Session 01: Leading Together

Date: March 10th, 2023
Location: The National Building Museum Auditorium

Led by: Anne Kopf, AIA, WELL AP and Nicholas Gray, AIA
Session Sponsor: Consigli Construction, Ducharme, Jon Stover & Associates, Sherwin Williams
Session Downloads: Session Program


The first session of the year “Leading Together” prompted the scholars to look within themselves and explore how their interpersonal and intrapersonal skills can influence and affect not only their peers but the work environment as a whole. Navigating and managing stress, strengthening workplace relationships, exercising emotional intelligence and the importance of clear communication were some of the key skills that were emphasized during the various presentations and discussions.

Presentation #1

LSI – Lifestyles Inventory
Speakers: Cable Clark – President | Clark Consulting

The first presentation for the afternoon was the Lifestyles Inventory conducted
by Cable Clark. As a prerequisite to the session all of the scholars were asked to complete an online self assessment, the results of which were then presented during the session. The highly individualized assessment highlighted the thinking and behavioral styles of each individual which could then be utilized to capitalize on ones strengths while also understanding their shortcomings. It was emphasized how understanding each of the constructive, passive and aggressive behavior / thinking styles can be utilized towards self-improvement and being an effective leader.

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Presentation #2

Mental Health in the Workplace
Speakers: Jessica Kennedy – Chief Strategy & Finance Officer | Mental Health America

The pandemic and the resulting volatile economic situation have negatively
affected many people’s mental wellbeing. Through her presentation, Jessica highlighted the importance of emotional intelligence, empathy and effective communication in today’s workplace. With more than 80% of workplace turnover being directly related to unhappy work relationships, specifically with managers, as the next generation of leaders it’s important for us to first identify and manage our own emotions followed by developing awareness and sensibility towards emotions of those around us.

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Presentation #3

Roundtable Discussion – Team Building in the Digital Abyss
Speakers: Jessica Kennedy – Chief Strategy & Finance Officer | Mental Health America

The pandemic has transformed the workplace as we know it and for many, a hybrid
work environment is imminent. The third presentation of the session highlighted how the hybrid work environment has impacted firm culture, workplace relationships and team building aspects. While many scholars agreed that the hybrid work environment has brought positive changes into their firm cultures such as effective collaboration, flexibility and effective use of time, they also agreed that more targeted strategies are required in order to maintain firm culture and team building – particularly for those younger staff that never had experienced the upside of in-person work culture.

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Presentation #4

WIT @ Work Improv
Speakers: John Windmueller

The final activity for the day was led by John Windmueller who drew parallels between improv and the workplace utilizing a series of interactive games. Improv encourages the team to place trust in each other and often times everyone collectively works towards supporting those on stage at any given moment. Some of the qualities that were highlighted by engaging in simple and low stake games were, “creating now-judgment later”, empathetic listening – “listening to the last word”, awareness of nonverbal dynamics, importance of identifying what’s already working in a situation and positively adding to it – the “yes, and” principal. John also highlighted the importance of low stake, rapid and quantitative idea generation to spark creativity, while emphasizing that creativity is a skill that is improved overtime.