Hi, Everyone!

For reasons unknown to us, all subscribers to this blog were recently sent an automated message promoting a bunch of our old posts and pages.  We retired this blog YEARS ago … and moved our blog to our main website at http://www.productivetension.com.  So, obviously, we didn’t DO anything to generate the email.

Even though we moved on to our new blog and website a long time ago, we’ve kept this page open purely because of a handful of old posts that have some sentimental value to us personally.

So, if you’ve stumbled upon this blog or were drawn here by some weird email, just head over to http://www.productivetension.com and you’ll find us.

Thanks —



IMPORTANT NEWS from the Institute for Productive Tension

Hi, Everyone!

With the new year quickly approaching, we wanted to take a moment to share some important news:

1) Our team will be on “Holiday Hiatus” until Monday, January 6, 2014.  During this time, you can still schedule your personal coaching sessions — and you’re certainly welcome to call us with any questions you may have — but we will be suspending our usual weekly webinars.

2) Our first webinar for 2014 will be held on Monday, January 6 at 11AM Eastern.  The topic will be “Roadblock #1: Beginning with the Wrong Frame” from our “Building a Career That Matters” series. This year-long webinar series is offered as a FREE service to ALL human development industry veterans and novices alike. CLICK HERE for more information about “Building a Career That Matters” — and please spread the word to all of your colleagues.

3) Beginning IMMEDIATELY, we will make our NEW blog the PRIMARY vehicle for communicating with all of you. Even if you were subscribed to our OLD blog, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG NOW if you would like to:

• stay informed about our FREE community events, including: “Building a Career That Matters”

• receive updates on the progress and results of our current research projects

• see what’s on the professional training events calendar for 2014

• receive articles on applications of tension management and best practices

Again, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG NOW so you don’t miss out.

We wish you all a very Happy Holiday season!


This Week: November 11-15 — Creating a Research Activity List

Hi, Everyone!

This week, we have a great webinar we hope you will make time to attend in our ChangeWorks Ongoing Professional Development Webinar Series.

This Thursday, November 14th, at 11AM EDT, we will develop an activity list for research purposes from scratch.  The targeted population is in-house and independent professional trainers. I would also like to demonstrate activity list creation as a fluid part of a coaching discussion.  For that, I will need a volunteer — let me know if you’d like to be the guinea pig.  I do hope you will all plan to join in.


Looking forward to hearing you on the call!


Sharing Our Exciting News!

Hi, Everyone!

After waiting for what has felt like an absolute eternity, we’re thrilled to announce that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has finally issued us a Registered Trademark for “Tension Management” —

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 8.09.17 PM

It’s a very humbling feeling to know that we’ve given life to a new and exciting field of study — and we’re blessed to have so many of you spreading the insights and advantages offered by Tension Management to your clients all around the world.


“Sales to the Next Level” in Savannah

Hi, Everyone!

I recently had the honor of presenting a full, 3-day MasterStream sales training program for a group of 31 management professionals from over a dozen credit unions from across the country.

The event — Sales to the Next Level — was organized and sponsored by Support Financial Resources, an Ohio-based company offering secret shopper services and a variety of other programs and services for financial institutions, particularly credit unions.

Here’s a few snapshots of the event:

ChangeWorks Professional, Linda Thompson & Me

The program began, of course, with the "Nature of Change"

Participants working on an exercise

It was wonderful to meet, train and get to know so many professionals — and hear such wonderful feedback about both MasterStream and ChangeWorks.

Of course, Savannah is one of America’s greatest GEMS of a city — beautiful, historic, fascinating — and home to another ChangeWorks professional, Bob Rosen. Bob met me after class one day for a long walk through many of Savannah’s 22 signature squares — lush and lovely escapes from the normal busy-ness of city life.

Me and ChangeWorks Professional, Bob Rosen

Thank you to Rhonda Sheets, President of Support Financial Resources and her entire team for inviting me to present at this fantastic event and for everything they did to make it a valuable and memorable event for everyone who attended!


Greetings from Sigtuna, Sweden!

Hi, Everyone!

I arrived in Stockholm this morning for a ChangeWorks/MasterStream presentation with a group of sales managers from IBM’s Nordic Region scheduled for Monday afternoon. I’m here with Perry Holley, who is one of IBM’s senior management team members AND a certified ChangeWorks professional.

The setting is this amazing facility called the Sigtunastiftelsen — a hotel and conference center originally built as a religious retreat almost 100 years ago in the oldest “city” in Sweden — Sigtuna. Here’s a couple of pics — and you can read more about it here: http://www.sigtunastiftelsen.se/in+english.html It’s definitely one of the most interesting and unique venues I’ve ever visited.

A view of the sea from the rooftop of Sigtunastiftelsen

The chapel at Sigtunastiftelsen

Sadly, winter is still lingering here with patches of snow and ice all around and a persistent cold and foggy drizzle — so instead of making the long trek into Stockholm for a little sightseeing, we decided to stay local and explore Sigtuna.  It’s a very picturesque 1000+ year old seaside village filled with medieval ruins, monolithic Viking runes and plenty of shops and restaurants along narrow streets leading down to the harbor.  You can tell this must be a very busy and popular resort when the extremely long days of summer arrive (this IS the land of the midnight sun!)

Sigtuna's "Main Street"

Ruins of a VERY old church in Sigtuna

By mid-afternoon, jet lag was starting to kick in, so Perry and I found a place to eat — a pizza/sportsbar joint for the most part — but I noticed something on the kid’s menu I really wanted, so I asked if they would make an exception to their published age limit — and I can now say that I’ve eaten Swedish Meatballs in Sweden. YUM!


A Sad Week for Linda

Hi, Everyone!

It is with a heavy heart that I share some news with you. As most of you know, Linda and I have been the primary caregivers of her 91-year-old mother, Mary, for the past several years. Last week, Mary’s condition deteriorated to the point that she was moved into hospice care.  She gently and peacefully passed away a few hours ago.

While we’re certainly sad for ourselves, we are overjoyed that Mary’s long battle with vascular dementia has ended and she is now in a place with her memories restored and her husband back at her side. It’s truly a blessing!

It wouldn’t be like me to share such an event and not draw some connection with tension management. The entire experience  of providing eldercare, dealing with loss and getting on with life really has been a constant exercise in UpGrid and DownGrid Maneuvers — and several of our ChangeWorks team members have their own stories to share. In fact, in a recent discussion with Bob Rosen, he shared his plans to make coaching services for caregivers a major part of his business. Perhaps we should have a Forum call on tension management in end-of-life situations?

Take a moment today to let the elders in your life know how much they’re loved!


Celebrating Linda's Smile!

Hi, Everyone —

After more than two years of sore teeth, snagged lips, waterpik splashes, trying to cover sharp wires with wax and, worst of all, avoiding many of her favorite foods, Linda is thrilled to announce that her braces have finally been removed!

We celebrated by having a special treat made for her at the Davidson Chocolate Company — a caramel-covered Granny Smith apple drenched in thick dark chocolate. The apple was SO big, she invited friends and colleagues to share.

Here’s a few shots of Linda, Steven, Misty and our good friend Barbara, who also happens to be Steven’s mother.

Linda's Celebratory Dark Chocolate Caramel Apple

Linda cutting her apple with Barbara's supervision.

Now you know who Steven gets his personality from!

And the apple gets a big thumbs up!

Congratulations, Linda!!


ChangeWorks Charlotte Class

Hi, Everyone!

Last week, seven professionals joined us for the ChangeWorks Practitioner Workshop we held at our offices in Davidson, NC — and what a fun group they were!

Here’s a few snapshots:

Back Row: T, Rhonda Sheets, Linda Thompson, Flo Watkins, Tom Searcy
Front Row: Cathy Maday, Suzi Snyder, Steve Snyder

Join us in welcoming them all to our team!


Charlotte ChangeWorks Workshop Participants

Hi, Everyone~

This past Thursday thru Saturday, I had the pleasure of welcoming 5 new ChangeWorks Practitioners to our community: Brenda Anderson, Jan Jenson, Eugenia Kaneshige, Joe Norwood and Susan Roti! Check out their photos below.

Charlotte-based LCC, Steve Eanes, also joined us for the workshop in preparation for his own upcoming ChangeWorks Practitioner training program.

Here’s a snapshot of our cozy group:

Our December 2009 ChangeWorks Practitioner Workshop

And here’s a few more shots of them deep in the throes of training:

Eugenia Kaneshige & Joe Norwood

Brenda Anderson & Susan Roti

Jan Jenson & Steve Eanes (and me!)

Everyone hard at work!

What a wonderful group of people they are — and a VERY diverse group indeed!  Among them were coaches, consultants and trainers … some internal pros and some in private practice … some focused on individuals and others on organizational clients. Quite an assortment in a rather small group, which led to many interesting discussions.

I’ll ask each of them to prepare a brief introduction to share when they join us on their first ChangeWorks Forum call.


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