If you think you are ready for this, or if your workplace is ready, contact us.


We help people live more authentically

Power - awareness and skills

Those on the receiving end of power often have bad experiences: being pushed, manipulated, taken advantage of, overridden, not listened to, excluded, and sometimes abused.

The impact of those experiences ranges from mildly traumatic to devastating. The result is often unresolved emotional baggage that impacts negatively on the quality of life and relationship.

Another result can be that power, as it is attained, is used defensively or aggressively.

Some professional development programs attend to the question of the right use of power. However these generally centre around ‘doing the right thing’ professionally – a behavioural focus.

Some managerial programs attend to the question of power. However these generally centre around effectiveness – an instrumental focus.

What is missing in these approaches is a deeper awareness of personal style, field factors, and relational dynamics as they manifest in the way someone uses power. What is also missing is an exploration of the darker aspects of self which can result in the destructive use of power.

It is difficult for people to become aware of the destructive ways they use power. The difficulty of self examination in this area indicates a high need for support. There is a great potential for shame in the process of coming to terms with who one is and how one exercises power.

Power - the process

We use a process either with you individually, or in the context of the setting where you work. This may be in a volunteering context (e.g. a board) as much as in your professional life.

This is unusual, because its an enquiry into how you use power. It takes an enquiring spirit, a willingness to look at yourself, and a capacity to hear feedback.

If you are interested in knowing more about yourself, and improving the quality and effectiveness of your use of power, this process is for you.

The rewards are increasing your potency. You can fine tune they way you use power, learn new skills, and improve your working (and interpersonal) relationships.

Whats required is the courage to look more deeply at yourself, and the support of a facilitator to take you through the process.

Love and Power - the workshop

1. Where do you have power, and how do you use it?

2. How much quality do you have in your your connections with others?

Power involves strategy, control, influence, and goal focus.

Love involves connection, warmth, openness, and mutuality.

This workshop explores two fundamental areas: Strategic skills and Intimate skills.

When Power trumps Love, you might be successful, but the price is loss of relationship quality.

We examine how these domains can co-exist and add up to a greater synergy.

Transformational questions that will be explored include:

  • What is my power style
  • What is the shadow of my power
  • How can I exercise power but not over-power
  • Where do I avoid using the power I have?
  • What did I learn about power in my family
  • What are my Unvirtues

Overview of the workshop

In our personal lives

We are drawn to relationship because of intimacy - warmth, connection and belonging.

Yet the practicalities of life involve achieving goals, getting places on time, and exerting influence - the business of life.

We seek love, yet frequently depart from the experience of mutuality, angrily telling the other person what to do, or shutting down because of feeling pushed or manipulated.

We will examine the question of how love and power can be reconciled successfully in personal relationship. How can you remain loving and keep the connection, despite your shadowy self waiting to pounce?

In our work lives

Work is about productivity, achievement and making hard decisions. It usually involves a power differential.

Yet without enough quality of relationship in the work setting, the result can be a weariness of the soul.

We will explore how your personal power style gets in the way of quality of connection, and what you can do about it.

This workshop will develop the skills involved in both strategy and intimacy, introducing ways to achieve an integration of love and power.

‘But this is the exalted melancholy of our fate, that every Thou in our world must become an It‘

-Martin Buber

The content

We will draw on insights and techniques from Gestalt therapy, including Martin Buber’s I-thou philosophy. By learning the skills of mutuality and connection, we can enhance the experience of intimacy.

We will explore the experience of shame - how it arises, and what can be done to ensure it doesn't become a destructive of connection. By learning about how we move from belonging to isolation, we can understand how dynamics of power in relationship work. We learn how to use support to build a bridge to wholeness, even amidst differences in capacity or authority.

We will learn about the ‘unvirtues’ - the shadow side of our good intentions, where we can end up being hurtful without realising it. This insight into the dynamics of your power can make a big difference as to whether it enhances connection or destroys it.

We will look at how you can repair conflict in ways which allow you to stay connected. Being able to read and articulate difficult emotional states gives you the skills to build bridges.

We will find how ‘existential responsibility’ can help free you from the blame game, both ways. By acknowledging ‘what is’, we can bring awareness and healing to the places where power can hurt.

We will use creative processes - art and psychodrama - to explore and understand how to can make a difference, and bring together love and power in our hearts, our relationships, and the day to day practicalities of relationship.

We will explore strategic and intimate skills, identifying where and how we use them, and where they conflict. We will look at the context for the use of strategy, where that is effective, and where it becomes damaging. By recognising which skills need to be enhanced, a practical way forward becomes clear.