Facilitator for Executive Retreats
Facilitation is the exact opposite of speaking. Eileen designs one-of-a-kind sessions, normally based upon intense interviews with stakeholders.
Depending upon the desired outcome, she creates a process that opens up conversation among participants. They talk. She works the process.
Eileen McDargh is a master at her craft, as a facilitator, moderator or even emcee. If you are looking for a masterful mixture of great wit, timing, energy and audience engagement, all while having a grounded and focused presence keeping your agenda on track. Your speakers and leaders will feel acknowledged and your audience will be delighted!"
— Ann Herrmann-Nehdi
CEO, Herrmann International
Retreat to Advance - Management Offsites for Resiliency
Actually, I call them ADVANCES. We "retreat" (come away) so we can ADVANCE.
Each business advance is structured around the need of the client and the desired outcome. In most cases, it involves hours of interviews, the
development of issue papers (written in third person), and a process to bring participants to individual and professional insights. No one
ADVANCE is like another.
In Her Own Voice™ retreats are more personal in nature. Through a process of reflection, journaling, and communal sharing, participants discover
what is their desired Act III.
Look at the case studies below and you will have an idea as to the concept.
Case Study #1
Pharmaceutical Company Needs To Cement Team Despite Restructuring
Situation: Significant structural reorganization for global leaders in the regulatory division of major pharmaceutical company. New players have
been brought in from the outside and other internal roles have been shifted in a quest to respond to a changing environment. The head of the
group knows he has individual world-class performers but needs them to operate as a team and come together to solve issues that transcend geographical
Challenge: Develop a Resilient Senior Leadership Team that responds well to change.
Solution: Conducted intensive interviews with every member of the senior team to identify issues, opportunities, and areas of
concerns. In the process, discovered that not only was there confusion about roles and goals but they really had no understanding of each other
as human beings. Because of a lack of understanding, potential turf wars loomed. I discovered duplication of effort, work either underdone
or overdone, and procedures that were either outdated or time wasters.
- Developed a three-day offsite retreat that used music as a theme: "Orchestrating world class medicines with world class performers."
- Created a workbook/notebook with the compilation of the issues, data on individual behavioral styles, and plenty of information about all of
- Provided a process to generate expanded appreciation for the diverse backgrounds, interests and skill levels of all in attendance.
- Used interaction and a web exercise to unravel the questions related to roles and goals.
- Interspersed three-days with opportunities for laughter and casual conversation.
- Developed action plans and individual commitments so that the alignment and conversation became ongoing.
- Provided small black books so they could record what they are doing differently and what ideas and relationships they developed. These were
used as a tool post meeting to capture examples of positive and negative experiences with fellow team members to be used in a follow up
exercise to maintain momentum of the workshop.
- Held a video conference two-months later with all attendees to see progress on actions and commitments.
Feedback: According to the Senior Vice President:
"The team started to think for each other. We built the foundation for a transformative team. We now understand how we operate and who we are as
individuals. We learned how to have the difficult conversations without being difficult. Eileen pulled us together and got people to tell the
truth. She also made it fun. There were plenty of laughs along with very serious moments. I've seen a real improvement into the team's thinking.
It's a complex business model and how she pulled it together was very powerful.
She hit every single issue she thought we had. She distilled it down. She has a unique ability to gather data and say, 'This is what matters.'
We spent the last day talking about action steps and made commitments-which she gave us back in writing-about what we said we would do for each
other. She gave us a small black book to track our progress and two months later, we all checked in via video conference to see exactly how
we are doing.
Nine months later we continue to grow and have transformed into a high performing team."
Case Study #2
Automotive Industry-Related Company Seeks to Develop Women Leaders
Situation: This Internet marketing company has grown by leaps and bounds since opening its doors in 1995. Women are employed in
everything from sales to service to support. The industry, however, is very male dominated. Research shows that profitability, retention and
performance increase when more women assume leadership positions.
Challenge: How to draw women of all levels together to begin to learn how to develop their leadership skills, how to grow their
careers and how to work effectively in a male dominated environment during challenging times. The company also wants feedback on what it needs
to do differently. Additionally, customer demands and staffing levels are such that the gathering cannot exceed 4 hours.
Solution: Eileen worked with the planning committee to design a content-rich, interactive learning experience. She developed experiential
mini-exercises that got the women focusing on strengths and also what actions individuals as well as corporate could take. Her keynote gave
specific examples and memorable language to help the women focus immediately on the result they wanted. She also crafted the questions for
a panel of five senior women from the automotive industry, met with them beforehand and then facilitated the panel.
Feedback: According to the Vice President of Human Resources: "This first Women's Summit was a great success, brought about by
"the verve, professionalism and presence of Eileen McDargh. Our employees were captivated by her energy level, by the wisdom she conveyed and
by the emotional attachment she created with the group. Additionally, her ideas to pull together the event and mediate the panel worked well
and were quite effective with the audience. Most of the women commented, all of who are at different organizational levels and in different
roles that they walked away from the conference with a learning that they could apply immediately in their work or home life. It doesn't get
better than that."
Dear Eileen, just a short thank you note from me. I always learn something from our interaction and this week was very special. I have had a lot of introspection during and after the meeting and the trip triggered many thoughts on how I could improve myself not only as a leader but as a person and also my team. Thanks for your warmth, and engaging personality but also for bringing an authenticity to leadership coaching that is unique."
— M. Mansaray