotions
  • Making conscious choices
  • Reaching out, even when we are afraid
  • Becoming familiar with the unfamiliar
  • Separating what we think is going on from what is actually occurring

Building Collaboration in Meetings: The Key to Getting Stuff Done

You know each person in the room has a valuable contribution to make to the task at hand, but how to draw out their best selves so the team or group benefits is the question. Learn key elements to effectively working together in meetings to get stuff done.

  • Create a sense of safety so every participant can make constructive contributions
  • Clarify what you want to accomplish with whom, by when, and how
  • Start and end meetings to build clarity and commitment
  • Use various process tools and facilitative behaviors to engage people in meaningful ways

How Mindful Leaders Lead

Taking your leadership to the next level is key to your effectiveness and, very importantly to your satisfaction. Learn practices that will enable you to leave your mark—in a good way!

  • What it means to be mindfully aware
  • The role of mindful awareness in effective leadership
  • How mindfulness influences thoughts, feelings and behavior
  • Approaches to developing mindfulness
  • The impact of mindfulness on others