Leadership and governance in high stakes situations - Recognising the behaviours that undermine our effectiveness and our relationships

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Event Outline

At this Board Development seminar, we will explore our behavioural preferences when we get into ‘high stakes’ – when we are under pressure, when problems emerge, when things go wrong, when anxiety and discomfort are experienced so intensely that it produces an almost involuntary behavioural response. Often, in a high stakes situation, the dark or shadow side of our behaviours emerge and we can find ourselves inadvertently undermining our own effectiveness, our relationships with colleagues and our Board’s success.

Join us to discover your own behavioural profile. Through a series of interactive exercises led by our trainer, Margaret Williamson, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Recognise what personal triggers or external events are likely to provoke your own shadow behaviours
  • Understand which behaviours you are likely to adopt in high stakes situations and the likely consequences for you and your fellow Board Members
  • Learn how to lower the stakes in such situations and minimise the impact of your default shadow behaviours

Supported by

Our Trainer

Margaret Williamson

Director, Boardroom Development Limited


09:00-09:30     Registration and morning refreshments

09:30-09:45     Welcome and Introductions
Our trainer: Margaret Williamson, Director, Boardroom Development Limited

09:45-09:55     Masterclass Outline, Objectives and Guidelines

09:55-10:30     What is a ’high-stakes’ situation?

  • Low, medium and high stakes
  • Recognising the symptoms
  • ‘High-stakes’ in the Boardroom

10:30-11:15     What causes the stakes to rise for individuals and Boards?

  • External and Internal Causes
  • Context, triggers, our nemesis and the role of the story (including time for individual reflection and a group exercise)
  • A Board System in crisis

11:15-11:30     Tea and coffee break, opportunities for networking

11:30-11:50     Adopting a Moral Stance – Prosecutor, Adjudicator and Advocate
(including a self-assessment exercise)

11:50-12:30     The emergence of ‘the hero’ and our shadow behaviours

  • Heroic Modes (including a self-assessment exercise)
  • The Shadow side (including a small group exercise)

12:30-13:00     Lowering the stakes for ourselves and our fellow Board/team members
(including an individual exercise and opportunities for individual and group reflection)

13:00               Seminar close

13:00-13:30     Sandwich lunch and opportunities for networking


Hosted by

The Burns Room,
6 Waterloo Place,