Specializing in the design and delivery of transformative, experiential education.

Leadership Development: Burning Your Wood - Responding to Attack

Professional and Personal Development for Educators, Facilitators, Managers, Team Coaches, Group Leaders and all those interesting in conflict facilitation.

“None of the world’s problems are technically difficult to solve; they originate in human disagreement. In coherency, humanity’s creative powers are boundless.”

~ Charles Eisenstein, The Coronation.

NOTE: The term attack here refers to personal criticism and accusation, not to any kind of physical violence.

In the face of personal criticism or attack, do you freeze, go numb, get firey or aggressive, go along to get along, slip into doubt, shame or lack of confidence? 

To ‘burn your wood’ is a term from process-oriented psychology, describing the importance of identifying and studying our powerful emotions and triggers. Doing so reduces the likelihood of them becoming a source of fuel for inner and outer conflicts, and allows us to stay present and facilitative when troubles come.

As historical and current polarities continue to swell, become louder and more overt, leadership becomes more challenging. Public criticism, cancel culture, identity politics, virtue signalling, and call outs have many leaders, managers and facilitators fearful, confused and contracted. This is often amplified in those with high rank and power identities. Typically, those in leadership face the extra pressure of facing critiques publicly, which usually intensifies whatever challenges come up for leaders when put on the spot. Many fall prey to the trapping of "the all-knowing leader", believing they should be able to please everyone and solve all problems. This belief is brutally unhelpful when added to experience of being attacked, putting additional inner pressure on leaders.

Conflict is both natural and inevitable; a basic but challenging human experience.  It lives in our relationships, organizations, bodies and dreams. Being problematized as a leader or manager brings up very difficult and diverse responses. Most in leadership positions only discover their response systems when being attacked. There is great value in discovering and burning one's wood in an intentional container, when calmer perspective and new methods can be utilized to build new pathways of effective response.

Some employers may support, sponsor, or reimburse professional development programs such as this one.

The theory and methodology offered in this training are from Process Oriented Psychology or “processwork.”  Processwork is an awareness-based paradigm of personal and collective change.  Over the last 40 years, processwork facilitators have been invited to share these methods in many of the most conflict-intense parts of the world.  This training introduces processwork methods using theory presentation, experiential learning and practice.  Using handouts, case studies, and personal experiences, we’ll apply processwork methods to our own contexts, integrate them with our individual personalities, in building our capacity to stay present, responsive and facilitative in the face of direct critique and attack.

“Process Work is so powerful. Conflict Facilitation as opposed to resolution offers so much learning and wisdom if allowed time to be experienced, felt, slowed down and investigated. Working through conflict with trained and compassionate leaders is life changing, and so so necessary given our current political and global climate crisis.”   ~ Tina, past participant.

Learning Goals and Outcomes:

  • Discovering how to remain present, responsive and facilitative when under direct criticism or attack.
  • Authenticity: awareness on how we become roles and how to stay real
  • Looking at common leader/facilitator challenges: what gets us
  • How to work with disturbing communication styles, triggers
  • How to approach facilitating/leadership around difficult social issues
  • Attack training: mapping your existing response to being attacked, and bringing in new methods of centering and response

“I LOVE David’s facilitation style. He’s kind, inclusive, direct, inventive and fun.”
      ~ Louise, past participant.

Course Highlights

  • Group size limited to 6: space for personal attention
  • A balance of theory and practice.
  • An emphasis on active experiential learning. 
  • Handouts as an ongoing resources.
  • Relevant: apply exercises to use your existing professional situations and dynamics. 
  • Feedback from instructor and participants.

Format: In this online program, a mix of experiential invitations, information sharing, participant interaction, and personal reflection, with opportunities
for coaching and feedback will be offered.

Date and Time Details:

  • Saturday November 21: 9:30 am-4:30 pm PST
  • Sunday, November 22: 9:30 am-4:30 pm PST

All sessions are part of an integrated whole. Participants must attend all sessions. There will be breaks throughout and a 60 min lunch break each day.

Location: Zoom Online - Your Zoom link will be emailed to you the day before the program in a reminder email the day of the program as well.


  • General:            $395 + gst = $414.75CAN   Standard tuition price.
  • Supported:        $250 + gst = $262.50CAN   Made possible by generous donors.
  • Karma spot:      $50 + gst = $52.50CAN  1 spot  Made possible by generous donors.
  • Donor:               $495 + gst = $519.75CAN     Helps support another participant to join.

REGISTRATION: You place is reserved upon receiving your fee sent by e-transfer to: david@davidhatfield.ca

Technical requirements:

This online program will be hosted on Zoom, a video conferencing software that is free for participants and easy to use on a variety of devices. You will need to have a device (desktop computer or laptop recommended; tablet or smartphone can work too), reliable internet connection, and sound capabilities (headset recommended; built in or external microphone or speaker systems can work too). You will be invited to join the call up to 15 minutes early to receive technical support.

Note: Your Zoom link will be emailed to you the day before the program in a reminder email the day of the program as well.


Area of Focus