Developed by Rayona Sharpnack and outlined in her book "Trade Up", the Contextual Leadership methodology is a powerful process used to guide individuals through a personal reinvention experience that will enable them to achieve breakthrough results both personally and professionally. At its heart is a profound understanding of the role that a person’s context plays in shaping their perception, attitudes, behaviors and results.
What is ‘context’?
A person’s context is the unconscious mindset from which they operate. It is shaped by their personal experiences and the conclusions drawn from those experiences. Those conclusions are masquerading as facts and significantly impacting their behavior and actions.
Only through a “deep tissue” examination of context is one able to reveal current (both effective and ineffective) behavioral patterns, and replace them with a new set of sustainable behaviors that align with personal and organizational objectives.
Who can benefit?
Both men and women participate in our Contextual Leadership program. The Contextual Leadership Methodology can be applied to any area of life, and practiced to cause future breakthroughs. Whether participants are looking for what’s next in their career, wanting to elevate their current success, or dealing with a breakdown, they can apply this methodology for lasting results. More than 5,000 people have participated in the Contextual Leadership curriculum and most have said it was one of the most important trainings they'd ever attended.
Some examples of what participants have gained from participating:
· Current Managers: understand why people do what they do and be able to impact behavior and results in a sustainable way
· Individuals Looking For Career Assessment or Advancement: explore what’s next or how to move to the next level from a new context
· Individuals Launching a New Project: discover how to create a context for your project to accelerate the process
· Individuals Dealing with Specific Breakdowns or Issues: get to the bottom of what isn’t working and correct it at the source
· Individuals Noticing Behavioral Patterns: get to the source of why they receive the same feedback repeatedly and/or have challenging relationships at work or in their personal lives
What to expect?
Attendees can expect an environment of generosity, empowerment, relationship and creativity, using an applied learning approach to solving challenging personal and professional concerns. Participants will be guided through a series of exercises as a group, pairs and one on one.
The 5 steps of Trading Up to a new context are:
· Reveal - Discovering and articulating a current context that is determining your actions and results
· Own - Examine the upside and downside of that context and identify the unintended consequences, limitations and constraints of that context
· Design - Create a new context that inspires and empowers you and gives you more freedom
· Sustain - Identify actions to stop doing and create daily practices to start doing
· Engage - Identify and enlist the people around you to support your new context and interrupt your old one when they see it
The most frequently asked questions are answered below. Should you have any questions not answered here, please include them on your pre-course questionnaire and the Facilitator will answer you directly. If you would like to speak to your Program Leader prior to the program, please let us know and we will schedule a call.
1. How many participants will be in the program?
The typical number of participants is between 16-28.
2. Will I have to share personal information about myself?
The program is personal in nature and you are likely to discover things about yourself that may surprise you. However, you are not required to share anything publicly that you are uncomfortable sharing.
3. Is the information shared confidential? Do you share my story publicly or report back to my company about me?
We request that all names, companies, and conversations that take place in the program be held in the strictest confidence and, to our knowledge, this request has never been violated in over 25 years of doing this work at the Institute for Women's Leadership, the Institute for Gender Partnership, nor at Allinium. We do not report anything back to your company, or publicly share anything related to your participation. It is up to you to share what you gain from your participation.
4. Will I have time to handle work related issues during the program?
We recommend that you clear your calendar for the entire program. We ask that you do not manage any text messages or emails while the program is in session.
5. Can I leave the program early to catch a flight?
It is important for you to be present for the entire program. The final 60-90 minutes are critical for you to complete the program. Early departures are disruptive to everyone in the program, and we ask that you make your travel arrangements accordingly.
6. I’m an introvert. How can I get the most out of the program?
The transformational experience of the program happens because of your listening, so the value you get from the program is not dependent on your speaking. However, your sharing allows the other participants in the program to gain value from your insights, and will sometimes allow them to discover something about themselves in the process.
7. I’m not sure I’m experienced or senior enough to participate. I’m worried about being intimidated.
This is a common experience for even the most senior men and women participating in our programs. It is likely you are in a room with 20+ other people feeling the same way.
“This program will help you understand how your context (and that of others) will help you take your leadership to the next level.”
“The context shifting model is very effective. I'm looking forward to deploying it.”
“I most appreciated hearing others share about their experiences and their context/trade-up. I appreciated that it has inspired me.”
“Learning how to overcome and trade up to a new context for myself, because the new context will allow for personal growth as well as a better way to work with others.”
“This is a program where you can dig in deep to help understand how you show up as a leader, and how events in your life have shaped that context.”
” ‘Trade Up’ has enabled me to make a dramatic shift in my leadership that allows me to take on an opportunity I have always aspired to: leading a geographic expansion effort for our firm.”
“Trade Up will leave you invigorated, inspired and ready for the most meaningful years of your life.” –Carol Evans, former CEO Working Mother Magazine