Flexible Engagement Resources, LLC

Flexible engagement training for the modern workforce

 

We have developed an approach quite different from anything I previously have encountered throughout my business career. Going well beyond the repeated presentations and discussions we all have grown only too accustomed to experiencing, our approach assists leaders and managers in building skills for improving their ability to FLEXIBLY ENGAGE their employees in the many challenges they face in today’s workplace - Co-Founder Robert Schuetz, M.B.A.

 

 

              Great Wave off Kanagawa (Housaki)

              Great Wave off Kanagawa (Housaki)

 

 

What is Flexible Engagement? The behavioral process of determining, implementing, and making warranted changes to sustain a valued course of action even in the face of the challenges we all inevitably encounter in our professional endeavors.

 

                                                                              

 

                                                                                                                             

        Pilgrim on the Edge (Mutter)  I'm a Pilgrim on the edge/On the edge of my perception  We are travelers at the edge/We are always at the edge of our perceptions.   

        Pilgrim on the Edge (Mutter)

I'm a Pilgrim on the edge/On the edge of my perception

We are travelers at the edge/We are always at the edge of our perceptions.

 

 

 

 

What does Flexible Engagement Training involve? Skill building in our abilities to become more:

 --Aware of what is happening to us externally and internally

--Open to external and internal challenges

--Engaged in "doing what matters" even (especially!) when challenged

 

 

 

In summary, Flexible Engagement integrates a "great wave" of traditional Eastern mindfulness with a "pilgrimage" through modern Western behavioral science. For a more detailed description of the necessity of this vital synthesis in the Business Enterprise of today and tomorrow, please read on...

 

 

Flexible Engagement Resources is a consulting firm that provides advice and training in the application of Flexible Engagement skills and behavior to clients in corporate and other BUSINESS organizations

Defining Flexible Engagement in The Business Enterprise

Today’s multifaceted and multigenerational Business Enterprise can become an overwhelming environment for executives and managers even of thriving organizations. Emotional reactions can result from an unanticipated event, from “one more thing” on top of everything else, or from a looming deadline. Other psychological pressures are more ongoing in nature, such as those arising from balancing time between work and home, day-to-day employee interactions, interpersonal relationships with senior management, performance reviews, marketplace competition, and regulatory accountability. These kinds of challenges can lead to increased emotional reactivity and less effective functioning. Learning to engage with flexibility enables executives and managers to make adjustments for staying on track with meaningful activities under trying circumstances.*

A growing body of organizational research is demonstrating the benefits of Flexible Engagement training for individuals and groups within a variety of business settings. In a series of studies conducted in banks, call centers, and government agencies, for example, a research team from the Institute of Management Studies at the University of London and the City University of London found that such training leads to increased acceptance of workplace changes, improved ratings for employee job satisfaction and performance, increased client satisfaction ratings, and decreased rates of burn-out and turn-over.** In this overview, we will define and explore the implications and training protocols for Flexible Engagement in the Business Enterprise.

References

*Emotional Agility: How Effective Leaders Manage Their Negative Thoughts and Feelings

          Susan David & Christina Congleton

          Harvard Business Review, November, 2013

**The Mindful and Effective Employee: An Acceptance and Commitment Training Manual for Improving Well-Being and Performance

          Paul Flaxman, Frank Bond, & Fredrik Livheim

          New Harbinger Publications, 2013

 

 
 

Phone

(412) 376-7259

 

Location

615 Washington Road
Suite 107
Pittsburgh, PA 15228

 

E-mail

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Training Flexible Engagement

Flexible Engagement: Definition of Terms

Flexible Engagement consists of three component skills: the ability to be aware of what is going on within and around us; the ability to be open to our emotional reactivity; and the ability to engage in doing what matters even when doing so is difficult.

Awareness means noticing internal and external events as they are occurring. For this to happen, we need to practice deliberately paying attention to what is going on from one moment to the next in our minds, our physical reactions, our interactions with others, and our surroundings.
Openness involves a willingness to experience the range of human emotions and to consider alternative points of view. For this to happen, instead of our usual tendencies to avoid uncomfortable feelings and to become judgmental of others as well as ourselves, we need to practice observing our emotional reactions and understanding how they affect us and our relationships with others.
Engagement entails following through with our commitments. For this to happen, we first need to clarify what matters to us. Next, we need to determine the broader goals, more immediate objectives, and specific tasks that will enable us to implement our organizational and professional values. The emerging challenge then becomes one of persisting in our current course of action or making indicated changes, returning to the task at hand each time we notice ourselves drifting away from our stated intentions.

Flexible Engagement training in the component skills of awareness, openness, and engagement can result in executives and managers becoming more willing and able to notice, experience, and reflect upon emotionally charged events in their work environments. They can learn to address the human tendency to become trapped in their emotional reactions and interpretations, and then to not pay enough attention to what actually is happening in the world around them or to other points of view. They also can become more capable of remaining involved in meaningful behaviors even when feeling stressed, as well as more adept at recovering from those inevitable moments when the circumstances of their lives change or when they become distracted or disconnected from valued pursuits in their professional relationships and endeavors.

Flexible Engagement: The Concept in Action

The concept of Flexible Engagement is based in a scientific model of motivation known as ACT (said as the word, not the individual letters, the acronym stands for Acceptance and Commitment Training) (https://contextualscience.org/). ACT recognizes that people are motivated to move towards what they like and away from what they don’t like. When their behavior leads them either to enjoy getting what they want or to feel the temporary relief of avoiding what they don’t want, they are more likely to engage in that behavior again under similar circumstances. ACT views positive motivation for accomplishing valued commitments as crucial to accepting the emotional challenges of the Business Enterprise (and Life!). The model is implemented through skill training in Flexible Engagement.

These scientific principles of motivation are directly relevant to how people function in the Business Enterprise. Meaningfully defined values that accurately reflect the behavioral history and shared purpose of an organization can serve as sources of positive motivation, sustaining executives and managers in staying on course during times of trouble. However, they also must contend with the natural human tendency to behave in an avoidant fashion in situations that make them feel uncomfortable, such as procrastinating when they are facing a difficult decision, postponing a performance review anticipated to be problematic, or criticizing others in a situation warranting the assumption of personal responsibility. The temporary relief achieved through avoidance can result in them repeatedly putting off an issue in need of attention.

Training in Flexible Engagement can increase the ability of executives and managers to identify and connect with the kinds of positive motivation that help them remain engaged when they are contending with emotionally challenging situations. This training also can improve their ability to recognize and accept discomfort, particularly when doing so is accompanied by a sense of accomplishment inspired by their organizational and professional values.

Flexible Engagement: The Training Protocols

Flexible Engagement training places particular emphasis on actually teaching skills rather than simply settling for yet another conversation about “what should be done” to increase the ability of executives and managers to sustain their involvement in meaningful activities. While individualized coaching can be utilized at certain times, training for executives and/or managers more typically occurs in a series of at least three half-day workshops spread over a period of one or two months and delivered on site or in a retreat setting.

Following the introduction of activities designed to teach the skills of awareness, openness, and engagement, facilitated sessions are conducted to begin applying these skills in the context of actual challenges arising in the Business Enterprise. Specific training is provided throughout the sessions in using a one page tool designed for assessment, learning, and tracking change over time. Practice is encouraged between workshops, thus promoting skill acquisition over the course of training. Ongoing consultation towards developing an organizational culture of Flexible Engagement also is available upon request.

About us:

Flexible Engagement Resources: Human capital meets human behavior

Flexible Engagement Resources is a consulting firm that provides advice and training in the application of Flexible Engagement skills and behavior to clients in corporate, non-profit and other organized enterprises.

Its co-founders are Bob Schuetz and Stuart Libman, M.D.  Marking their intersection in the Flexible Engagement value proposition, they each bring extensive experience in assisting clients in their respective fields, Bob as a management consultant specializing in the area of Human Capital and Stu as a physician specializing in the area of Human Behavior.

Bob Schuetz is currently President of RS Solutions, LLC,  a consulting firm committed to assisting leaders in the assessment, planning, and execution of change through people. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics, a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a past member of the Foundation Board of the Community College of Allegheny County and a Board member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Western Pennsylvania.

Bob is a frequent speaker at global and national conferences on the role of leaders in achieving change through the human capital of the organization. Bob has published articles on the corporate culture aspects of implementing mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures as well as The First 100 Days of a New HR Officer. He is currently writing a book with the working title “Managing the Global Multi-Generational Workforce of the Future.”

Stuart Libman, M.D. is a Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatrist, with further sub-specialization in Sports Psychiatry. After graduating from the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, he completed training in Pediatrics, General Psychiatry, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. He brings an understanding of modern neuroscience and behavior science as well as a systems perspective from his work with families to the way he functions in his roles as the Medical Director of a non-profit agency and as an organizational consultant. He also brings his experience training athletes and other performers in “mental toughness skills” to the design and implementation of Flexible Engagement skill training.

Stu has presented at local, national, and international meetings. His topics have ranged from a developmental perspective in Sports Psychiatry (based in working with athletes from youth through professional levels) to both the theory and application of ACT-based Flexible Engagement. He has experience providing individualized coaching to senior executives in business, legal, and judicial circles, and group consultation and training in such organizational settings as sports teams and school districts as well as law firms and hospital executive committees.

 

Learn more:

To discuss your individual, team, or organizational needs and learn more about how flexible engagement training could support these needs, contact us:

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