Permission to Learn

By Nedra Chandler, 1 minute read

Giving yourself permission to keep learning isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity for everyone providing leadership and being of service in American government right now.I just returned from several weeks of work across the country mostly with U.S. EPA and Department of Interior leaders and their teams who told me taking a learner’s stance is a big unmet need in government now.

Instead, many agency leaders are finding themselves in “clamp down and over-control” mode and “pile on and pedal harder” mode.

Overcontrolling can take lots of forms but micro-managing people is a big clue, as is the presence of complaints and workplace conflict gone wild. People get isolated. They get any combination of “cold, wet, tired and hungry.” They get chronically overextended. Burnt out.

Pile on and pedal harder often looks like a growing portfolio of priorities with no focus on letting go of what has become irrelevant or unsustainable or both.

In response to so many challenges, many of the government leaders and teams we work with are actively giving themselves permission to learn. They don’t expect to have all the answers every hour, every day. They remain open, inquiring, listening, learning, taking action based on clear purpose.

This is no small thing.

What are some practices you use to generate and manage your own energy? What are small moves you make to build rapport, lead yourselves and your teams as you carry out decisions in service to the public good?

Yet, who doesn’t lose their composure sometimes?

Who doesn’t take an occasional slide into the grip of overwhelm and fatigue and forget their own emotional intelligence and skillfulness?

Who doesn’t forget they can give themselves and others permission to keep learning?

Here’s a promise, if you take your learner’s stance and choose to practice that way of being more often, you will be giving everyone around you encouragement and permission to keep learning too.

It turns out this move takes a surprising amount of trust and courage to pull off.

Permission to learn. Bust a move. See what you learn. Adjust. Make another move. See what you learn.

Less judging. More learning.

A bit about me: I work with government clients as partners in professional and team development, navigating conflict and learning opportunities of all kinds. For the past several years I’ve been writing on this theme of how our collective trust in government is linked to trust in ourselves. In the coming few months in I am exploring practical moves we can make to give ourselves and each other permission to keep learning. I focus on the government space because that’s where we do most of our work. Find me and my long-time work mates at and/or sign up to receive my monthly posts into your inbox by giving me your email at Cadence.


Road Rant: Creating Conditions for Learning at Work

By Nedra Chandler, 4 minute audio

I recorded this emphatic, defensive-about-being-defensive voice memo while driving, which I titled “Bring your flawed self to work and let’s practice being humans.”  

Scott estimates not one reader will give it a listen. It’s fun to take a risk and post it, so there.

I got dramatic, sort of like when I was 4.

My mom was a Dionne Warwick fan and I grew up listening to the 1966 hit What the World Needs Now  I hear I listened to it nonstop for some months. The story goes that when I was 3 I learned to turn on the stereo, put the vinyl on the turntable and sing it top-of-lungs style out our open window. I hoped our neighbors, the Whites, would hear my warbly voice and clap for me. My siblings will verify this was my routine for quite a while.

Love IS what we need right now. People learn best and rise to meet challenges most effectively when they feel safe and can hear each other and learn with one another. We’re a bunch of humans. I get it we’re not going to heal every rift or achieve perfection. There is only practice.

The best we can hope for is we’ll stay with it. We can create conditions for self awareness, building rapport with one another, and creating systems that allow us to keep making small-yet-meaningful moves toward greater purposes, and skills and resourcefulness that exceed what we’re showing each other now.

While we continue to evolve as a species, let’s learn some better conversational skills on purpose. Let’s accept and allow one other to bring our whole selves to work.

I’d appreciate hearing how this plea lands with you. Do you buy it that there are so many settings right now where we need to make it safer to show up as us? Safer to both receive and give feedback, to clarify things together, to disagree, to be learners together, to carry out purpose-driven work, especially in government right now? How does this affect you?

Today, in the wake of so much suffering the world, I want you to consider that the need for love and patience with each other has obviously become as indispensable as regular haircuts. More important than guns. Very needed. Pro or amateur (for the love of it): get in there and show some more love.

End of road memo — give a listen and I’ll appreciate it if you’d leave a comment.

A bit about me: My favorite work right now is about human and organizational health. Today that’s about serving public sector clients and their partners as third party facilitator and professional coach. I am a committed process maven and applied social geographer. People call us most when they have conflict to navigate and public decisions to carry out. 

Resource Note on Diversity and Inclusion


prairie smoke 2016

Resource Note By Nedra Chandler, Cadence & Triangle

“The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth is not that we are on the way to destroying the world — we’ve actually been on the way for quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other.” — Joanna Macy

Thanks to a connection through a dear coach client and development partner of mine just now, I went to see more about Angela Park while looking for equity and diversity training and whoa!

First of all, I trust through Susan’s experience that Angela is amazing, and then, in addition, I see she is a Donella Meadows fellow. Yay.

Donella Meadows Fellows Network

Angela Park

Donella Meadows is a hero writer in my world (see her paper Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System). Great to know of this fellows group in her honor.

Also so sweet to see this videoclip of Meadows fellows out making art in nature. Relaxing and encouraging to view even for a few minutes. Enjoy.

Immerse Yourself!

By Nedra Chandler, Triangle Associates & Cadence

Bird or bear with me now…

Are you feeling at least a little fed up with the status quo in public life today?

Do you want to relax and have fun while learning and practicing some moves with others who are also ready for some shifts, even the small-yet-meaningful kind?

If so, be like this bird pictured above taking a bath.You may want an immersion bath in liberating structures. There’s an opportunity link below. There will be others in other places other times if you miss this one.

Here’s a story about using them. I had this candid conversation with two public leaders yesterday from different agencies, both of whom have devoted themselves to public service protecting ecological and human health. It went like this. One said a close version of this:

“It’s human nature, we can fall back into patterns of just working and pedaling harder when things get overwhelming or we’ve lost more staff and funding resources…”

the other leader agreed saying:

“When we don’t stay in touch it’s too easy to drift into busy, non-sharing protective mode and then things just get even tougher…”

At the end of the call they set their time get together again with their agency team mates. They will clarify and (re)-commit to align actions, avoid distractions, help each other out, make some more graceful and responsive moves. They will re-co-mission. Together.

I loved that play on words! A mission is a purpose, see? Purpose gives life to partnerships. Co. Mission. Recommission.

At some of their joint meetings in the past few years, they’ve practiced some communication skills that help include and transcend the dead-end trap of making decisions either/or instead of both/and when it’s possible.

They look for ways to innovate. It’s not about choosing project stability or fluidity; over control or under control, independence or integration. And why over help orunder help anywhere? Most of us don’t. At least not on purpose, not consciously. We might over help or over control much more when we are overextended, stressed out.

In that space between those opposite poles, are liberating microsctructures (LS). They are not magic. They are just structures. Space is arranged, groups are configured, participation is distributed, there is sequence and allocation of time, and there is always an invitation that includes a task or a question.

LS are useful. Sometimes audaciously useful. Practice them with your team inside your organization, with your intergovernmental collaborators, or while carrying out all kinds of complex deliberation and decision making.

Liberate you and your collaborators from drudgery and deadly boring meetings or someone else’s best practices. Save yourself from one too-long slide presentation and uncontrolled ‘open questions’ at the end.

Quit wondering why people don’t speak up more often and why they don’t bring their whole selves to the challenges in front of us right now more often.

Here’s an important aspect to remember: it’s fun playing with these micro-structures.

Unleash and include everyone. Everyone.


P.S. If you are still curious why I’ve invited you twice now to Bozeman, Montana on September 19-20, here. This is where I’m coming from with this.

These current days in public life we are too-often showing up and operating in some kind of outright denial of reality. Standing on an Idaho ridge last week looking at the total eclipse of the sun brought this feeling home to me again more than ever. So it’s time to geek out even more in using and practicing with process tools that enable positive innovations.

As one very skilled LS practitioner told me, these immersion workshops do not resemble what many of us think of as “training.” You’ll take home what’s meaningful and useful to you in the contexts you are working in now.

The Bozeman workshop organizers have their necessary number of diverse participants registered. They could accommodate about 10+ more. Still, if you are in a picky mood or have a BIG bucket of preconceived expectations about the precise qualities you require in your immersion workshop experiences right now, it’s probably not a go.

There will be more opportunities other places, other times to go play with these. Full workshop details and registration options in the link below:

Unleashing Innovation in MT: The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures

A bit about me: My favorite work right now is about human and organizational health. Today that’s about serving my public sector clients and their partners as third party facilitator and professional coach. I am a committed process maven and applied social geographer. People call us most when they have conflict to navigate and public decision making to carry out. Find me and my long-time work mates at Triangle and Cadence.

Come to Montana for Some Liberation in September


Liberating Structures: Coming September 19-20, 2017: see link to register below

By Nedra Chandler: 2 minutes to skim, 5 minutes if you read ‘resources’ section.

One day I was driving home from Seattle listening to one of my favorite podcasters Amiel Handelsman, interviewing Keith McCandless about liberating structures. A big smile spread over my face just listening with this recognition: “Eureka.”

Within two days I was using 1-2-4-All (think by yourself for 1 minute, get in pairs for 2 minutes, get in a quartet for 4 minutes now integrate what you’re learning with full group of any size) at a meeting between some government leaders about redevelopment projects in Indian Country.

Within a short time after that we were using more liberating structures like Troika, The 9 Whys and Ecocycle. We are applying them in more and more high-stakes interagency meetings with tangible results and participant satisfaction. See for example what participants say on the Liberating Structures website.

For times when organic conversations won’t cut it, and your own go-to methods are likely to end in a few dominating the many, try using one or more of these liberating micro structures. See what happens. Prepare to be surprised at the experience and the durable outcomes.

No matter how experienced we become in our chosen areas of work or public service, questioning assumptions about ‘how we do things around here’ or ‘what we know about how the world works’ so often leads to generative ways of working together that we couldn’t have seen without that beginner’s mind. The point: liberating structures provide surprisingly easy avenues to strike a fine balance between over- and under-control of dialog and decision-making processes. These methods you can learn well enough to begin using within a half hour support us in unleashing actionable innovations large and small where we are in each moment.

Keith McCandless and Sarah Hayward are co-leading an immersion workshop on Liberating Structures and their applications in Bozeman, Montana on September 19 and 20. This will be a great opportunity to learn how to apply these in your organizations. Come and bring a friend or colleague! It will be seriously playful and have a lasting impact on your work.

See full workshop details and registration options in the link below:

Unleashing Innovation in MT: The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures

Resources You Can Use Right Now

  • Listen in on this podcast McCandless interview for fun and to immediately expand your practice in every area of work and organizing.
  • Visit the generous Liberating Structures website for more background and easy-to-follow instructions.
  • Get The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures by Keith McCandless and Henri Lipmanowicz.

Notice their chart in the first chapter that shows levels of control and inclusion inherent in familiar methods of working together like presentations and open discussions. Take a look at where Liberating Structures appears on this chart in comparison – they have much higher levels of inclusion and distributed control. Just follow the easy-to-follow recipes (yep, I said recipe) for increased creativity and innovation. Use or adapt one useful method, or string some together for an integrated meeting design.

Contact me at 406-461-1621 if you have any questions about the workshop or want help planning your trip to Bozeman. We look forward to seeing you. Design team members please consider putting your contact info in the comment section here so folks can connect with any of us.

A bit about me: my work is about organizational health. Today that’s about serving my public sector clients and their partners as a third party facilitator and as a professional development & conflict management coach. Find me and my long-time work mates at Triangle and Cadence.

10 Ways to Build Vulnerability Trust

Hunter educators met in Montana to make some decisions about policy

By Nedra Chandler, approximately 3 minute read

I facilitated a meeting last week that spanned 3 days and it was full of leaders of separate-but-related organizations who were willing and then not so willing and then willing again to be vulnerable with one another.

The group began by telling each other personal stories of why they entered public service and what keeps them in it now. What they shared was vulnerable and vivid. The time they spent sharing helped give them some more currency with each other and a some extra resilience they needed with each other during the next few days.

In another meeting, the one pictured above, the group had a full day. There was high emotion and conflict going in, and more working trust and respect going out.

Why? Partly because participants took the risks of expressing what they felt and they also listened and clarified things that had been poorly understood in the months leading up to the meeting.

The high points for me as a full-time process maven are when participants drop their guard enough to let others see who they are and what they care about.

That’s when you can begin to experience their true contributions. You can spot the qualities and presence they bring and build on those.

In particular, I notice more and more often that meetings that are the most lively and useful are those where people choose to behave in genuine ways that build trust.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

― Brené BrownDaring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

A year ago I wrote about my friend Faith Ralston’s card game designed to help groups identify what it takes to operationalize trust.

Ever wonder how to make a squishy thing like trust actionable? See photos of Faith’s card deck with 25 doable ways to build trust here.Each card has a behavior on it.

I just took another look at those cards and picked 10 of 25 that are, at root, about being willing to be vulnerable. They are:

1.   Show you care

2.   Surface concerns

3.   Accept personal responsibility

4.   Address tough issues

5.   Readily share information

6.   Rebuild damaged relationships

7.   Learn from mistakes

8.   Be open to new ideas

9.   Listen well

10. Seek to understand

Do you practice these 10 vulnerable behaviors in your life? Why? How? How often? What happens?

If you are reading this you are probably already routinely choosing to behave in these trust-building ways. Yet, I like how these beliefs and behaviors are spelled out so practically between Faith Ralston’s cards and Patrick Lencioni’s book. For example, the notion of vulnerability trust is central in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (2012).

Lenioni’s model below shows “vulnerability trust” big and on the ground floor of the triangle, holding up the rest. The placement of trust as the foundation is more than an ivory tower theory. This explains how things go when a group gets together.

Like me, you may enjoy flipping the “lack of” and “avoidance of” language in the model above and use the triangle below for more of an invitation to “try more of this and see how it goes…”

I wonder if you’ll go have some fun with this and bust a vulnerable move today? I’d love to get a note or comment from you on what you notice when you do.

A bit about me: I work primarily with government clients and their partners as a professional coach or third party facilitator in navigating conflict, change and learning opportunities of all kinds. If you get curious about other Triangles you can use in your day-to-day work see the Triangle of Satisfaction or the Triangle of Motivation. Find me and more of my long-time work mates at

Three Facilitation Moves You Can Play With From Acting Class

By Nedra Chandler, approximately 4 minute read

I am sitting in a closet with black velvet curtains drawn. It has a small light, chair and tiny desk, yet it is unapologetically a closet.

The high school teaching crew wanted me out of the way but within earshot because I am their required adult presence for a theater workshop for kids ages 5-12.

It was fun to be a fly on the wall and observe. It was a welcome opportunity to go looking for elements from theater camp and improv that you and I can take right into daily personal and professional life.

I noticed 3 effective methods during my morning shift from 9 to noon:

1)          whole body introductions with active listening;

2)          inviting centered breathing as a way to assist focus; and

3)          using improvisation “yes/and” skills to have more connected conversations.

Whole Body Introductions

First, the group got in a standing circle, facing each other. The moods and energy in the circle lifted as the volume came up on the background music — the 1982 hit by Survivor, Eye of the Tiger.

One workshop leader demonstrated how they would learn each other’s names and connect with each other right away. There was no over-explaining.

Each person said or sang their name with ‘an action’ they chose to share. Picture, for example, one exuberant face with jump as one child said her name. Then, picture another child showing a non-committal shoulder shrug and a big smile as he said his name. You get the picture.

More active listening and expression unfolded in a few more rounds with specific, yet easy-to-follow instructions for each round.

To me, the group looked like they had heard, seen and connected with each other as a result of these introductions.


A bit later, I noticed a group just outside my curtain in a centering practice. Some articulate 17-year old told her small group, “acting requires focus, so let’s slow ourselves down now and focus in on our breath….”

Wait, what? These kids know about using their own breathing as a path to centering and finding focus? Yes, they do.

My daughter, who was one of the high school student teachers, stopped into my closet space to check on me.

I told her excitedly, “They sound like they are having so much fun! Hey did you design that small group centering thing about focusing in on your breath as a way to get grounded?”

I’ve coached her in this so I had the audacity to imagine I was her original source on the power of the breathing pause and making your breath the boss, right? Wrong.

“No I did not design the field of acting,” she said, “Breathing techniques are not new, mom. It’s acting.” Then, she acknowledged, “Kids are such great learners. They know how to engage.”

My observation of what happened when the leader invited the kids to focus on their breathing was that they seemed to be almost immediately more relaxed and present with one another. Fascinating neurobiology in action. They settled down their nervous systems together.

Short-Form Improv Games to Practice Committed Conversations

Then a Grandstreet theater teacher walked through the workshop space to check on how things were going and he stopped at the closet talk with me.

I found out among his many talents, Dee teaches improvisation. I asked him about possible connections with theater and my work as a group facilitator. It turns out there is a whole world of cross-pollination. For one example, there is theater for social change. For other examples it could fit well in meetings to help people build currency and rapport with one another, spur innovation, or just have a good laugh together.

I asked Dee if he might be available to come lead an hour of improv practice with groups I work with who are practicing active listening with one another on their paths toward better organizational health or lively intergovernmental work that can be carried out successfully. What might that look like, I asked him.

Dee described an example exercise where a participant receives just one line, a clue about who her scene partner is and what that person is experiencing or doing. Then then it’s improvisation go time.

He said it requires you practice the give and take of dialog and of saying “yes” to whatever comes up, always yes. One of my gurus Eckhart Tolle might call that “getting friendly with what is.”

Dee pointed out you don’t have to say yes to all ideas but you do find ways to engage and say various versions of “yes/and” and relate honestly with that person – essentially generating the next moves.

For example, as you practice you learn non-judgmental listening with empathy for the good of the whole. As in, you don’t block someone to make your own point or ‘be right.’ You find a way to say “yes” to create or allow something to emerge in the conversation that wouldn’t have otherwise happened had you shut a person down with no. This is not about being a pushover or not having principles by the way, it’s about accepting what is at the moment.

It was fun to notice elements from this theater camp that I knew, felt and sensed before so many years of conditioning took hold in my adulthood. Thinking, feeling, sensing are three different intelligences. We can increase our own literacy with these and bring some lessons from theater camp and improv right into daily personal and professional life.

Introductions: Do we know how to say hello to others and notice how we are personally feeling while we check on how others are feeling?

Centering: Do we know how to pause, find composure and breathe?

Improv: Do we trust ourselves and each other to participate and look for, as Alan Seale says, “what wants to happen”? Are we willing to be silly with each other now and then?

Consider trying some of your own professional variations on these facilitation practices when you sense they may fit the needs of the group:

  1. Whole body introductions with active listening;
  2. Inviting centered breathing as a way to assist focus;
  3. Using improvisation “yes/and” skills to have more connected conversations.
  4. See if there’s something worth learning from acting school and taking it into your own work world. There was for me.

A bit about me: I work primarily with government clients and their partners as a professional coach or third party facilitator in navigating conflict, change and learning opportunities of all kinds. Find me and more of my long-time work mates at

What’s Your Professional Development Plan?

by Nedra Chandler, estimated 4 minute reading time.

Working with a coach can help you recognize your strengths, leverage your talents and self manage more and more consistently. Learn more in this written interview with me by Louise Harris for Savvy.

A bit about me: I work primarily with government clients and their partners as a professional coach or third party facilitator in navigating conflict, change and learning opportunities of all kinds. Find me at and me with more of my long-time work mates at


6 Actions in New Gallup Report to Improve U.S. Workplace Culture

by Nedra Chandler (8-10 minute reading time)

Last night I read all 200+ pages of the newly-released “State of the American Workplace” report from Gallup and there are some great nuggets to notice in there.

The findings are based on more than 195,600 U.S. employees via the Gallup Panel and daily tracking in 2015 and 2016, and about 31 million respondents through their Q12 Client Database. The results reveal findings that won’t surprise those immersed in organizational development. Yet the actions suggested here are not yet front and center in this country. It’s time to bust some moves. Even small shifts will move us toward significant improvements.

The report says leaders of U.S. organizations must:

  1. design and deliver a compelling and authentic employer brand
  2. take employee engagement from a survey to a cultural pillar that improves performance
  3. approach performance management in ways that motivate employees
  4. offer benefits and perks that influence attraction and retention
  5. enable people to work successfully from locations besides the office
  6. construct office environments that honor privacy while encouraging collaboration
  7. improve clarity and communication for employees who work on multiple teams

The themes workers told Gallup were: “we want our work to have meaning and purpose; to use our talents and strengths and to have at least part of each day spent on doing what we each do best. We want to learn and develop and we want our jobs to fit our lives.”

It made me laugh to see the point made on p. 9 that one thing organizations should not do is sit and wait for millennials to “get older and start behaving like baby boomers.”

What does “engagement” mean?

“Gallup measures employee engagement using a 12-element survey (Gallup’s Q12) rooted in employees’ performance development needs. When those needs are met, says Gallup, employees become emotionally and psychologically attached to their work and workplace. As a result, their individual performance soars, and they propel their team and organization to improved crucial outcomes such as higher levels of productivity, safety and quality.” (p. 62)

The four levels of performance development needs are:

1. basic needs

2. individual needs

3. teamwork needs

4. personal growth needs

The report points out that attending to the first 3 levels help create a working environment of trust and respect that in turn supports each individual and team toward awareness and development in the fourth level — personal growth.

The authors emphasize that managers must become coaches and attend to all four levels through “frequent, focused, future-oriented” coaching conversations. I agree with this. Just imagine how this shift from the (awful) annual, backward-looking official performance review to this new approach will animate organizations in the best possible ways.

These findings resonated with me. While reading it, I re-lived some uncomfortable flashback memories of losing my composure at work way too often – especially near the end of my own hellacious management job inside a government agency.

If it weren’t for my own professional coach — Rebecca Johns – whom I was able to hire with federal grant dollars to support me and all staff on our team, I might still be stuck in a mismatch/bad fit job, not feeling or seeing opportunities that were present in my work and life – mostly as a result of being too stressed to show up as my best self.

The most interesting aha to me of all in this detailed report is that fully 4 of Gallup’s 6 overall themes presented at the front are about the value of coaching – internally delivered (again, frequent, focused and future-oriented) and developmental coaching.

The takeaway for me is that it is clearly time to invest more resources into serving each other internally as development partners in our workplaces while we serve customers, end users and stakeholders in the same committed ways, externally.

From my vantage point as an external coach to government leaders, I see this as massive mindset shift that has yet to be realized.

Summary of 6 Calls To Action

My summary and word choice on of Gallup’s 6 big- picture calls to action follow, with Jim Clifton’s quotes in italics below each.

Clifton, who is the CEO and board chair of Gallup, makes a bold claim in his introduction that ‘taking these steps ….will lead to historic bursts in productivity and will change your organization, America and the world.’ I hope he’s right.

1. Development coaching matters. A lot.

Clifton says, “call an executive meeting and commit to transforming your workplace from old command-and-control to one of high development and ongoing coaching conversations.”

What this means is a significant shift from treating the workplace like it’s a strip mine to recognizing it’s an ecosystem that thrives on generative, sustainable practices for the long haul.

2. Don’t wait for clarity. Clarity will come with action.

 “Dive in — don’t put your toe in. You can afford a lot of mistakes and even failures because the system you currently use doesn’t work anyway.” Ouch. Yet I like this one for its blunt clarity.

3. Create a coaching culture from the inside out and outside in.

“Switch from a culture of “employee satisfaction” — which only measures things like how much workers like their perks and benefits — to a “coaching culture.”

4. Purpose matters. We want our work to have meaning.

“Change from a culture of “paycheck” to a culture of “purpose.”

5. Actively invest in and support leaders and managers to know their strengths and those of others, and have courage and support to use them.

“If you have 25,000 employees, then you likely have about 2,500 managers and leaders at various levels. Transform them all.”

Again, my own worldview and bias here: the main shift we need to make is to be true development partners to one another. Not only must we be of service to customers and others with a direct stake in our organizations, we need to be of service to each other at work.

6. Make sure people know their strengths and how to leverage them with their peers and work partners.

“Require all 25,000 employees to take the CliftonStrengths assessment so your organization recognizes each individual by their strengths. Institute a leadership philosophy of developing strengths versus fixing weaknesses.”

My view is that there are many tools that help humans know and keep developing their strengths. Lumina Learning and Play to Your Strengths are the two I’ve come to rely on most often. The point is that it is both crucial and way-too-often overlooked to know your strengths and the strengths of others, and then cultivate the courage and presence to use those in your integrated work and life.

Takeaway Message from All 6 Actions

My takeaway is that we will all be much better off when we invest in serving each other as development coaches and relate with each other at work as human beings, not limited to our sanitized, yet disengaged roles as cogs in a machine.

That means we show up and serve as genuine, humble-yet-confident partners to one another at work for the good of ourselves and the good of the whole.

Important caveat: like the famous coach Tony Robbins says, “You can’t influence somebody when you’re busy judging them.”

My work at Cadence is about delivering coaching that evokes a shift in view such that we each see and experience our current situation in new and useful ways. While you’re cultivating your own growth identity you are also gaining valuable experience to help you be of the best possible service as a development partner to others. How cool is that?

We develop ourselves at the exact same time we are contributing to the development of others. That’s a generous, new model – it’s a vision of coaching culture in American workplaces that will help us evolve and transform our workplaces for the better.

I took time to digest this monster Gallup report and I appreciate you taking the time to read me. I may dig into some more of it in future posts. If you find something of value here, please sign up to receive these monthly at

Please share/forward to your friends and associates who might benefit from the insights here and let me know what you are noticing in your own experience at your workplace. I need to hear.

A bit about me: I work primarily with government clients and their partners as a professional coach or third party facilitator in navigating conflict, change and learning opportunities of all kinds. Find me and more of my long-time work mates at

The Nature Fix

Slows my heart rate down in nice way just to watch this one minute and 41 second clip below. We knew it intuitively and now Flo explains it with research and data to back it up in Nature Fix.

I am excited about this new book just out from Florence Williams on why nature makes us healthier, happier and more creative. You may have seen one of her related pieces in National Geographic last year. She notes this book was 5 years in the writing. I reckon the public health crowd will go wild over it especially because it has such good evidence in it.

Give yourself a gift by watching this clip then go look for her book for more goodness. Sincerely, Nedra

A bit about me: I work with government, nonprofit and business clients as partners in navigating conflict and personal/professional development of all kinds. Enter your email at right to subscribe to my monthly blog.