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DC Area OD Practitioners CoP - "Navigating Messy Conversations: Ways to Cross the Divide"

  • 06 May 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Zoom link and password will be included in the registration confirmation email


Registration is closed

DC Area OD Practitioners CoP -  Virtual Session Only

Member Registration: FREE

Non-Member Registration: $5 (please see our Cancellation Policy below)

Topic: Navigating Messy Conversations:  Ways to Cross the Divide

Description: As coaches and OD consultants, in what ways can we lead people in “messy” or uncomfortable conversations by having skills to address extreme dualities?  

We are being called on now to create greater unity in the wake of deep national divides - race, politics, vaccines, and other topics charged by rampant conspiracy theories. But how? Instead of falling into the trap of taking sides, we can discover other pathways to greater connection. One pathway is to understand the dynamics present in the relational field. Another is to perceive the energies present in all social interaction.

In this session, we will explore antidotes to polarization and what is necessary to lead and participate in “messy” conversations across the various cultural divides.  Our aim is to strengthen the ways OD consultants and coaches build bridges in the wake of polarization.


  • Learn the 4 fundamental energies behind all social interaction and their emotional equivalents.
  • Discover ways to grow our relational maturity by employing invisible connectors that create safety and respect in a messy conversation.
  • Practice a messy conversation keeping in mind the energy in social interaction and relational fields.

Presenters:  Kanu Kogod and Marla Zipin

Kanu Kogod works with movers and shakers in organizations who want to increase their influence and expand their impact on how work gets done. Her programs are for people who want to seize opportunities for making equitable change to benefit themselves, their organization and all stakeholders.

Kanu is trained as an anthropologist, organizational development consultant and master certified coach with global work experience. In 1987, she founded Bridges in Organizations to shift workplace cultures so everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity or background, would feel they have a voice and are included. Her big claim to fame was a 9-year stretch co-designing and facilitating Leadership Alchemy, an award-winning nine-month transformational leadership development program at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Other clients include the World Bank Group, the National Park Service, Mitre Corporation, Lockheed Martin, Merck Pharmaceuticals and the International Red Cross. These days Kanu is introducing a new package of virtual, online workshops found at ConsciousnessWorks.com to better fit the turbulent times that many people face.

Marla Zipin who has an ongoing fascination with what creates and sustains meaningful relationships fuels her work as a coach and psychotherapist. The understanding she has of this foundational question comes from being a curious, lifelong learner. Her inquiries include the studies of Bowen Systems Theory, Gestalt, ontology, somatic approaches, relational intelligence, mediation, and meditation. Marla has been coaching people at various levels in organizations for over 20 years, and serving as a psychotherapist with individuals, couples and groups for over 30 years. More recently, as a coach in the collaborative divorce process, she has facilitated the negotiation of enduring agreements, sometimes in the wake of formidable conflict. Her commitment in all these professional  circumstances is to empower people to cross bridges to connect with others skillfully and authentically.

The organizations where she has provided coaching include the World Bank Group, T. Rowe Price, Pension Benefits Guarantee Corporation, US Department of Homeland Security, US Department of Agriculture, National Security Administration, and National Institute of Allergies & Infectious Diseases. Marla also coached individuals and teams with the award-winning Leadership Alchemy Program at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. 

CoP Leader:  Mark Sachs, ma.sachs@verizon.net, www.markasachs.com

Mark has been an OD consultant and executive coach for more than 20 years.  He enjoys seeing his clients and their organizations take steps to change, and when they are successful it gives him great pleasure.  He earned his MS in OD from the American University/NTL Institute and MA and BA degrees in Sociology from Rutgers University.  He is an International Coaching Federation, Professional Certified Coach (PCC). 

Cancellation Policy: CBODN Members may cancel registration up to 24 hours in advance by logging into CBODN and returning to this event page.  Non-members may not cancel their registration.  No refunds will be provided.

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Chesapeake Bay Organization Development Network (CBODN) is the premier DC Metro area network for organization development (OD) practitioners. Founded in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, our name pays homage to those elders who made vital contributions to the field of OD.


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