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The Team Survival Intensive was developed specifically for the Department of Defense, for teams being deployed to a hazardous duty location, but is equally relevant for teams that face high stakes, high pressure situations. Through increased self-awareness, self-control and conscious choice, people learn to take personal accountability for their contribution to the team dynamics. For example, people learn what triggers them and others, and how to recover from that. Participants learn and practice new capacities in a low stakes environment in a way that is directly relevant to their past, current and anticipated challenges. The end results of this training: The team went from having a hostile environment to a positive, collaborative, supportive one. It became a mandatory part of the pre-deployment training for that area. TSI was also given to medical personnel at the NIH Clinical Center, with great success. 100% of participants say they use what theyʼve learned on a weekly, if not daily basis.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this intensive, people will:

  • Expand their capacity to skillfully engage in one-on-one and group conversations

  • Increase their skill at reaching a mutually successful resolution to conversations that have an emotional charge

  • Learn strategies they can use to contribute to a positive, productive team environment

  • Increase their awareness of how to continue practicing what they have learned, through the creation of a personalized development plan


This course is grounded in systems thinking, neuroscience, emotional intelligence, coaching and organizational learning  principles.

Who Should Come:

Anyone who wants to learn more about effective teaming, whether you're still recovering from a bad team experience, in the middle of one now, or maybe you just want the team you're on to be better. This training is, as the title suggests, intense. You must be willing to commit to the entire two days, and do the pre-work. The pre-work is not extensive (writing up a challenging conversation), but is critical to getting the most out of the training. There will be a 3 hour follow up a month later that, while not mandatory, is highly encouraged to lock in your learning and take your skills to a new level. The class is limited in size so that everyone gets individualized attention.


"I no longer dread the idea of coming to work because of changing my mindset in regard to my challenges at work. The challenges are still there but I am better equipped to handle them now."

"At least for me, it has given me the tools to make the necessary changes in my life."

"It allowed me to face my challenges and be more assertive."

"I now have less resentment for cultural situation and enhanced understanding. I have renewed energy to come to work and tackle challenges. I’ve also applied this to work and personal life."

"Provided insight to increase self-awareness and how I can contribute solutions to the problem."

“We have a lot more control than we think.”

What Our TSI Graduates Say:

One graduate recalls a situation where she skillfully engaged with someone who was triggered (emotionally reactive), using refined listening and questioning skills, including a neuroscience-backed principal of focusing on what you want more of and away from what you want less of. “She spent the next 10 minutes unloading on me. I recognized that she’d been frustrated in several of her goals and had to deal with difficult people who seemed to be throwing out more road blocks. I let her vent, all the while trying to pick out what the underlying issues really were. I calmed her down, then we sat and discussed the issues one by one. I was able to provide direction or made 

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decisions that eliminated half of the problems on the spot. For the rest of them, I asked questions that focused on how to solve them by moving ahead, instead of trying to find fault. We were able to get some level of resolution of every item, and she felt much better after the exchange.”

“I thought my relationship with my manager had deteriorated. The Intensive gave me the benefit of the ability to keep an open mind, see it from a new light.”

One graduate, upon returning from a deployment to a hazardous duty location, described circumstances where his normal tendency would have been to become defensive, and instead he had the self-awareness and self-control to just let it go and respond in a nonconfrontational manner. “I was less confrontational as a result of using these competencies.”

Another responded, “I actually did a Before Action Review before deploying! And I did After Action Reviews in an internalized way. I got reinforcement from them. These skills helped me anticipate and adapt to challenges for my role overseas.”

One graduate described using a few of the new skills in just this one interaction: It was an unexpected, non-preferred conversation; she was clearly in amygdala hijack. I listened for what the real issues were, I used questions to focus on the future instead of fault-finding, and hopefully, I built more social capital with her.”

Another participant recalled using his awareness of triggers and ability to remain calm to prevent escalation: “I used humor to call out a potential trigger as it occurred but before it became a trigger. Instead, my reply lightened the mood and eased the tension."

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