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Leveraging Tension for Leadership Success

Thursday, February 15, 2018 • Albany Club • 91 King Street East • Toronto ON

The Niagara Institute Partnership with Leaders for Leaders (Tim Arnold)

Leaders are often in a tug-of-war, facing countless conflicting demands such as planning vs. action, competition vs. collaboration, change vs. stability, and work vs. home.

In order to thrive, leaders must wrestle with these competing values and tackle chronic issues head on. A powerful way to make this happen is through utilizing a set of principles and tools called Polarity Thinking™.

This straightforward and insightful way allows leaders to understand and succeed in mastering some of life’s most complex problems by tapping into the power of healthy tension. Embracing this fresh and powerful win/win approach will enable teams and leaders to move from mediocrity to greatness.

Three women working

Program Elements

  • Participants will learn the fundamentals of Polarity Thinking™ and become equipped with the steps needed to manage tensions in a healthy way
  • Interactive activities, table discussions and small group work bring the session to life in an enjoyable and engaging way
  • Through the use of Polarity Maps™, participants will be able to fully see and understand key tension while gaining insight into current strengths and vulnerabilities
  • By generating Action Steps and Early Warning Signs, participants will develop strategies to tap the power of polarities over time
  • Participants will be introduced to the Polarity Assessment™ allowing quantitative metrics from stakeholders to assess the health of key organizational tensions
  • Each participant will receive a notebook containing the key handouts and models

Participants Will Strengthen Their Ability To:

  • Challenge unproductive and limiting mindsets
  • Differentiate between problems to solve and tensions to leverage
  • Understand the importance of managing tensions in complex times
  • Avoid unwarranted conflict while learning to benefit from healthy opposition
  • Develop effective problem solving and decision-making skills
  • Identify the key polarities in your organization
  • Map, assess and strategize around each of the key organizational polarities

Who Should Attend?

Mid to senior level managers dealing with significant complexity.

The concept of Healthy Tension has become one of the most useful tools in our company’s toolkit. It has transformed our understanding of how to approach issues like team building, leadership, change management and developing healthy dialogue on tough topics.
Tim Masson, CEO, The Ian Martin Group

This program has been designed and is delivered by Tim Arnold (Leaders for Leaders), a Mastery Associate in Polarity Management™, a certified facilitator in both The Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI™) and Emotional Intelligence (BarOn EQ-i™), and trained in the process of Skilled Facilitation™.

Workshop Agenda

Problem Solving vs. Leveraging Polarities

  • Understand the difference between the two approaches
  • Gain insight into the untapped power of Polarity Thinking
  • Appreciate the necessity of embracing complexity, paradoxical leadership, and both/and thinking

Identify Your Crux Polarities

  • Distinguish the make-it-or-break-it Polarities faced in your leadership role
  • Understand how “seeing is relieving”

Respect Your Bias

  • Identify the unique preference you have in your Crux Polarities
  • Leverage this unique point of view to the benefit of your leadership
  • Manage blind-spots that result from your unique point of view


Learn the Language of Polarity Thinking

  • Avoid unnecessary “tug-of-war” conversations that lead to increased polarization
  • Move from unhealthy either/or debating to healthy both/and dialogue

Polarity Informed Decision Making

  • Identify how key decisions will impact the health of your Crux Polarities
  • Appreciate the power of “going slow to go fast” when dealing with complex issues


  • Recognize the predictable nature in how Polarities work
  • Understand the values and fears that are contributing to your Crux Polarities
  • Identify Early Warning Signs and Action Items in order to strategically manage your Crux Polarities well over time


  • Explore next steps and additional resources
  • Action plan for learning transfer and a commitment to action

Workshop Fee

Regular Rate

Questions? Contact: