Overcoming defensive behaviours
We all have defences – as individuals, as groups and, consequently, as organisations.
Managers in the public sector often encounter them when driving through changes:
Managing demand with less resource.
Improving customer service with fewer staff.
Moving to new delivery models, sometimes outside the council itself.
When the stakes are high, these interactions can easily create unproductive and defensive behaviour. The change then becomes more difficult and more expensive to achieve.
Defensive mechanisms develop unconsciously, and are often employed destructively when we are confronted with challenge or change. Looking, in more detail, at eight common defence mechanisms and associated concepts, this course stimulates thinking on how to manage such defences in order to achieve transformational change.
You’ll learn powerful practical skills based on Chris Argyris’ method of ‘productive reasoning’ – proven successful by large organisations from Shell to Microsoft, and refined by us in our work across the public sector.
We’ll explain our own primary research in navigating complex change, and the ‘breaking the shell' exercise led by Lorna Smalley and Dennis Vergne.
You’ll leave this training seeing your next critical change interactions in a completely new light.
'The productive reasoning was both stretching and enjoyable. It will be very useful in general management, in addition to using in change management situations.'
'Productive reasoning was a new subject to me and was delivered in a challenging way that made me analyse my thinking and how I deal with situations.'
‘It gave me a lot of think about how I came across. It really expands your way of thinking and it challenged me about what I already knew’
‘Gives me more confidence now in doing my job + dealing with curveballs.’
‘Enjoyed the course; find it very engaging and insightful’
‘Those presenting the course are practitioners and have a wealth of experience to share with the trainees - have recommended course to colleagues’
Lorna is an experienced executive coach whose background is in transformation, efficiency and organisational development. She combines business knowledge with coaching skills to help clients work through and find solutions to their work-related challenges. With her particular background in transformation and change management, she helps leaders, managers and teams to plan, deliver and role model the changes they want to see, which often includes working on having more productive conversations with colleagues and stakeholders.
Prior to becoming a coach, Lorna worked in change management in the public sector, creating a highly effective transformation team in a London Borough delivering key effieciency saving and service improvement programmes, and going on to establish an Organisational Development function to work on culture change issues across the council. She designed and brought in a new competency-based performance management approach and coached the senior team in implementing it. In recent years she has combined her coaching practice with working as a change management consultant on transformation projects.
Based on his experience, research, programme design and delivery, he is a recognised organisational change expert. Dennis has a passion for enabling transformational change that sticks, turning ideas into effective practice and behaviours. He holds an MSc in this field (Oxford – distinction) and belongs to an international network of reflective change practitioners – www.thechangeleaders.com. Although he is originally from Holland, since 2004, most of his work has been within the British public sector. His experience also includes (before 2002) strategy and change work for a rather diverse (read: odd) variety of clients such as Belgium Government, Norsk Hydro, Motorola, Novartis and Lloyds TSB. His very first (proper job) was with The Hague council as a youth worker.