Course Description

Course Description
The growing complexity of organizations, the rapid pace of the workplace, and the interconnectedness of the global marketplace have magnified the frequency with which leaders are faced with seemingly unsolvable situations that contain two or more opposing solutions. In this interactive two-day workshop, leadership coaches will learn how to use a polarity lens to coach leaders who are grappling with the need to lead change, navigate conflict and cope with complexity. Participants will learn the fundamental distinction between helping clients to solve problems and helping clients to navigate polarities, a phenomenon that is both unsolvable and invaluable. Using the polarity lens, we will introduce new distinctions in transformational leadership coaching.  Coaches will discover how to see the predictable pattern that is present in polarities and will practice using polarity maps as a sense-making tool to help their coaching clients harness the tension inherent in a polarity in a way that leads to sustainable action.
Designed for
•    Leadership coaches interested in expanding their coaching skills to be able to affect transformational change in clients*.

* Completion of an International Coach Federation (ICF) certified coaching program is strongly recommended before attending this workshop.

Course Outline
This 2-day course will be highly interactive.  Participants will explore the following topics.
•    Introduction to polarities and paradox
•    New distinctions in transformational leadership coaching using a polarity lens
•    The phenomenon of Suffering Paradox and Navigating Paradox
•    Fundamentals of Seeing, Mapping, and Acting on polarities
•    Using polarities in coaching to explore resistance to change
•    Application in coaching – Individual case studies

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, a successful participant will be able to:

  • Utilize a polarity framework as a tool for transformational leadership coaching. 
  • Demonstrate a greater ability to support sense-making for themselves and their clients when faced with situations that require navigating polarities.
  • Enhance coaching proficiency by leveraging the interdependencies present in coaching competencies as defined by the International Coach Federation (ICF).
  • Understand how paradoxical tensions affect individuals and organizations and the ways in which these tensions can impede or accelerate transformation.  

Facilitator Bios

Kelly Lewis, Principal of Lewis Leadership Group, Leadership Coach, and a Master in Polarity Thinking, frequently draws on polarity thinking to support individuals and organizations to find more meaning in and movement from their leadership. Kelly serves on the faculty of Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership and can be reached at klewis@tllgroup.com. 

Brian Emerson, PhD draws heavily on Polarity Thinking as he works with leaders and organizations. He is a graduate and faculty of the Polarity Mastery program and co-authored A Manager’s Guide to Coaching. He teaches about polarities at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and at the University of Maryland. He can be reached at brian@riverstoneendeavors.com.  


Graduates from the School of Continuing Studies at Georgetown University are eligible for a 10% alumni discount on select ITL courses, workshops, and seminars (certificate programs excluded). Send an email to itlprograms@georgetown.edu to learn about your eligibility.

Early Registration
Participants who register at least 21 days prior to the course start date will receive a 10% tuition discount. Please note that only one tuition discount can be applied at time of registration.

Course Registration
This course is an open enrollment course. No application is required and registration is available by clicking "Add to Cart." Current students must register with their Georgetown NetID and password. New students will be prompted to create an account prior to registration.

Please review the refund policies in our Student Handbook before completing your registration.

Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrollment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrollment opens.
Required fields are indicated by .