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Innovative training, tools & techniques for organizational sustainability

Bredenberg Associates provide proven approaches and leading-edge resources for harnessing your team's energy, talents, and creativity. Our coaches mentor leaders to cultivate cultures of trust, accountability, synergy, and get the work done. We equip your team with the leadership skills and innovation solutions to navigate nimbly and sustainably in today's environment of dynamic change.

Services we offer:

⚬ Leadership Development

⚬ Executive & Team Coaching

⚬ Strategic Visioning & Planning

⚬ High-Impact Workforce Training

⚬ Community Conversations Facilitation

⚬ Train-the-Trainer & Certificate Programs

⚬ Organizational Learning Design & Systems

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Rise & Shine! Start the Day Off Right

How do you start your day?
Do you jump out of bed ready to go with energy and positive anticipation of what the day will bring?
Maybe the sounds of children, animals or other creatures rouse you to your day and there’s no time to think before you’re doing your morning routines getting yourself and everyone else underway.
Or maybe you’re more like I’ve been… Waking with anxiety and a bit of dread and pushing the snooze button for an extra 10 minutes, hoping I’ll feel better the next time it sounds.
Our morning mindset sets the stage for the rest of the day. We CAN affect, if not totally control, our moods. Here are a few tips for getting a great start to your day. Try them out and let us know how they work for you.
1. CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE The powerful practice of Circle of Excellence is designed to put you in a mental and physical “state” of wellbeing with a positive, confident mindset. The simple 3 steps are described here: They can be used anytime and in many situations.
I start my day by tossing my imaginary Circle of Excellence on the floor next to my bed, so as soon as my feet hit the floor, I’m in the bright circle. I pause there for just a moment, imagining myself in a circle of radiant light and energy, take a deep breath, stretch, and say out loud, “It’s a great day! Everything is going to be alright!” Then I “pick up” the circle (nice back stretch), place it in my imaginary pocket (I’m still in pajamas) and head to the bathroom for morning ablutions.
2. ENERGIZING SHOWER Like many people, I take a shower in the morning. I start with warm water to clean and open pores, and then end with only cold water. Bracing! The pores slam shut and I’m fully awake. Singing or sounding is also energizing and good for stimulating the thymus gland (strengthens immune functions).
3. BRUSH TEETH WITH NON-DOMINANT HAND We have so many routines in our lives that we hardly need to think as we do them. Brushing with our non-dominant hand stimulates other parts of the brain and brings us into the present moment. While it may take awhile to become competent, (electric toothbrushes make it easier) it’s a great way to improve dexterity. Use it as a meditation for being in the present moment. Don’t forget to wink and smile at your cute self the mirror.
These practices take only a few moments, but they can launch you into your day with more energy, enthusiasm, and enjoyment (or at least a giggle).
Try them. If you like them, comment here. Or share your own morning rituals that get you going. We'd love to hear from you!
Make it a great day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Are You an Irresistible Leader?

In his recent article 3 Keys to Becoming Irresistible, John Gorman describes three characteristics that, “when taken together, create a spellbinding supernova of a person -- one who can command a room and control their destiny, one who can be both altruistic and intelligent.

Even though the examples he gives describe special people that he “adores,” they are the very qualities that we encourage leaders to cultivate to succeed in their careers and professional relationships. These characteristics may be natural to some people, but more often need to be learned and nurtured. The good news is that, once recognized as essential leadership skills, an aware person can learn and refine these qualities, leading to better relationships of all kinds.

So, what are these three keys to being irresistible?  

Humility.  The willingness to recognize that there is always more to learn. That there may be more perspectives than just yours. And that those perspectives may be even more “right” than yours. Humility is the absence of entitlement. A true leader doesn’t lead by position, but rather by purpose. Humility is the natural response as we value others, recognize our interconnectedness, and bear witness to the wondrous and fragile beauty of life.

Curiosity. “Curiosity drives an insatiable quest for knowledge, culture, novelty, experience, beauty, art and connection.” Leaders use their curiosity to drive innovation, encourage engagement and cultivate leadership in others. Rather than always having the “right answers,” effective leaders have compelling questions. Curiosity and inquiry can lead to better long-term solutions than off the cuff answers or unexamined biases. As with humility, an open mind and willingness to see things with “new eyes” are required.

Empathy. People need to know that their leaders can relate and truly care about them. Empathy does not mean that you necessarily agree or hold the same perspective as others. But the willingness to step into another’s experience and understand how they feel is the foundation for connection and rapport. It is an important precursor for honesty, which can foster trust, which in turn is essential for functional and productive relationships.

As Gorman points out, combined, these three traits amplify each other. Missing one or more component, and the magic is diminished.
1. Which of these 3 is most natural to you?
2. What quality do you want/need to cultivate more in yourself?
  3. What will that take?

Please share your thoughts and comments below or on our Facebook or LinkedIn page. We love to hear from you change-makers out there!

Want to know more about cultivating your unique leadership style and competencies?
Schedule your complimentary Leadership Laser Coaching session

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Transform Conflict into Productivity

YOU:  Change Catalyst
CHALLENGE: Conflict in your organization
COST: Time, Money, Joy
OPPORTUNITY: Transformation, Productivity

Did you know that 385 million workdays are spent in unproductive conflict, costing companies $359 billion in paid work hours, according to Entrepreneur magazine? How many hours do you spend dealing with conflict and confusion?

If you are a supervisor, manager or leader, you could be spending as much as a third of your time dealing with conflict...your’s or another’s. Here are a few tips for taking care of yourself in situations where there is tension.

Before you react, get curious.  Ask…

1. What is the tension? Perhaps it is conflicting priorities or different perspectives on a
situation.  Maybe it is from missed expectations. Having an understanding of the real
cause, not just the effect, can lead to better, long-lasting solutions.

2. Where do you feel it in your body? Our bodies often react before our reasoning, so
we move quickly into defensive or offensive “positions” rather than seeking alignment &
collaboration. We have “automatic thoughts,” or reactions that can lead to “fight or flight”
which rarely resolves the conflict and can add to resentment.

3.  What is the need (yours or others)? Just asking “What do you need?” can help

identify the core issue and often lead to a solution. Since people often don’t know how
to articulate needs in specific outcomes or behaviors, managers may need to coach
people to help them identify and address those needs more autonomously.

4.  What will resolve this tension? Human needs are often very basic and can be

resolved through clarity of roles, responsibilities, expectations and communications.
Time spent clarifying the need can save time in the long run. In the workplace, conflict
can often be resolved by clarifying roles and responsibilities, establishing policies that
spell out priorities or assigning tasks to a specific role so that people know who’s
doing what.

Since people have different needs at different times, it’s natural...even have conflict since it can lead to more clarity and understanding. Since conflict is inevitable, it’s important to turn destructive conflict into productive conflict.

Turn destructive conflict into productive conflict
If you have any Everything DiSC profile, you can create a Comparison Report with any co-worker or friend that also has an Everything DiSC profile in just a few easy steps.
1. Create or log into your account
2. Request a Comparison Report with the other person.
     3. Once the Comparison Report has been created you’ll find tips for addressing tensions
         and creating a more productive relationship.
     4. Make a date for discussing a current issue or preparing for a future collaboration
         using the information you have about each other.
     5. Create an action plan for working better together as you understand each others’
         needs, preferences and priorities
     6. Want more tips? Schedule a complimentary 15-minute laser coaching session here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Conscious Leadership for the 21st Century

What is conscious leadership...and why is it important?

Let’s look at consciousness first. Consciousness is that to which we pay attention. What we focus on and what we act upon.

The problem with this is that our mind is going all the time and our attention is affected by our beliefs...not actual facts. Too often we are informed by our inner views, rather than the bigger picture. Our consciousness is shaped by our experiences, what we have been told, what we’ve chosen to believe...about ourselves and the world.

“There are those who say that seeing is believing. I am telling you that believing is seeing.”
-- Neale Donald Walsch

As we develop consciousness, we start to understand that our perspective is just that -- our own viewpoint. And what’s real is much larger, more complex and nuanced than how we are seeing a situation. As consciousness grows, so does humility...along with personal power and choices. Life and work can become more interesting as we move beyond our boundaries of beliefs and seek to understand others’ perspectives, alternatives, and facts.

Conscious Leaders are aware of their thoughts. They can witness their reactions and feelings. They seek facts and opinions outside of themselves to make better decisions. They often operate with a beginner’s mind. This is having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would.

Conscious Leaders don’t seek to be “right” or the ultimate authority. They are more interested in having better outcomes, sustainable solutions, and synergistic relationships. They are lifelong learners with voracious curiosity. They know how to ask questions that engage others in seeing the bigger picture and finding solutions. They seek understanding of root causes and implications before declaring a decision.

How to become a Conscious Leader?
1. Notice your thoughts. Are they affirming or judgmental?
2. If judgmental (about others, a situation or yourself), ask yourself, “Is this
true? What evidence do I have? How does it serve to have this thought? Is
there a more useful thought?”
3. Seek facts, other perspectives, evidence.
4. Cultivate your thinking, problem-solving and communications
5. Choose thoughts and focus that nourish and sustain you and your team.

Seeing-is-believing is a blind spot in man's vision."
-- Buckminster Fuller

Resources for Conscious Leaders

Bredenberg Associates’ programs equip leaders and teams with tools and techniques for conscious leadership. Schedule a complimentary 20-minute Discovery Session to start addressing your leadership challenges and needs. Schedule

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

New Everything DiSC Program Showcase: Productive Conflict

Productive Conflict Showcase
Thursday, April 26, 2018 from 9:00am - 11:00am
Boston Marriott in Newton, Massachusetts

Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict transforms uncomfortable encounters into stronger relationships! Be the first to explore the newest addition to the Everything DiSC® range of solutions: Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict.
This powerful tool highlights how to use Everything DiSC® to effectively respond to the uncomfortable and inevitable challenges of workplace conflict. By increasing self-awareness during conflict situations, Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict helps curb destructive behaviors and improve workplace relationships... and results.

In this showcase, led by Wiley product specialists, you will:
  • Have the chance to complete a complimentary Everything DiSC® assessment
  • Explore the destructive and productive conflict behaviors of each DiSC® style
  • Understand how to manage your response to conflict situations
  • Discover communication strategies to engage productive conflict with colleagues
Breakfast & Registration 9:00 - 9:30
Presentation 9:30 - 11:00
Spaces fill up fast, contact us if you would like to attend.
Registration is complimentary through Bredenberg Associates' Leadership Innovation Academy.
Mark your calendars for April 26th!

Can't make this one in Boston? There are plenty others. Check them out here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

What is The Work of Leaders?

Comprehensively researched, thought-provoking, and eminently practical VAE: The Work of Leaders stimulates fresh conversations and new perspectives regardless of the leader's knowledge or experience. It's an opportunity for leaders at all levels of learning to reflect on how they approach each step of their work along a "leadership continua" and helps leaders take action with personalized tips and strategies that give clear direction and are easy to apply. Introductory chapters introduce the steps of the VAE process, defines, demystifies, and contextualizes each one.

Book: The Work of Leaders: How Vision, Alignment and Execution will Change the Way You Lead by Julie Straw, Barry Davis, Mark Scullard, Susie Kukkonen

"The Work of Leaders is a bright gem of a book. In a crystal clear and to-the-point style, the authors make leadership instantly accessible with a memorable model, rock solid fundamentals, original research, compelling stories, and highly practical tips for putting the principles to immediate use. There are invaluable lessons on every page, and you'll enjoy discovering each one. We highly recommend The Work of Leaders to anyone who aspires to make extraordinary things happen in organizations."
—Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner, authors of the bestselling The Leadership Challenge®

Case Study: Creating a Legacy of Leaders to Shape the Future of Business Growth

Profile: The Work of Leaders

The Work of Leaders Model:

More details from Everything DiSC:

Everything DiSC Work of Leaders® is classroom training that uses online pre-work, engaging facilitation with contemporary video, and online follow-up to create a personalized learning experience. Based on best practices, Work of Leaders connects unique leadership styles to real-world demands, generating powerful conversations that provide a clear path for action.
Everything DiSC Work of Leaders approaches leadership as a one-to-many relationship, as opposed to the one-to-one relationship explored in Everything DiSC® Management. It focuses on tangible steps directed at leading a group or organization toward desired outcomes.
Using the framework of Vision, Alignment, and Execution, Work of Leaders encourages leaders to understand their own leadership styles and how they impact their effectiveness. Rich, compelling narrative adds depth to the data and strong visuals support the learning process by illustrating key messages.


  • Result of four-year research and development effort
  • Analyzed and distilled the work of prominent leadership researchers
  • Input from more than 300 subject-matter experts at over 150 organizations
  • Identified leadership best practices
If you are interested in learning even more about the profiles generated, reports, follow-up tools, facilitation and more, go to the Everything DiSC solutions page and select the yellow bar labeled Work of Leaders. It looks like this:
Intrigued? Give us a call (727-308-0812) or schedule a complimentary discovery session. We would love to chat with you about this possible solution for your team!