Leveraging the Power of Polarity Thinking

Leveraging the Power of Polarity Thinking

This dynamic program will equip you to deal successfully with polarities -- opposing forces that create tension in complex situations. You will use Polarity Thinking™ concepts, practices and tools (including the Polarity Map® and the Polarity Assessment™) to overcome your most complex and critical challenges by applying both/and thinking skills to the leadership polarities you face. Through an action learning project, you will gain experience managing polarities in a consulting/coaching client relationship.

You will also earn a certification in PACT™ (Polarity Approach for Continuity and Transformation) through this program. All leaders, teams, and organization systems are navigating challenges in the process of their growth and development. That process involves the tension between maintaining continuity, and change. PACT™ was developed to increase the speed, attainability and sustainability of the change process that all leaders, teams, and organization systems go through. We believe that leaders can significantly enhance their well-being by using PACT™ and supplementing “or” thinking with “and” thinking.

Offering Dates

Dates for the next program offering will be announced here as soon as possible.


3 days, in-person, Fairfax campus, Research Hall, room 163

The registration deadline will be one month prior to the program's starting date.


The regular tuition rate is $3,295 per person. Register two months before the program starting date to enjoy a 10 percent early bird discount rate of $2,965.50. Mason employees can receive a 10 percent discount on this program at any time.

Questions? Contact us at lead2wb@gmu.edu or 703-993-6090.

Register Now!


  • Learn transformative new skills to enhance your career through intensive, hands-on, interactive learning.
  • Build your mapping skills using the Polarity Map® in practical experiential exercises.
  • Experience an action learning project with one-on-one shadow coaching.
  • Discover a wealth of leadership resources through the included access to the Polarity Resource Portal for 1 year to deepen and broaden your learning experiences beyond the course. This resource contains videos, articles/case-studies, a Polarity Map Public Library, and a “My Polarity Maps” section to save and edit your favorite and most frequently used maps. If performance measurement is important to you, you’ll learn how to create custom assessments for up to 8 polarities at a time using the Polarity Assessment.
  • Receive free the e-book AND, How to Leverage Polarity/Paradox/Dilemma by Barry Johnson, Ph.D., the thought leader and creator of The Polarity Map® and Polarity Thinking™ principles.
  • Earn 27 CCEUs (14 Core and 13 Resource) from the International Coach Federation.


100% attendance and participation are expected from participants.

Designed For

This program is designed for leaders who are facing complex leadership challenges in their organizations, and leaders such as coaches and managers who help others navigate complex leadership situations.

Learn More

Learn more from this video with Cliff Kayser and from this article.

"Learning and using the principles of polarities can strengthen well-being for leaders, teams, and organizational systems. The many different dimensions of effective leadership – from communication to change management – all include polarities. You can learn one approach through this program and it can apply across the board to whatever decisions you face as a leader. Polarity thinking has versatility and scalability and measurability to it that you can use in any situation.” - W. Cliff Kayser, VP, Mastery and Coaching Programs, Polarity Partnerships

A few testimonials from program graduates:

"Polarity Thinking and Polarity Maps are incredibly valuable for enabling new and powerful conversations that lead to sustainable improvements in our organizations, our societies, our relationships and our lives as individual human beings." - Chalmers Brothers, leadership speaker, trainer, and author

"The certification provides a structured process that engages and empowers others, and appeals to those who appreciate data and measurement." - Joy Goldman, founding partner, SixSEED Partners

Many challenges are effectively solved with “or” thinking – choosing between either this option or that one. Polarity challenges are different. They’re ongoing tensions that are part of an interdependent pair that require “and” thinking – choosing both this and that. Leveraging the Power of Polarity Thinking will empower you to distinguish “either/or” solvable problems from “both/and” polarities and accelerate your ability to leverage the power of polarities we all face every day in organizations, such as polarities between confidence and humility and polarities between tasks and relationships. The research is clear: leaders, teams, and organizations that leverage both thinking competencies well out-perform the ones that don’t. Please join us and learn how to avoid getting hooked and stuck in polarities by supplementing "or" thinking with the genius of "and” to improve well-being and resilience for you and your organization.

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