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Leading your organisation through coronavirus - Managing high stakes in the Boardroom


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 at this seminar and 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

In partnership with


Margaret Williamson

Director, Boardroom Development Limited


Margaret Williamson is an organisation development consultant specialising in improving the performance of Boards and Executive Teams. She has been Director of Boardroom Development Limited, an independent strategy and organisation development consulting practice for the past 23 years and prior to that held senior positions in finance and consulting. A champion of boardroom diversity, she created the Boardroom Mentor Programme, the first competency-based programme for women non-executive directors in the UK. She has extensive experience as a non-executive director and audit chair in the public and social enterprise sectors.

Detailed course agenda

Introduction – why do some boards work and others are completely dysfunctional?

Activity – setting intention

What do we mean by ‘high stakes’ situations and how do you know when you are experiencing one?

Activity- Identifying your own high stakes experiences

What are shadow behaviours and how do we recognise them in ourselves and others?

Activity – Your own shadow behaviours

What trigger our ‘high stakes’ behaviours?

Activity – Identifying your high stakes triggers

How do we react to people who are very different from us?

Activity – Identifying your Moral Posture

Superman and Wonderwoman. Who was your hero and how might they be negatively impacting on the people around you?

Activity – Assessing your own Heroic Modes

Lowering the stakes for yourself and others

Activity – Mindful practice, compassion exercise

Summary of learning