Polarity Thinking

Polarity Thinking

This dynamic program will equip you to deal successfully with polarities -- interdependent forces that create tension in complex situations. This certification helps you see how "both/and” Polarity Thinking helps create leverage for the complex and critical challenges that all leaders, teams, and organizational systems face. You will use Polarity Thinking™ concepts, practices and tools (including the Polarity Map® and the Polarity Assessment™) and gain experience managing polarities in a consulting/coaching client relationship.

In support of the health and safety of our students and university community, Polarity Thinking will be delivered in a live virtual format. Self-directed work will supplement live virtual instruction throughout the duration of the certification program. 

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.

Register for Fall 2021 Now

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

Fall 2021 Open Enrollment Dates

September 8: Program Orientation with Cliff Kayser and CWB

Monday, September 27                 Session 1              1 pm-5 pm

Monday, October 11                     Session 2              1 pm-5 pm

Monday, October 25                     Session 3              1 pm-5 pm

Monday, November 8                   Session 4              1 pm-5 pm

Open Enrollment Pricing

Regular: $3,295. Participants will purchase course text.

Early bird: $2,800.75 (until Monday, August 2, 2021).


  • 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.
  • Use case study and practical exercises to introduce Polarity Thinking™ basic principles and create custom Polarity Assessments
  • Participate in one-on-one mentoring post-program to address specific questions and needs.
  • Discover a wealth of leadership resources in the Polarity Resource Portal. Course registration includes Consultant-level access 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.
  • 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 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.” - Cliff Kayser, Vice President, Coaching Program, Dean, Mastery Program, Polarity Partnerships, and Instructor, Polarity Thinking

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. 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. Common polarity tensions include confidence and humility, tasks and relationships, and centralization and decentralization. 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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