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Advanced Retreat: Resourcing Clients for Unknowable Futures

March 22, 2018 @ 9:00 am - March 25, 2018 @ 2:00 pm

Resourcing Clients for Unknowable Futures:
Coaching for Complexity Through
Body, Mood, Language, and Action
with Carolyn Coughlin and Doug Silsbee

Everywhere they look, today’s leaders are being told that the world is complex. And we know this from our own experience. Many of us, and our clients, are in the midst of complex and unpredictable challenges. Clients come to us, in fact, specifically because they seek resources and guidance for how to navigate territory for which they feel unprepared. Often the very habits and strategies that enabled success in other conditions are proving woefully inadequate.

The yearning for certainty and clear pathways forward persists, even when the very nature of the territory we are navigating can trigger anxiety, overwhelm, and confusion.

The dissonance between our yearning for certainty and the reality of the world we are facing can provide a catalyst for significant developmental shifts. To benefit, we and our clients must first see our context for what it is– endlessly complex. We must be willing to sense the dissonance between how we’ve been conditioned to see the world, and how it is actually showing up. And, we must develop the personal strategies and capacities to tolerate this dissonance so that we can lead in ways more appropriate for a complex world.

This new context demands new ways of reading the world and constructing meaning. It requires deepening our resilience and resourcefulness. And, it asks us to act in new ways that invite our intended futures to emerge.

This workshop offers a developmental perspective on how we can respond to complexity. We explore significant and sometimes radical shifts in our Sensing, Being, and Acting. We investigate resourcing in the midst of complexity: both for our clients, and for ourselves. And in these investigations, we experiment with ourselves, using real and immediate challenges as an experiential laboratory for discovery.

Learning Objectives

This workshop is for experienced coaches or other support professionals. While no particular coaching approach or training is required, we do suggest that you have experience, that your primary work is supporting leaders (at any level and of any kind,) and that you care deeply about supporting them to become more capable of leading in a world where they can’t predict and control everything.  It is also crucial that you are willing to engage by experimenting and practicing on yourself.

In this experiential four-day retreat, we will explore pragmatic coaching and leadership strategies that focus on:

  • Distinguishing complex contexts from complicated and obvious contexts
  • Sensing habitual reactions to complexity through emotions, body, language and meaning-making (Sensing)
  • Resourcing the self by cultivating internal states of awareness and resilience (Being)
  • Developing action learning strategies for engaging with complexity (Acting)

Course Details

Timing: The workshop will begin at 9am on March 22 and end at 2pm on March 25.

Location: Bend of Ivy Lodge, a secluded and beautiful retreat center 20 minutes north of Asheville, North Carolina. The retreat will include intensive, highly experiential days, morning practices and evening sessions. Because the community experience is a vitally important element of the retreat, so and there are no nearby alternatives, we strongly recommend staying on-site. If you have a special situation and prefer to stay offsite please let us know and we can offer options.

Cost of Workshop: TBA plus meals and lodging.

CCEs: 32 CCEs will be provided for those applying for, or renewing, ICF credentials.

Meals and Lodging: Meals and lodging are included as part of the package. Lodging and meals prices include double occupancy lodging, shared bath, and gourmet meals prepared with locally sourced, organic foods. Meals are provided from breakfast on Thursday through lunch on Sunday. Four nights lodging starts the evening of Wednesday and goes through the end of the retreat.

Cancellation policy: If you must cancel your registration for any retreat or course, all fees paid minus a cancellation fee will be refunded, as long as the conditions outlined in the terms and conditions are met. If those conditions are not met, no refunds will be provided. See more details on cancellation policies on the Terms & Conditions page.

Carolyn Coughlin Bio

Carolyn’s Bio

Carolyn is a founding partner of Cultivating Leadership, a firm that works with organizations and individuals to help them increase their capacity to lead across complexity, ambiguity, and change.  She is the co-founder of the Growth Edge Network, and she trains coaches in the theory and practice of adult development. Carolyn’s coaching and leadership development work is informed in part by the 10 years she spent as a management consultant, and in even greater part by the journey of her life.

From going on her first multi-day backpacking trip in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana at the age of 9, traveling and working in six different Latin American countries in her 20’s, living on the campus of a boarding school for 17 years, moving her family to New Zealand in 2012 and back to the US in 2013, and currently waking up every day to the miracle of being the mother of three amazing teenagers, Carolyn is a commitment to living life fully.


Will be open in Fall 2017


March 22, 2018 @ 9:00 am
March 25, 2018 @ 2:00 pm
Doug Silsbee and Carolyn Coughlin


Doug Silsbee and Carolyn Coughlin


Please note:
The retreat setting lends itself to package options based on this price along with meals and lodging,


3717 Bend of Ivy Rd
Marshall, United States
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