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Workshops Offered


Ms. Brierley and associates have designed two-hour, half-day, day-long, two-day, four-day and five day sessions to address the needs of your team. The program she developed, "The Circle of Strength™" offers a three level Certification Program in understanding and learning powerful awareness, communication and conflict resolution behaviors.  All the workshops are aimed at having a positive affect on participants' perceived effectiveness of behaviors, as shown in the right pie chart. See consulting section

Below are a sampling of some of the workshops and topics Ms. Brierley offers:

1) Understanding Human Motivation - Applied Perceptual Control Theory

The research is clear that the best indicator of success is not intelligence quotient (IQ) but rather, social and emotional intelligence. Understanding why people behave as they do, may be the most important knowledge and skill set necessary for educators to set their students for success, enhance their students social and emotional intelligence. Ms. Brierley has developed a practical and user-friendly approach to understanding Perceptual Control Theory (William Powers). As a consultant, educator and private practitioner, Shelley works with people of all ages, in a variety of settings, assisting them in increasing their effectiveness, both personally and professionally. In this presentation, Ms. Brierley addresses theory, key concepts and successful strategies used in the application if the same, to a variety of situations, administration, leadership, teaching, parenting, relationships, etc. Shelleys' use of role-play demonstration shows the skill integration, creativity and heart involved in implementing these concepts into interactions involving conflict resolution, problem solving, and team building.

2) Understanding Human Motivation and Self-Esteem

Many people waste enormous amounts of energy in frustration, criticizing themselves or acting out on others when things don't go, as they want them to. The result for many they are engaged with is a diminishing sense of self-confidence or a sense of low self-esteem. When we feel confident, we are: more likely to treat ourselves and others with respect, are more open to working with others and more willing to attempt new skills and behaviours. Based on Perceptual Control Theory, Ms. Brierley will share a means of understanding, teaching and working with others which focuses on understand and accepting feelings. Once done, she demonstrates creative ways of problem solving in order to develop and coach behaviours which enhance our ability to take responsibility for what we "have" control of, using energy toward becoming "the person you want to be" and moving toward accomplishing goals set. The result is an increased sense of personal power, confidence and self-esteem.

3) Visioning - Using the Positive Future Frame

Knowing where one wants to end up is an integral part of problem solving.  This workshop has been shown to be invaluable to individuals, couples and teams seeking to create a shared vision or goal, clarify behaviours, identify values and create a belief statement.  Once done, it provides participants with a common language, as well as a common goal, allowing individuals to act intentionally in their own unique manner, toward that end.

4)  Constructive Questioning for Self Evaluation

The use of effective questioning in any interaction, provides a sensitive yet powerful means of ascertaining participants hopes, perceptions of their current situation as well as possible options or solutions for the future.  Knowing they what and why of questioning, as well as the when and where to use different strategies,  means you as a counsellor, consultant or leader no longer have to rely on assumptions or faulty beliefs but rather can gather the best knowledge the group or team has to offer.  Having the skill sets involved in using questioning responsibly and respectfully for the good of the larger group is a necessary skill set for anyone in a leadership role.   It lays a foundation for co-operation and best practices.

5)  Positive Future Framing (Brierley '85)

This session will provide specific strategies used for thinking through personal conflicts. It will demonstrate where we can have control as well as effective questioning strategies that invite others to claim their control, taking responsibility for themselves and their actions. These are critical skill-sets for parents, helpers and educators. When people have limited questioning strategies, they are unable to prioritize, take control of their responsibilities or their lives. In such instances we find ourselves moving instead to positions of powerlessness, draining our selves, relationships and systems. When conflicts arise, are you centered, being the person you want to be, aiding others in taking charge of their lives or are you off balance, feeling guilty about your actions and behaviours, giving up or giving in to others agendas and inadvertently inviting others to do the same? In this session, Ms. Brierley will teach and demonstrate a variety of strategies to assist you in becoming who you want to be: Positive future Framing, four parts of the Behavioural System, Responsible Decision Making questions, Open and Closed Questions and the key differences between more and less effective questioning strategies and outline their various influence on the questioner, the receiver and the potential relationship.

6)   Circle of Strength™: Re-framing Conflict: From Blame to Balance (Brierley, 89)

"You only have choice when you have awareness (Brierley 1993)". This presentation creates awareness of the cornerstones and behaviours involved in conflict we each experience in times of change. It provides a "big picture" frame of reference from which to consider conflicts, as well as the "little picture" outlining strategies and behaviours that assist individuals in defining "The kind of person they want to become." This provides people with practical strategies that assist them in gaining a sense of control, in spite of the situation.

The Circle of Strength™ is a dynamic interactive presentation. Using colourful floor mats, Ms. Brierley plays out a variety of scenarios, clearly demonstrating the various patterns of behaviour involved in conflicts in organizations, between people and within individuals. Having worked in the human relations field for over 25 years, Ms. Brierley developed "The Circle of Strength™" as a means of sharing the wealth of knowledge she has gleaned from her relationship work over the years. It explicitly demonstrates the dynamics she has observed to be generic cornerstones of relationships. Those who experience it, whether individuals, families or teams, find they have a new way to think about and talk about their current map of relationships, as well as providing them with an alternative map from which to view and address conflicts and their roles within them.

The Circle, as Shelley calls it, reveals the dynamic pattern various behaviours seem to invite within an interaction. Once seen, The Circle provides options and strategies necessary to intentionally choose behaviours that can, over time, influence relationships as well as one's way of living, home, school, and community. For those who are parents or helpers, it offers a number of specific strategies that can be taught to assist others in becoming more effective in dealing with their conflict. A consistent comment from participants is "I now have hope that I can make a difference in my life and in my relationships"!

7)  Role Play demonstration of Circle of Strength™ Theory (Brierley 91)

For those who live by the motto "Seeing is Believing", Ms. Brierley will work with participants from the audience role-playing ways to work with various types of behaviour in "one on one" situations. As a personal, relationship and family counsellor, therapist, facilitator and consultant to business and education, Shelley shares a unique way of considering behaviour. Through various role-play scenarios, she demonstrates specific strategies used to assist individuals, relationships and organizations in dealing with conflict. Her presentations address: Systems Theory, and Perceptual Control Theory. She incorporates both in what she defines as "The Circle of Strength" (Brierley 1989). There will be ample opportunity for question and answer.

8)  The Power of Perception (Brierley)

The session will offer a variety of activities, designed to challenge your perceptual system, broaden your way of understanding your behaviour, your interactions and your way of seeing the world.

9)  Positive Parenting

These days, effective parenting means you need a full communication skill package, a good understanding of child development  & human behaviour, knowledge of learning theory and a healthy sense of self awareness and self confidence.  This workshop will address each of the above, helping you get a large picture, lay of the land, of child rearing as well as many specific strategies to deal with various behavioural issues.

10)  Method of Levels

Developed from the work of William Powers and Jim Carey, this workshop teaches the theory of Perceptual Control; a means of understanding how and why we behave as we do and Method of Levels; a therapeutic counselling model, best suited for intra-personal problem solving which, through asking specific questions and reflecting the clients thoughts and actions, invites them to self evaluate and consider ways of perceiving of their issue from a number of different perceptual levels.  This model is appropriate for voluntary clients only.

11)  Understanding Systems Change (Brierley)

"Everything is interdependent upon everything else". Combining the work of Edward Deming, Peter Senge, William Powers and William Glasser, Ms. Brierley works with individuals, couples, families and organisations to help them understand and deal effectively with systems change. Using Systems Theory and Perceptual Control Theory, Shelley addresses the breadth of systems, the various types of organisations, styles of leadership and interventions that effect change. Her presentation offers a new perspective on the weave of "control", personal, interpersonal and organisational.

12)  The Quality School - Creating the Conditions (Brierley)

This presentation outlines the various aspects involved in a Quality School, the philosophical base underlying it, theory and skills necessary and, key denominators that reflect quality. Having worked with Glasser as a senior instructor for 20 years, Shelley takes the best of his theory, and along with those developed by herself and her colleagues and presents a practical means of teaching to the various components of a Quality School. Shelley will address the various processes implemented in schools and districts she and colleagues have worked with in moving toward this end.

13)   Are you using: Punishment, Discipline or Restitution (Brierley)

Based on the work of Dianne Gossen, this session provides participants with three significantly different ways of dealing with people using punishment, discipline and restitution. Ms. Brierley will teach the specific behaviours and subtle ways in which we can change one to another and will address the various outcomes encouraged by each of these approaches. She will demonstrate the interactions, phrases, skills and strategies that are specific to each approach, through role-play.

14)  Setting Boundaries and Building Social Guidelines in the Workplace or Classroom

The majority of problems in businesses and/or schools today revolve around problems involving perceptions, behaviours and attitudes. We know from research that the best indicator of a persons' success is their social and emotional intelligence, " being self assured and interested, knowing what kind of behaviour is expected and how to rein in the impulse to misbehave; being able to wait, to follow directions, and to turn to administrator or teacher for help; expressing needs while getting along with others" (adapted from Goldeman 1995). In order to set the workplace, classroom and it's  participants for success, administrators and educators have a responsibility to demonstrate respect. This can only be done if administrators and/or educators are aware of their own limits, able to state them and  invite others to state their wants and needs, negotiating for a win-win situation. This session will provide practical strategies to implement the same to any relationship, interaction, workplace, team or classroom.