Friday, March 28, 2014

Busy Women's Retreat: Building Stress Resilience & Passion Power

Busy Women's Retreat:

Building Stress Resilience & Passion Power

A One-Day Stress Doc ™ Retreat in Columbia MD (between DC & Baltimore)

Date &Time:  Saturday May 3rd from 9:00am to 4:30pm

Where:           Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel (more hotel info below)

                            10207 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD 21044  [Near I-95; off of MD 32 and 175]

Cost:              $125 for Sat; lunch on your own; morning and afternoon snacks provided)

More Info:      301-875-2567;;

Want to come for a Fri half-day – afternoon or evening – workshop? $50 cost; overnight stay option at Sheraton; if we have the numbers, one can attend Fri and not attend Sat or vice versa.
In response to several recent requests, the Busy Women's Retreat (BWR) lives again.  This day-long FIT event – FUN-Interactive-Thought-provoking – will be led and facilitated by Mark Gorkin, the Stress Doc™, MSW, LICSW, acclaimed, speaker, writer, therapist, critical incident consultant, work-life coach, and retreat leader.  The Doc's website – – has been called a "Workplace Resource" by National Public Radio.  [See testimonials below.]
Hotel Overview:  The newly renovated Sheraton Hotel overlooks the lovely Lake Kittamaquandi.  The Sheraton is in walking distance of an array of quality restaurants and the Columbia Town Center Mall:  Macy's, Nordstrom’s, and many other stores.  [More info below]
Busy Women’s Retreat:  Key Content Areas & Objectives
In a TNT/3-D -- Time-Numbers-Technology/Driven-Distracted-Disruptive – World taking time for “R & R” – Reflect & Recharge – is vital.  There's no better way to do this than by:
1) partnering with the uncommon experience and skillful, compassionate, and creative guidance of the Stress Doc, and
2) with the Doc as gifted facilitator, joining forces with kindred spirits to generate new and powerful healing and harmonizing perspective, especially the possibility and power of hope.

In this interactive, "Helmet's Off" and "How To" program, you’ll gain skills, tools, and techniques for strengthening stress resilience, appreciating healing humor and the capacity to both laugh at and embrace one's flaws and foibles; learn to grieve productively and let go, be more resiliently risk-taking, and bring more healing, playful, and passionate energy along with creative focus to your personal-professional-family-relational goals, challenges, and dreams.

1.  Stress Resilience.  Quickly Identify Stress Smoke Signals and the Popular "Four Stages of Burnout"; learn Strategic Steps for Preventing/Rebuilding from Burnout; discover Research-based Psychological Hardiness, especially vital during Transitional Times; learn the Stress Doc’s Stress Resiliency, Brain Agility, and Emotional Integrity Formula – Natural SPEED

2.  Good Grief.  Recognize and Embrace "Grief Ghosts; differentiate among Loss, Grief, and Depression; learn how to Release Guilt/Shame and more deeply "Grieve, Let Go and Grow with the Flow"; gain guidance and support on the ever-increasing Challenge of Family Care-Taking

3.  Disarming and Defusing Communication Skills.  Learn to Defuse Self-Defeating Power Struggles by Asking Courageous and Trust-building "Good Questions"; distinguish Healthy from Dysfunctional Conflict; practice Meta-Communication and "I"-Message Tools and Techniques for Disarming Critical Aggressors

4.  Risk-Taking and Passion Power.  Discover the Model for Creative Risk-Taking and the Doc's Four "P"s of Passion Power – being Purposeful-Provocative-Passionate-Playful (see SHRM testimonial below); learn to Challenge Your Intimate FOE – Fear of Exposure

5.  Healing Humor and Team Building.  Engage in the Doc's acclaimed “Intimate FOE Small Group Exercise”; experience the power of Self-Affirming Storytelling, Group Art Therapy, and sharing Healing Humor.

And most important, we will learn from one another, understanding each of our vulnerabilities and drawing on each participant’s personal-cultural strengths.  As was noted by the coordinator of the first Busy Women's Retreat:

Transforming Stress, Conflict and Change into Passion Power" was itself a very powerful theme, and you were able to so skillfully present and guide the group! This subject brought a lot of heavy emotions from the women to the surface. Your ability to help the women work through their issues, and even more importantly, your ability to give them tools with which to transform their stress was truly amazing. The participants in the retreat told me personally that they were very impressed with the way that you managed the group and that they took away many things that they can use in their everyday life. Your presentation helped them to evaluate their stressors differently, to see the positive in every stress, conflict and/or change. Moreover, you helped them to realize they are not alone, and you were so skilled at allowing and encouraging others to give feedback within the group!

Other Testimonials

1) From a member of the original Busy Women's Retreat; Ann-Marie became a phone coaching client

Oct 12, 2013

I am so glad you are offering your services to many. You are an insightful man who helped me to have clarity and find my strength in chaos. I honestly believe that "God" put you in my path. I am still unsure of my future but I do know that I made the right choice. Without your understanding, patience and knowledge, I would not have been able to make that move. I may have slip-ups but I hear your voice and your words in my head and you continue to guide me.

(Phone Coaching Client)

2)  Developing Stress Resiliency, Humor, and Passion Power:  The Gift of Interactive Engagement; for Human Resources Palm Beach County, FL (HRPBC; SHRM affiliate); Kickoff Speaker; 100 attendees; 1.25 hrs

Feb 27, 2014

Hello Mark,

HR Palm Beach County had the wonderful pleasure of having Mark Gorkin "The Stress Doc" present at one of our monthly dinner meetings. Mark's presentation was both insightful and engaging. He has a way of captivating the audience and make them want to hear more. We enjoyed his insights on the factors that cause stress and how to overcome them. We hope to hear more from "The Stress Doc". It was definitely time well spent. We especially enjoyed his perspective of Passion and Power. Mark Gorkin is a must hear!

Tanya Vaughn-Patterso
HRPBC Program Chair

Diversity & Inclusion Consultant

Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel
MD/Columbia/Sheraton_Columbia_Town_Center_Hotel [Average overnight room rate is @$100.]
10207 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD 21044
Click here: Columbia (for more hotel info)

Come experience a whole new feel at Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel. Our $12 million renovation project encompassed a fresh new lobby as well as 290 transformed guest rooms, offering calm, stylish décor and Sheraton Sweet Sleeper™ Beds plus sleek new bathrooms. We've remodeled our sleek Lobby Lounge, ideal for enjoying light bites or cocktails, and renewed the fine, award-winning Waterside Restaurant, where carefully prepared and delicious local cuisine is served amidst crystal, fresh flowers and views of the lake. Connect with guests, work, or family at the new Link@Sheraton experienced with Microsoft, located on our lobby level. Centrally located between Baltimore's Inner Harbor and Washington D.C., the Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel has everything you need for work and for play. Stroll around our 12 wooded acres in Columbia, Maryland, overlooking the serene Lake Kittamaquandi. Shopping, sporting events and more are all nearby. Complimentary garage and outdoor parking is available. When you return from a full day of meetings or sightseeing, you'll feel brand new after experiencing our refreshing outdoor pool and 24-hour state of the art fitness facility.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Creative Risk-Taking and Performing in a “TNT/3-D” World: Pathway and Process, Partnering, and Platform Building

This essay is for anyone communicating with small or large groups of people, especially a leader-educator-trainer-counselor trying to awaken, engage, and inspire minds of all shapes and sizes…to work and play smarter, both as individuals, as a team, and/or a community.

Creative Risk-Taking and Performing in a “TNT/3-D” World:  Pathway and Process, Partnering, and Platform Building

As the testimonials below illustrate, two recent “kickoff and keynote” programs powerfully and personally resonated with 100 + audiences.  While having previously received enthusiastic testimonials, I’ve had to make modifications in presentational style and substance to keep up with these “TNT/3-D” – Time-Numbers-Technology/Driven-Distracted-Disruptive – times:

a) people seem to have more data distracted minds or digitally induced shorter attention spans;

b) the balance between lecture (or even Q and A) and group exercises and role play-type encounters must be increasingly skewed to the active, participatory learning dynamic,

c) participants want relevant tools and techniques they can apply RIGHT NOW, and

d) ideally the learning process is one that helps folks become more FIT – by being Fun-Interactive-Thought-provoking!  (And I find all generations are receptive, not just Millennials and Gen Texters.)

The Insightful-Interactive Performance Foundation:  From Concept to Application

Let me start this reflection process from a foundational perspective.  For over thirty years I have led and facilitated highly interactive speaking and workshop programs.  Playing in this arena has fostered the conviction that people buy-in and learn more when they experience and engage with “concepts in action and interaction,” especially ones that have personal-professional relevance for:

1) Work-life-relationship wellbeing – enhancing personal wellness and vitality or mind-body integrity; strengthening work-skills ability and productivity and transitional stress resilience; and improving communicational and relational capacities,

2) “Helmet’s Off” atmosphere – establishing “helmet’s off” and “hand’s on” trust through listening, sharing, and suspending status barriers while setting and exploring healthy boundaries, that is,

3) Openness and collaboration – facilitating safe levels of emotional openness, along with collaborative problem solving,

4) Dialogue, diversity, and depth – understanding how both expressing one’s personal viewpoint and considering diverse even seemingly contradictory input often broadens and/or deepens perspective while stimulating individual and group creative output, and

5) Individual and community growth and goals – achieving individual and/or team goals while becoming more comfortable in one’s own skin and demonstrating commitment to a larger community.

Rapid, Real, and Relevant Small Group Interaction:  Engagement, Vulnerability, Risk-taking, and Intimacy Effects

Especially when time is limited, this process of exploration and reflection, discovery and application is often energized and expedited by engaging in small group exercises, whether there are twenty or two hundred in the program arena.  The exercises, even opening “ice breakers,” are always based on meaningful “real world” needs or desires, problems or conflicts.  The interpersonal interaction grabs people’s attention and heightens a sense of unpredictability.  It’s difficult to hide in a small group.  The setting alone stimulates some emotional risk, reactions, and responses:  there’s both encouragement and some pressure to tentatively, purposefully, or playfully share.  Of course, sharing can take the form of all manner of self-disclosure as well as questioning, supporting, playing with, and/or challenging a partner or team members.  The exercises gradually increase the level of personal and group sharing, along with a sense of common task involvement and an acceptable level of vulnerability.  As some degree of trust evolves, the result invariably is a more interactive and intimate team and community.  A presenter can help participants create this “safe” atmosphere by reminding the audience that these are not “true confession” exercises:  do not share at a level that basically feels uncomfortable; emotional sharing and risk-taking should be a stretch…not a strain.  The individual ultimately (hopefully) determines his or her own pace and level of participation.

Rethinking and Reworking the Performance Ground

As mentioned above, the technological and social media revolution has me rethinking that optimal formula for presentational and interactional content and design – substance and style, form and function – especially:

1) the percentage of time, emphasis, and energy allotted among lecture, including being serious and humorous, Q and A and group discussion, and generating interactive exercises and

2) the selective juggling of roles – including educator and entertainer, time conscious audience reader, questioner, and organizer; of course, emotional energizer and group motivator; also skills and tools supplier, group interaction – process, support, and problem solving – facilitator, as well as challenging and inspirational leader (e.g., being an open and authentic, vulnerable and risk-taking role model helping individuals and teams bring out their best music), and even a community builder.

A Personal Path of Creative Risk-Taking (CRT)

There is a fluid and oftentimes unpredictable interplay of structure and spontaneity in most Stress Doc programs.  A determination to engage the multiple roles effectively and efficiently insures that I will be engaging in “Creative Risk-Taking:  The Art of Designing Disorder.”  (Not surprisingly, this is the title of an article forged over thirty years ago upon breaking into Cable TV with no prior media experience.  Over the decades, a few variations have been penned.  For example, two subtitles: “Cox Cable Chaos” and “Confronting Your Intimate FOE:  Fear of Exposure.”

Here is an article synopsis followed by a link:  The Stress Doc, drawing on his experience as a public speaker, takes a conceptual look at why challenging our need for rigid perfection and control is vital for becoming more risk-taking and more creative. The practical and comical comes next. .)

The basic “Four CRT Steps” (with slight recent upgrade) are:

1. Aware-ily Jump in Over Your Head
2. Strive to Survive the High Dive
3. Thrive on “Thrustration,” Take an “Incubation Vacation”
4. Design for Error and Opportunity, Exploration and Integration

From Individual Path to Interactive Platform:  Strengthening Performance and Partnership Methodology and Message

As mentioned, the foundational four steps are elaborated upon in the above linked article.  However, let’s transition to the next set of steps that build on this CRT base.  On one level the first four steps help an individual test out and begin to flex his or her resilient and creative risk-taking muscles.  Let’s call this the “path.”  The second set of four enables this individual (let’s say she’s a presenter) to strengthen her methodological efficiency (“do the right thing”) and effectiveness (“do the thing right”).  At the same time the second skillset sharpens message clarity and contrast.  This is the “process.”  And as I’m discovering, these seemingly small but highly meaningful steps or adaptations (“tweaks” sounds slightly de-meaning) have tangible consequences for energy and empathy, motivation and morale, engagement and connection, shared learning and partnering, as well as creative performance and output.

So what are the “second set” tools, techniques, and tactics?  For now, here are the four adaptive step labels:

A.  Less Is More…More or Less; and Play to Strengths
B.  Keep It Simple and Smart
C.  Stand Out…Don’t Just Be Outstanding; Be Out-Rage-ous Not Just “Out of the Box”
D.  Design an IC2 Platform for Creative Play, Performance, and Partnering

You also might say the first four are akin to the “forest” and the following four comprise the “trees.”  The latter fill in and give nuance and shading to the big picture; these second set of micro-tools help you fulfill the vision-mission, e.g., as a presenter staging an experience that strengthens participant FIT-ness:  by generating a program that’s FUN-Interactive-Thought-provoking.  The opening set gets you quickly into a resilient and risk-taking, exploratory and skill-building (sometimes “hell-bent on survival”) pathway, both for presenter and the audience.  A “first set” image comes to mind:  a risk-taking presenter jumping off a diving board, holding the hand of the audience, and taking them along for the splashdown.  (Hopefully, this is not a Jim Jones/“drinking the Kool-Aid” moment.)  Actually, the second set of strategic communication tools and techniques not only protect against a crash landing, these method-message stratagems enhance a sense of competence and trust.  Skills and confidence levels enhanced through peer interaction motivate an audience to climb the board again, ready to venture into another group exercise.  Mindfully blending path and process yields a more purposeful plan and platform that facilitates practice, performance, and partnership!

Medium, Method, and Message:  The Chance to be “Four-‘C’-ing”

The second package definitely refines the path through process, streamlining and sharpening the message. e.g., how ideas get shared and transformed in a variety of interactive channels.  Such media channels include:

1. a leader engaging with, a) an individual, b) a small group and/or c) the audience as a whole; whether presenting data verbally and/or visually, role modeling communication or leadership concepts or techniques, or singing a “Shrink Rap” ™, a definite risk-taking moment.  (Leading mostly interactive programs, I will bypass analyzing the use of Power Point Slides, only lingering long enough to note that slides can strengthen or suffocate audience engagement and learning.  This dynamic often depends on the “high tech or human touch” nature of the program, audience expectation, and a presenter’s slide usage. For example, problems may arise when, so attached to a slide show regimen, the presenter loses touch with his audience.), and

2. small groups engaging with, a) their own members, individually, as a subgroup, or as a whole, b) other individuals, including the leader, or with other groups, and/or c) the audience as a whole; having a chance to practice group interaction, that is, gradual sharing and risk-taking over a number of exercises typically enhances am evolving team’s capacity for partnership and problem-solving.

Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate that a speaker or group facilitator who is conscious and competent regarding self and systems (including cultural) dynamics as well as confident and calculating as a risk-taker (might we say one who is “four –‘c’-ing”?) has an array of performance and partnership variables to purposefully play and experiment with.  And according to Adam Gopnik, author of Angels and Ages:  A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life, this dynamic just may have Darwinian survival value:  Repetition is the law of nature but variation is the rule of life!

The Stress Doc’s Four Step Fine-tuning of Strategic Presentational Methods and Messages Tools and Techniques – Variations on Performance and Partnership Themes

It’s time to conceptually flesh out the aforementioned “second set” process-adaptive techniques and steps:

A.  Less Is More…More or Less; and Play to Strengths
B.  Keep It Simple and Smart
C.  Stand Out…Don’t Just Be Outstanding, Be Out-Rage-ous Not Just “Out of the Box”
D.  Design an IC2 Platform for Creative Play, Performance, and Partnering

A.  Less Is More…More or Less; and Play to Strengths

In this day and digital age, capturing people’s attention amidst all the competing sources of data and diatribe, entertainment and excess is no small feat.  And then holding that ephemeral attention span borders on the extra-ordinary:  consider this feedback from a mix of Human Resource Managers and Professionals after an hour-long keynote:  Mark’s presentation was both “insightful and engaging”…. very exciting and informative”…“very interactive and useful.”   He has a way of captivating the audience and makes them want to hear more… Mark Gorkin is a must hear!

1.  The Range, Reins, and Rewards of “Less Is More”

a.  Have an Initial Tight Program Outline and Be Ready to Let Go and Go with the Flow.  Especially when time is limited, taking up the “Less Is More”…More or Less” challenge is critical.  Hopefully, based on some preliminary discussion and research with event liaisons, you can whittle down your offering to three or four key conceptual areas of audience interest and need.  And even with this streamlined menu (“less is more”), when interactivity and spontaneity predominate, the overriding goal is to “go with audience flow.”  You may not get to all of your pre-planned agenda (hence, “more or less.”  Of course, when it comes to quantity and quality, sometimes less is less and more is more.  However, I recall reading of a succinct apology to a contemporary by one of those noted 18th c. English scribes due to his verbiage in a correspondence:  I’m sorry, I didn’t have time to write a brief letter.

Remember, you can’t do it all, that is, another “more or less” exemplar; and perfection is an ideal if not an illusion.  Establishing boundaries sets limits; it also provides borders, challenges, and demarcations to be purposefully surveyed, surmounted, or surpassed.  With prescience and pith, acclaimed translator, James Falen, captures the power of constraint:
There are magic links and chains
Forged to loose our rigid brains,
Structures, structures, though they bind,
Strangely liberate the mind.
Finally, be prepared to improvise based on audience feedback, program time frame, setting and seating structure, i.e., are people around tables, in an auditorium, etc.  My “Less Is More” Mantra:  Plan for More, Discover what’s Best, and Toss the Rest!

b.  Make the Audience Part of the Show.  Hopefully, folks are so engaged in the learning-sharing-purposefully playing moment that they are not perturbed that some material has not been covered.  Let me elaborate.  I briefly sketched my “Four ‘P’s of Passion Power” Model – being Purposeful-Provocative-Passionate-Playful – as a way of introducing a final exercise.  This exercise, in fact, created a small group platform, for encouraging folks in surprising, if not startling, fashion to expressively emote by sharing personal stories.  Using both verbal and visual channels (there was a lot of spontaneous storytelling body language) the room was increasingly filled with a high octane buzz and knowing-affirming laughter.  Having a group share brief yet poignant personal stories, especially stories that reveal our imperfect, all-too human natures, quickly breaks down status barriers while enhancing a common humanity and stirring group camaraderie. And some competitive spirit is obvious when one team member says to a colleague who's just shared a story:  That was good...let me tell you what happened to me!

People were definitely doing some risk-taking, bringing out their IPP (Inner Passion Power).  Having noticed that the Chapter President was captivating his small group, I volunteered him to share his animated story to the entire congregation.  And an exercise debrief captured why this exercise is especially primed to help today’s leader appear more accessible and be a risk-taking role model.

So by letting go and going with the audience flow, we did not get to my closing segment on Developing Natural SPEED – Sleep, Priorities, Passion, Empathy, Exercise, and Diet.  However, one and all discovered the power of addition by subtraction.

c.  “Less Is More” Payoff.  And the payoff was three-fold.  First, we captured my IC2 formula for “winning teams.”  As opposed to the questionable if not tired slogan, “There’s no “I” in team,” we brought to life a new mantra:  “There may be no ‘I’ in team…but there are two “I’s in WINNING”…and these “I”s definitely can “C.”   Winning teams blend Individual Creativity and Interactive Community!

Second, as mentioned above, I received a great testimonial, including these kind words from the coordinator of the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) program:  We especially enjoyed his perspective on Passion and Power.

And last but not least, immediately after the program, this Program Chair invited me to return in two months to speak on Passion Power at the chapter’s annual conference.  Seems like providing less had them wanting more!

2.  “Less Is More” Means Being Pithy and Provocative, Palatable and Powerful

After you’ve selected the key program topic areas, the next challenge is to deliver the content in a manner that promotes the aforementioned FIT-ness:  the experience is FUN-Interactive-Thought-provoking:

a. Introduce an Absorbing and Thought-Provoking Subject for Your Audience.  A catchy and pithy introductory title helps, for example, “The Four Stages of Burnout” or “Combat Strategies at the Burnout Battlefront.”  In a “TNT/3-D” world, most people can personally relate!

b) Break It Down and Make It Digestible.  Break down your concept into key or critical, readily identifiable pieces or examples; deliver the data or ideas with a substance and style that’s easy to take in – clear and concise, motivating and memorable – bullet-like components; two or three “smoke signal” examples for each stage will suffice:

1) Mental, Physical, and Emotional Exhaustion – e.g., you may be holding it together at work, but as soon as you get home, do you head for the fridge, get out the Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s, turn on the tube, hit the sofa, and you’re comatose for the rest of the evening…or wish you could be?

2) Shame and Doubt – e.g., you sense you’re not your old self; you’re worried friends and colleagues are starting to notice; here’s a giveaway:  you’re considering joining the Stress Doc’s “Frequent Sighers Club”

3) Cynicism and Callousness – e.g., tired of feeling uncertain and vulnerable?  Have you put on your heavy attitude armor:  “No one’s getting to me,” “Look out for # 1,” “Why should I go out of my way?,”  “Are you talking to me!,” and “Who gives a d_ _ m!”; and in the short-run it works…you become abrasive enough, now people are avoiding you

4) Failure, Helplessness, and Crisis – e.g., you start thinking, “Damned if I do, damned if I don’t; damned if I stay, damned if I leave”; you feel like your coping structure’s coming unglued…next stop the Stress Doc’s couch!

c.. Present Info and Ideas in a “Scannable” Format.  When dealing with data overload, people want to take away important points without having to further strain their brain; make the message light and enlightening:  People are less defensive and more open to a serious message when gift-wrapped with humor!  Provide a supplemental handout for optional in-depth exploration at a later time.

4. “Less Is More” Means Emphasizing “How To” Strengths for Participants and Presenter.  Consider these three realms for displaying action steps and strengths:

a. Accentuate Action Over Analysis.  When time is of the essence and you must choose between delivering background information about a problem or issue (diagnostics) or “how to” ideas and action steps (therapeutics), streamline the former (as in the four burnout stages) and concentrate on problem–solving action and power.  As an example, I share the research-based “Four ‘C’s of Psychological Hardiness” (gleaned in the midst of the 1980s Ma Bell breakup).  During this turbulent transition, “hardiness” differentiated the more adaptive and healthy execs from their less functional counterparts.  The former demonstrated an understanding of positive Commitment, Control, Change, and Conditioning.  (Email for more info; perhaps confirming less just may have folks asking for more?  ;-)

b. Facilitate the Sharing of Strengths.  Here’s another tactic based on the unsurprising fact that most people in a workshop group find it easier to reveal strengths than vulnerabilities.  For example, I use a “Stress Building Beliefs” survey that asks about your aptitude in four belief areas:  “Control and Perfection, Competence and People Pleasing.”  Initially I had participants identify and share with team members one of the belief areas in which they felt the most vulnerable.  Too often members of a workgroup downplayed the extent that these were personal problem areas…for them (okay, especially those of the male variety).  I soon inverted the approach:  each team member selects one area in which they feel most proficient, e.g., “Perfection.”  The individual discloses how s/he evolved a degree of stress belief mastery, providing an example of resisting “perfection” along with a positive problem solving application.  The give and take energy, sharing and learning increased dramatically.  People will learn from one another’s strengths, especially when each person has a chance to be strong in their own way.

c. Recognize Generalist-Specialist Multiplicity and Mostly Play to Your Strength.  As your experience and skills evolve in leading and training, there will be a learning curve trial as you juggle various roles.  Being a diversified presenter means playing such roles as an educator, an entertainer, as well as an emotional expression and empathy energizer; for consistency, might we call this expressive-empathic energizer the “evangelist” role?  (Oh, oh…another acronym-sighting:  “Leading and Learning with “E”s:  Educate and Energize, Entertain and Evangelize…and, whenever possible, applying all concepts in group Exercise; actually, more on the value of acronyms and rhyme shortly.)  The challenge is not being one-dimensional: for while some consistency is useful, “rigid consistency,” according to the American Philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, “is the hobgoblin of little minds.”  It seems that variety is the “spice” and “rule” of life, learning, and leading.

Still, when time is limited and the task is bounded, lead with your strengths.  If strongest as an “Educator,” let this be your trump suit or default position.  However, even if only for a short trial, inject one or two of the other “E”-roles in your presentation.  Be unpredictable; defy expectations.  Not only do you capture people’s attention and generate on the edge anticipation, pleasurable surprise releases pain-reducing and pleasure-enhancing brain chemicals like endorphins and dopamine.  And the continuous practice and expansion of range and repertoire builds one’s risk-taking and performance muscles.  Also, you achieve finer and finer definition especially as you evaluate and integrate audience feedback, that hard-earned source of adaptive wisdom.  Finally, as a risk-taking and variety generating role model, you are also illuminating an evolutionary, multifaceted mind-mood-muscle skill path for your audience.  As Dr. Jonas Salk, a founder of the polio vaccine, observed:  Evolution is about getting up one more time than you fall down; being courageous one more time than being fearful; trusting just one more time than being anxious!   Amen and women to that!

Part II will flesh out the remaining three Process Steps.

Human Resources Palm Beach County, FL (HRPBC; SHRM affiliate); Developing Stress Resilience, Humor, and Passion Power:  The Gift of Interactive Engagement; Human Resources Chapter Kickoff Speaker; 100 attendees; 1.25 hrs

Feb 27, 2014

Hello Mark.

HR Palm Beach County had the wonderful pleasure of having Mark Gorkin “The Stress Doc” present at one of our monthly dinner meetings. Mark’s presentation was both insightful and engaging. He has a way of captivating the audience and makes them want to hear more. We enjoyed his insights on the factors that cause stress and how to overcome them. We hope to hear more from “The Stress Doc”. It was definitely time well spent. We especially enjoyed his perspective on Passion and Power. Mark Gorkin is a must hear!

Tanya Vaughn-Patterson
HRPBC Program Chair

Diversity & Inclusion Consultant
Ofc: 561-694-4199

Hi.  Your presentation was very exciting and informative.  Thank you.  Yes, you may include me on your newsletter. 

I look forward to seeing you in May. 

Joyce Fenhaus, PHR
Human Resources Business Partner
Holy Cross Hospital
1000 NE 56th Street
Ft. Lauderdale, FL  33334
(954) 267-6881

Thanks for your inspiring talk!  I really enjoyed it. 

I will certainly keep you in mind if an opportunity arises where we could use your expertise.



Sheri Resnick, PHR
Human Resources Analyst
The Scripps Research Institute, Scripps Florida
130 Scripps Way, 3B2
Jupiter, Florida 33458
Office:  (561) 228-2064

Thiel College; "Building Winning Teams: Blending Individual Creativity and Interactive Community"; Semester Kickoff for 120 Faculty and Staff; 2 hrs

Feb 9, 2014

Dear Mark,

I just wanted to write a sincere note of thanks for your recent program at Thiel College, "Building Winning Teams: Blending Individual Creativity and Interactive Community."  The task force responsible for planning this event was delighted by the overwhelming amount of positive feedback we heard from our faculty and staff that participated.  The program was a lot of fun, and our employees benefited greatly from participating.  It was truly the perfect kick-off to a new semester, and we hope to bring you back in the near future.

Our participants especially appreciate how interactive the program was, and it was energizing to start the semester with so much laughter.  We could not have imagined the program going any better.

I highly recommend The Stress Doc to any organizations looking for an exceptional motivational speaker, especially if they are hoping for a strong dose of humor!

Best Regards,

Mike McKinney '02, Vice President of Student Life
THIEL COLLEGE I 75 College Avenue I Greenville, PA I 16125
724-589-2066 (o) I 724-456-4077 (m)

Mark Gorkin, MSW, LICSW, "The Stress Doc" ™, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is a national keynote and webinar speaker and "Motivational Humorist & Team Communication Catalyst" known for his interactive, inspiring and FUN programs for both government agencies and major corporations.  A training and Critical Incident/Grief Intervention Consultant for the National EAP/Wellness Company, Business Health Services in Baltimore, MD, the Doc also leads “Stress, Team Building and Humor” programs for various branches of the Armed Services.  Mark, a former Stress and Violence Prevention Consultant for the US Postal Service, is the author of Resiliency Rap, Practice Safe Stress, and of The Four Faces of Anger.  See his award-winning, USA Today Online "HotSite" – called a "workplace resource" by National Public Radio (NPR).  For more info on the Doc's "Practice Safe Stress" programs or to receive his free e-newsletter, email or call 301-875-2567.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Building Stress Resilience: Five Part Series

Through the wonders of Linked-in I connected with a Nurse-Research Analyst working for a national insurance/health benefits consulting firm.  This health expert wants to address the stress-related factors that contribute to the “Big Four Impacting Workplace Wellness”:  high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and alcohol and smoking.  (For the last abusive symptom mix, with a touch of cynicism, I suggested an expansion of the category.  Follow the government’s nomenclature; call it ATF:  Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms!  As you may already know, I would add Sleep to our “Medical MT. Rushmore.”)  As this consultant explained, wearing a pedometer is useful but hardly sufficient to address the near crisis health conditions.

We agreed I would present a 20 minute phone conference to the health benefits team of a client company.  The goal was providing future “Lunch and Learn” wellness programs to company employees.  It went well enough that two days later the company’s health benefits team in Charlotte also asked for a stress resilience phone conference.

The Birth of a Series and a Good Omen

But perhaps the most important moment was when the coordinating consultant asked if I could put together a series of “Stress Resilience” programs.  That was all the encouragement needed.  It’s as if this idea had already been gestating, and only needed a little prodding to come kicking and screaming out into the world.  Knocking out a stress segment a day...a new ready to roll and bounce Stress Doc offering.

Each program segment has a blurb and five objectives.  Also, knowing she would have to sell me and the stress resilience concept to her boss, the Nurse Consultant asked me to address the question of my qualifications to deliver the series.  Career path and skills-based outlines follow the five program blurbs and objectives.  Also recent and past, including military, testimonials.

Clearly, this is a series I am opening up to the universe.  In fact, yesterday brought a good omen.  An Army Officer/recent Company Commander that I met a few years back while leading a program for Command Officers at Ft Hood, TX, dropped me a Linked-in note.  K. asked if he might pass my name to the Media Relations Officer at Ft. Irwin, Cal.  Stress Resilience is the buzz in the Army.  We were definitely on the same wavelength!  (Actually, he initially asked if I might be interested in doing a radio talk-show.  Interested…for years my objective has been to get enough exposure so I’m finally arrested for indecency!)
Await your ideas on content – additions and subtractions – on edits, elaborations, questions, etc.  Please feel free to share.

Remember, my motto:  Have Stress?  Will Travel:  A Smart Mouth for Hire!  Thanks,
1)  Blending Burnout Prevention/Recovery, Psychological Hardiness and Natural SPEED

2)  Proactively Engaging with Change and Loss, Trauma and Bad Habits: Grieve, Let Go, Seek One in the Know and Grow with the Flow

3)  Empathic Assertion: A Communication Skillset for Disarming Power Struggles and Defusing Critical Aggressors while Developing Integrity, Collaboration, and Trust

4) The HARP Method: Blending Healing Humor, Acknowledging flaws and foibles, practicing Resilient Risk-taking, and overcoming Procrastination

5)  Designing Resilient and Responsive (“R and R”) Teams: A “Helmets Off and Hands On” and “High Tech and Human Touch” (HT2) Approach

1)  Building Stress Resilience:  Blending Hardiness, Burnout Prevention/Recovery, and Natural SPEED

In a 24/7 world that's cycling from “do more with less reorganizing to ever faster upgrading” managing stress and achieving better balance and sense of control of one’s mind-body health, work-life, and psycho-social-organizational systems are vital.  The challenges to wellness, morale, and productivity have never been greater, especially in times of rapid change or organizational cultural transition.

Have no fear…Mark Gorkin, "The Stress Doc" ™, is here with his dynamic and interactive, thought-provoking, inspiring, and FUN-filled presentation and small group exercises.  Learn to recognize stress smoke signals, recover from or prevent burnout, develop stress resilience or “psychological hardiness” (especially useful in transitional times).  In addition, learn of the Stress Doc’s self-designed Six “R” burnout recovery plan.  Discover the Stress Doc's Natural SPEED model and method for expanding personal energy, stress resiliency, cognitive agility, and emotional integrity.  And finally, experience the Stress Doc as a “healing humorist,” that is, his pioneering work in the field of psychologically humorous rap music “Shrink Rap” ™ Productions.

Seek the higher power of Stress Doc humor:  May the Farce Be with You


1.  Rapidly and playfully identify stress smoke signals; discover the “Four Stages of Burnout”

2.  Overcome and prevent burnout by learning to “let go”; in a small group exercise, explore the challenge of “letting go vs. holding on”; gain the company-based research for thriving in transition – the “Four ‘C’s of Psychological Hardiness”

3.  Discover the Stress Doc’s Six “R”s Personal Burnout Recovery/Rejuvenation Model: Running (an Exercise Regimen), Reading, Retreating, Writing, Relating and Risk-taking

4.  Discover “The Stress Doc’s Stress Resiliency, Brain-Body Agility and Emotional Integrity Formula for Natural SPEED – Sleep, Priorities, Passion, Empathy, Exercise and Diet”

5.  Experience “healing humor” through the Stress Doc’s acclaimed “Shrink Rap” ™

Don’t miss your appointment with the Stress Doc!

2)  Proactively Engaging with Change and Loss, Trauma and Bad Habits: Grieve, Let Go, Seek One in the Know and Grow with the Flow
We live and work in a TNT/3-D – Time-Numbers-Technology/Driven, Distracted & Disruptive – World where upgrading, restructuring, and uncertainty seem constant and everything happens NOW.  Not surprisingly, stress resilience requires dealing productively with loss and change – whether involving people and projects or deliverables and dreams.  The blow may also come from the unexpected departure, illness, and death of a beloved colleague, team member, or leader.  It is critical to have a mindset, skillset, and support-set for effectively and resourcefully engaging with and learning from loss and change, grief or trauma.

Have no fear…Mark Gorkin, "The Stress Doc" ™, is here with his dynamic and interactive, thought-provoking, inspiring, and FUN-filled presentation and small group exercises.  Recognize the “danger and opportunity” in personal-professional change and crisis.  Understand how personal baggage may become a heavy anchor.  Especially in times of major transition or uncertainty, the ability to:  a) quickly yet meaningfully process emotions, especially angst and anger, yet also realize grief has its own personal timeline, b) understand the difference between natural, self-healing grief and life-constricting clinical depression, c) know when to seek out a “stress buddy” or supervisor, mentor or professional health advisor, d) consider a “good enough” range of options and move in a new direction by making “sadder but wiser” (even if imperfect) decisions, e) reconsider limitations or restrictions of an outmoded past and f) envision and remodel a new – streamlined or expanded – personal-professional identity, reliable support-resource pool, and future career-life path is vital.  Also invaluable is the capacity for finding healing humor in “somber circumstances and irksome tasks” (as noted by the pioneering humanist, Helen Keller.)  Finally, sometimes it’s our own rigid restrictions or self-defeating habits (or addictions, alas) that trap and drain us.  Once again the mind-body-spirit pass is in the impasse:  Grieve, Let Go, Seek One in the Know and Grow with the Flow!

Seek the higher power of Stress Doc humor:  May the Farce Be with You.


1.  Understand why many freeze, flee or fight change rather than face and reframe it and then flow

2.  Engage in a small group exercise that illustrates the danger and opportunity” in loss or change, trauma or crisis; learn to recognize and “Confront Your Intimate FOE” and grapple with “Grief Ghosts”

3.  Learn what it means and what it takes to truly “let go” (including recognizing the “stages of grief”), manage the edgy unknown, and be open to new ideas and future possibilities

4. Discover why and how healing and harmonizing humor can enable individuals, departments, and all manner and sizes of teams to break through grief barriers, overcome dysfunctional conflict, and reengage as a vital community

5.  Experience a relaxation-visualization exercise that examines and helps you begin to “let go” of rigidities and self-defeating habits or behavior patterns while envisioning yourself in a new and proactive light.

Don’t miss your appointment with the Stress Doc!

3)  Empathic Assertion:  A Communication Skillset for Disarming Power Struggles and Defusing Critical Aggressors while Developing Integrity, Collaboration, and Trust
In times of rapid change, when people are operating with significant stress and uncertainty – at work and/or in their home lives – workplace tension will often have a communication and conflict component.  Add a high demand work world, where employees experience:  a) regular disruptions in the control of their work, their output, or schedule, b) face significant staffing, resource, training, support, career promotion, and chronic time pressures, c) interact with a top-down, slow-responding, or remote chain of command not open to diverse ideas, and/or e) perceived “favoritism,” rumor-driven cliques, or “stress carriers” permeate the environment…Not surprisingly, research suggests as much as 75% of workplace stress has an interpersonal component!
Once again, Mark Gorkin, "The Stress Doc" ™, is here with his dynamic and interactive, thought-provoking, inspiring, and FUN-filled presentation and small group exercises.  Reduce interpersonal tension and create a more open and participatory work culture by walking the Doc’s Triple “A” and “PRO Relating” talk.  Especially discover what showing genuine “Respect” and being “Responsible” really mean.  Practice “Empathic and Tactical-Tactful Assertion” skills, including the trust-building power of asking “Good Questions” and “meta-communicating” for disarming power struggles and defusing critical aggressors.  Discover the “Art of Active and Reflective Listening and Questioning.”  And finally, learn different conflict problem solving styles and employ the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Inventory to engage “Collaboratively” with a real personal-professional issue.
Seek the higher power of Stress Doc humor:  May the Farce Be with You.
1.  Discover the Triple “A” – Authority-Autonomy-Accountability – for fostering a climate of Individual/Organizational Responsibility and Resiliency (aka “Helmet’s Off and Hands On”)
2.  Restore a Four “R” culture that fosters PRO – Professional-Reciprocal-Ongoing – Relating:  being Respectful-Real-Responsible-Responsive; learn new, thought-provoking ways of envisioning the Four “R”s
3.  Through modified and fun role-play, gain “empathic assertion” skills for defusing power struggles by asking courageous “Good Questions” and building trust; learn to tactically and tactfully disarm a critical aggressor
4.  Discover the “Art of Active and Reflective Listening and Questioning”; learn to clarify and be concise; paraphrase and pause; differentiate reaction from response and when and how to reflect and reveal; mutually strategize and summarize
5.  As a small group exercise, use the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Styles Inventory to address “collaboratively” a real conflict situation; discover the creativity by harnessing diversity.
Don’t miss your appointment with the Stress Doc!
4)  The HARP Method:  Blending Healing Humor, Acknowledging flaws and foibles, practicing Resilient Risk-taking, and overcoming Procrastination

As the world moves, spins, and evolves at an ever faster pace, learning to engage in conscious and calculated risk-raking is a necessary tool for survival and adaptation.  Despite anxieties, doubts, and/or resistances, being decisive while knowing when to exercise restraint (e. g, understanding when to spur to action or when to purposefully place some reins on unbridled passion) are critical resiliency components.  And while reflection is often a plus…inertia invariable becomes a self-defeating trap.  So first off, let’s confront that aversive and subversive “P”-word – Procrastination.  Next, how to find that optimal balance between “stability and chaos,” to be open to the new but also apprentice long enough to develop some real mind-body muscles, meaningful experience, and maybe even some hard-earned wisdom?  And perhaps the two most important mantra-tools in the “Resilient Risk-Taking” mind-mood tool box:  a) “Learn to Fail or Fail to Learn” and b) “Laugh at One’s Own Flaws and Foibles”
Have no fear (well, perhaps a little)…Mark Gorkin, "The Stress Doc" ™, is here with his dynamic and interactive, thought-provoking, inspiring, and FUN-filled presentation and small group exercises.  Through fast-paced presentation and group interaction, gain skills and strategies for playing the HARP:  overcoming procrastination and establishing better organizational patterns.  Discover the key steps to becoming a “Resilient Risk-Taker; for yourself and team members, learn to appropriately apply “healing humor” to better reduce the “ego” and “egoal” risk of trial and error; develop a multi-faceted – “learner not loser” – view of failure. And finally, bring it all together:  a) overcome procrastination, b) take a small but meaningful risk, c) engage in self-affirmation by share self-effacing and healing/harmonizing humor, and d) strengthen team cohesion and resilience by engaging in the Stress Doc’s acclaimed “Four Word Exercise.”
Seek the higher power of Stress Doc humor:  May the Farce Be with You.


1.  Grasp the dynamics behind why we procrastinate; learn to PANIC to achieve “Emancipation Procrastination”
2.  Engage in a small group/peer consultation exercise to strengthen strategic time organization
3.  Learn the “Four Steps of Resilient Risk-Taking” – from “Aware-ily Jump in Over Your Head” to “Design for Error and Opportunity, Exploration and Integration”
4.  Appreciate the power of “healing and harmonizing humor” for fostering individual and team resiliency; discover a simple too for evolving as a healing humorist
5.  Participate in the powerful, inspiring, and FUN stress- and group resiliency- as well as camaraderie- building exercise – “Confronting the Intimate FOE.”
Don’t miss your appointment with the Stress Doc!
5)  Designing Resilient & Responsive (“R and R”) Teams:  A “Helmets Off & Hands On” and “High Tech and Human Touch” (HT2) Approach
In today’s 24/7, hyper-paced world, building personal-professional stress resilience is certainly a vital and necessary step.  However, it is not sufficient.  We need to weave a safe and secure net of interdependent relations.  This support net knows that in times of stress and conflict, productive problem solving is often less a matter of “fight or flight” and more “tend and befriend.”  (Of course, some individual and group conflict is inevitable and needs to be addressed with “good enough” skill, honest dialogue, and personal-professional integrity.)  Evolving team leader/member communication-relationship transparency and trust enhances the likelihood of:  a) constructive engagement, b) meaningful resolution, as well as c) strengthened team consensus, cohesion, and resilience.  And in the workplace the ideal group to provide that revitalizing mix of “high tech/task and human touch” is the work team.  How can a work team live up to its potential for generating “R and R” – Resilience and Responsiveness?  Discover a group process for cultivating the Stress Doc’s notion of “team synergy”:  where the whole is not just greater than the sum of the parts, but the parts evolve into purposeful partners!
And in the final session, Mark Gorkin, "The Stress Doc" ™, is here with his dynamic and interactive, thought-provoking, inspiring, and FUN-filled presentation and small group exercises.  Discover the Doc’s “Helmet’s Off and Hands On” method for cultivating a “High Tech and Human Touch (HT2) ™ Culture.”  Appreciate why and how “winning” teams blend “Individual Creativity and Interactive Community.”  Engage in a “Barriers and Bridges” exercise for developing “Resilient and Responsive” teams.  Learn “how to” structures and techniques for facilitating team member participation in and commitment to both individual and group vision and goals.  At the same time, it’s vital that team members and, especially, leaders know how to professionally engage dis-eased, disruptive, or dysfunctional group members.  And lastly, close with a strategic “Five Session Series Review and Next Steps.”
Seek the higher power of Stress Doc humor:  May the Farce Be with You.
1.  Understand why “There’s no ‘I’ in team” may not be the best team mantra; grasp the importance of “Helmets Off and Hands On” and the Triple “A” for building “Winning” teams

2.  Engage in the acclaimed “3-D – Discussion-Drawing-Diversity – Team Building Exercise”; identify key barriers to more coordinated, supportive, and productive teams

3.  Engage in the follow-up “Consultation Problem Solving Team Role-Play”; build communicational and structural bridges for more coordinated and supportive, focused and productive, diverse and synergistic teams; discover the “Stress Doc’s Elite Eight for Building Resilient and Responsive Teams”

4.  Explore constructive ways for team leaders and team members to respond to a disruptive “stress carrier”

5.  Closing review of what participants have learned/applied; finally, strategic next steps and commitments for “Sustaining Stress and Team Resilience.”

Don’t miss your appointment with the Stress Doc!

Why Mark Gorkin, MSW, LICSW, the “Stress Doc” ™, is the right person to deliver this “5-Part Building Stress Resilience Series”:
Overview:  Stress Resilience Background and Experience, Skills and Credits
1.  He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over thirty years of private practice and agency experience

2.  After burning out on a doctoral dissertation, he became an expert in the field of stress and burnout, including breaking into radio and television becoming known as the “Stress Doc”; in the ‘80s, had a syndicated “Stress Brake” radio feature with Longhorn Radio Network, University of Texas, Austin

3.  In the ‘80s, as an adjunct, he taught Crisis Intervention/Brief Therapy Techniques to Social Work Grad Students at Tulane University, New Orleans, LA; often had largest elective class enrollment; became known as “Mr. Crisis Intervention”

4.  Over the years he has published hundreds of popular articles on the topics, of stress, burnout, loss and change; in addition to his own blog, his writings are regularly published by the large web platforms – (as a “stress expert,” his Q and A responses to reader’s questions has been a long-running as-needed feature),, Mental Help Net; his website – – has been called a “workplace resource” by National Public Radio (NPR); there are a variety of training videos on the site; after many years, he still has a very high ranking on Google for the term “burnout”

5.  He is the author of three “resiliency”-related books:
Ø  Resiliency Rap:  The Wit and Wisdom of the Shrink Rapper ™
Ø  Practice Safe Stress:  Healing and Laughing in the Face of Stress, Burnout, and Depression
Ø  The Four Faces of Anger:  Transforming Anger, Rage, and Conflict Into Inspiring Attitude and Behavior

6.  He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, workshop, and retreat leader, having led nearly a thousand programs in the past thirty years for an array of companies, government agencies, non-profits, etc.; areas of specialty include stress resilience/burnout prevention and recovery, conflict and communication skills, transforming loss and change, team building and, most recently, resilient risk-taking and creative leadership; in particular he has led several Pre-Deployment and Post-Deployment Retreat Workshops – “Stress Resilience, Humor, and Team Building” – for various Military Units, especially at Ft. Hood, TX; see testimonials below

7.  In the past five years, he has led a number of resilience-related webinars; for nearly ten years he ran a “Shrink Rap and Group Chat” for AOL; responding rapidly, succinctly, yet meaningfully to participants' Instant Messages (a forerunner of texting) was critical

8.  Living in the DC area since 1990, he has considerable experience with federal, county, and city government agencies; he has collaborated with many EAP programs/professionals

9.  In the ‘90s, he was a Stress and Violence Prevention Consultant for the US Postal Service; both management and the unions wrote letters of praise regarding his contribution to workforce productivity and morale

10.  For the past three years through the present, he has been doing Critical Incident/Trauma-Grief Intervention Consulting for Business Health Services HQd in Baltimore, MD; and periodically over the past twenty years as an independent contractor, he’s done Critical Incident work for a variety of government agencies; his inspiring manner even emerges in CI work, e.g., after two recent 20-minute critical incident/grief sessions with staff, a Hospital Chaplin commented:  “You had them in the palm of your hands!”
Stress Resilience Speaking/Training Skills and Tools

1.  He is a dynamic, high energy, and inspiring presenter that helps audiences get more FIT:  his programs are FUN, Interactive, and Thought-provoking; after a program, people often approach commenting on the great energy and ideas; his programs involve and evolve a lively rhythm of group interaction/exercises, take-home ideas and bullets, and Q and A

2.  As many have noted, his ability to integrate skillfully humor and play in programs, even with serious or somber subjects – from speaking to critical interventions – helps him capture people’s attention and his message stand out; as he once penned:  People are less defensive and more open to a serious message gift-wrapped with humor!

3.  The 5- part program illustrates the diversity and range of professional experience as a speaker, workshop/trainer, therapist, stress, critical incident/grief- and team-building consultant, retreat leader, chat group leader/facilitatorauthor and writer.  He has integrated a powerful array of topics for his “Stress Resilience” arsenal:  stress resilience/burnout prevention and recovery, conflict and communication skills, transforming loss and change, team building and, most recently, resilient risk-taking and creative leadership

4.  He is comfortable and experienced working with organizations in both the private and not-for-profit sectors and with audiences of varying sizes – ranging from less than twenty to two hundred or more

5.  His electronic media and public speaking/teaching/writing experience has honed an ability to synthesize and express complex ideas into manageable and memorable concepts and tools; his revision of the old KISS standard:  Keep It Simple and Smart!; from his days in TV and radio, he projects energy and enthusiasm whether he can literally touch an audience member or not

6.  He is adept at facilitating group discussion; in fact he often sees himself as “an orchestra leader, helping others (including teams) bring out their best music”

7.  He is adept at fielding audience questions on the fly; this process often elicits personal-professional (yet appropriate, on point and concise) stories that truly bring to light and life meaningful responses to participants’ questions and concerns

8.  As a workshop and retreat leader, engaging interactive programs along with a facility for “Emotional Intelligence” helps break down communication and status barriers among participants; one military commander noted that after a stress-team building program, during a follow-up meeting, his senior officers and senior sergeants had the most open, least contentious and territorial, and most productive pre-deployment retreat

9.  His substance and style have been noted as supporting and affirming top management’s mission and values

10.  Audiences love his closing:  the Doc’s pioneering effort in the field of psychologically humorous “rap” music – Shrink Rap ™ Productions!