"Gabriella’s seminars have provided me with the necessary depth to go beyond the surface where in my belief the real work in organisations needs to be done. Gabriella is very ...
International Director of Learning and Talent, Global Retailer

"As an experienced organisational development and learning practitioner with over 17 years’ experience, Gabriella’s seminars have provided me with the necessary depth to go beyond the surface where in my belief the real work in organisations needs to be done. Gabriella is very skilled at handling often complex themes, vital for effective functioning, in a way that is so accessible, relevant and understandable. I have been fascinated, intrigued and had my eyes and heart opened to such rich new data and understanding and it has sparked many different conversations and observations between myself and my boss, leaders in my organisation, peers in my external network and even suppliers. I have recommended Gabriella’s sessions to many practitioners."
International Director of Learning and Talent, Global Retailer

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"Despite over 20 years’ experience as a public sector senior manager, with a Cranfield University MBA, I found each of the seminars inspiring, not only because it was beneficial to ...

"When it was initially suggested to me that I might like to attend a series of seminars on Leadership and Psychoanalysis, I have to admit that I struggled to see the link (or indeed the benefit to be derived, for both myself and The British Library as my employer, by my attendance at such sessions). However, after reading a brief synopsis of the first seminar, I was intrigued; furthermore, after attending the initial session, I booked on all the remaining seminars.

Despite over 20 years’ experience as a public sector senior manager, with a Cranfield University MBA, I found each of the seminars inspiring, not only because it was beneficial to hear from leaders in other organisations, in a ‘safe’ and confidential environment, but also because each session provided a fresh insight into different styles of leadership, together with an understanding of potential responses to a given approach from staff/colleagues – all seen through a ‘psychoanalytical lens’. Each session was led by Gabriella Braun, who conveyed the theory of psychoanalysis in an extremely accessible and engaging manner, thereby enabling me to consider attitudes and behaviours (both my own and those of my colleagues) from a different perspective. Subsequently, I have been able to use this learning to better understand the underlying nature of human emotions – their basis, the implications for leaders and how best they can be harnessed to improve employee engagement, performance and throughput. Although, in the past, I may have (subconsciously) dealt with a given leadership conundrum ‘correctly’, the fact that I am now the proud owner of an improved psychoanalysis-based toolkit will significantly enhance my future decisions.

As such, I consider Gabriella’s approach – using anonymised case studies, together with her extensive consulting experience and knowledge of psychoanalytical techniques - to be a unique leadership development offering."

Robert Smith, Head of Digital Operations Business Change, The British Library

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See below for more comments from participants

We tend to think of persecution as something that happens to minority groups, but it is part of the blame culture that permeates some organisations, and in bullying and the ordinary way we all can feel got at by others, or beat ourselves up. The psychoanalyst Melanie Klein’s concept of the paranoid-schizoid position and Freud’s notion of the superego offer an explanation of our psychological tendency to persecution. Leaders, Gabriella suggests, are particularly prone to it as the demands of leadership and the inevitably difficult reactions from staff at times, greatly increase the inbuilt likelihood of feeling persecuted. And given their power, leaders can also easily be seen as, or become, persecutors. The risks from this are high. Leaders who feel persecuted will be damaged and cannot be effective. Leaders who persecute staff, will be damaging; staff cannot be effective, and engagement and morale will drop. Organisationally, persecution impacts on innovation, retention and success. Understanding why it arises and how to minimize it, is therefore key to leadership and organisational health.

Taking a fresh look at leadership, the seminar will explore the following key themes:

  • The persecuting mind: Freud showed us how the superego can be very critical and tell us we are not good enough. Leadership gives plenty of scope for these feelings, and can cause stress and depression. What can make this worse is that stress can push us into the paranoid-schizoid position, where paranoia heightens feelings of persecution, making leadership even harder and less effective. How can leaders resist the persecution of their own minds?
  • The persecuting leader: Sometimes we unconsciously project out what is intolerable to us. A leader may unconsciously try to alleviate what is unbearable in their mind, by persecuting others. They will be authoritarian and may be bullying, causing considerable distress to their staff. Staff’s complicated feelings about authority figures however, can result in them unconsciously ‘inviting’ leaders to be persecutory, thereby justifying the resentment and hostility they feel towards them. Avoiding these dynamics is difficult, yet so important.
  • The persecutory organisation or department: This produces a negative culture of blame, undermining morale and the innovation needed for success. Understanding how this can be prevalent in organisations helps in creating a benign, rather than persecutory, culture.

Gabriella Braun is among the top specialists in the country using psychoanalysis in her work with organisations. She specialises in leadership development, team dynamics, conflict resolution and mediation, organisational change and culture. She will illustrate the links between leadership and compulsion with examples from her work with a variety of leaders and sectors. After a presentation, we will think together about implications for organisations today. You will have the chance to gain new perspectives and ideas to take forward in your own organisation.

Now Booking:
This seminar was held on 19th February. Get in touch if you're interested in doing it in-house., 15:30-18:30pm
The Body Shop International plc
Global Head Office, New City Court
20 St Thomas Street
London SE1 9RG

The Arts and individuals: £75.00 per seminar
Charities and public sector: £85.00 per seminar
Private sector: £125.00 per seminar

20% discount for 8 places for one organisation (the places need to be paid for upfront and can be used however you want, e.g. for one person to come to 8 seminars; 2 people to come to 4 seminars each; 8 people to come to 1 seminar each).

The other seminars in the series are:

For further information please contact Gabriella: 020 8365 3115
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Some more comments about the seminars from participants:

"The seminar on Bonding was fascinating. A complex topic, vital for effective functioning to understand it better."
International Director for Learning and Talent, Global company

"It was very thought provoking. The mixture of theory and case studies was really useful."
Dani Salvadori, Director of Innovation, Business and External Relations, Central Saint Martins

"The seminar on Love done as an in-house workshop for SLT was challenging and very positive. It’s given us some very helpful next steps as well as food for thought. Thank you."
Evelyn Davies, Headteacher, Coldfall Primary School.

"The seminar met and exceeded my expectations, some deep lying, thought-provoking content. It was positive and challenging."

"What was most useful about the seminar was the crispness and clarity of applying psychoanalytic concepts to leadership and the use of the Oedipus story. The vignettes were really helpful. This was a very gentle, insightful and enjoyable seminar and packed with information delivered in a very ‘un-training-like’ way. It felt like a fascinating dinner party without any food!"
"Really thought-provoking and interesting."
"Clearly a wealth of knowledge, experience and skill evident in the course leader."
"I am a true sceptic especially nervous around smaller groups, when you feel you will be under the spotlight but Gabriella put us all at ease and encouraged safe conversation. It was extremely thought-provoking and well thought through."
"I'd recommend this to others."

Gabriella Braun talks about how Working Well works with leaders

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Client's experience of Gabriella's work with leaders

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