Come join our monthly Mental Model Dōjō community forum to learn cutting-edge insights from our latest work at Agile OD!

Every month we explore a contemporary leadership, management and organizational topic that we’ve picked up from our client work.

Each event is hosted online on Zoom as a one-hour session and offered in two time zones. The sessions are in group coaching and forum format facilitated by Coach Takeshi Yoshida and Agile OD coaches. Participation is free.

Upcoming Forum

The Art of Upward Management with Authenticity – Building Productive Relationships with Demanding Leaders

Book Your Place

  • Session A: Jun 19 (Wed) 08:00 SGT, Jun 18 (Tue) 20:00 US EST, 19:00 CST, 17:00 PST
  • Session B: Jun 19 (Wed) 18:00 SGT, 14:00 DXB, 12:00 CET, 11:00 GMT

Featured Topic

The Art of Upward Management
with Authenticity

Building Productive Relationships with Demanding Leaders

Forum Calendar

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Past Forums

Navigating conversations with avoidant personalities
KISS Your Work Stress Goodbye: Practical Steps to De-complicate and Regain Footing

Navigating Uncertainty, Handling Complexity - Leadership Skills Development
Managing Smart People, Managing Quiet People
Listen to the Middle Managers Blues
Post-session recording: MMDojo How to healthily storm
MMDojo Forming Storming Norming Performing of Agile Teams
Sep 13, 2023 Growing Critical Thinkers forum
Sep 7, 2023 Art of Influencing forum

After Notes

September 7, 2023

Coach Ramesh Nava and I had a wonderful time with the #mentalmodeldojo community yesterday discussing the super interesting topic of the “Art of Influencing.” As host I obviously am in-the-know of the topic, but every time we have these dōjō sessions my eyes are opened with new perspectives from participants and yesterday was no exception.

Influencing in the organizational context goes up, down and sideways (boss, team members, stakeholders, internal & external partners) and it was fascinating to hear so many real life examples of the struggles of influencing rigid, impatient and resistent people at all levels of the organization.

I found that putting the organizational lens on influencing quite helpful: when we think of influencing, we tend to focus on the very moment of influencing itself, i.e. when you are speaking with somebody.

Yes that point of conversation is very important, and with active listening, empathy and suspending judgment, we can have a much more rich and meaningful dialogue beyond convincing and persuading.

However, I think we overlook the crucial fact that a conversation can’t happen without the opportunity of the conversation in the first place. And those opportunities rarely just happen – we need to set up them up. And I believe this effort, is an integral act of the art of influencing.

What surprised me next was the reaction from the participants when the word “inviting” came up in exploring this part. Inviting somebody to the conversation table, inviting people to a space of learning, exploration, co-creation – I think I heard a whole bunch of “aha!”s in the room!

So influencing starts before the point of conversation, at the point of conversation; and then how about afterwards? Yes, this perspective leads to the insight that the art of influencing is to be played as the long game. I like to express this part as creating a feedback loop: after a great conversation, create another opportunity to speak and see how things are and iterate the dialogue.

We often hope that people will keep their word and act on their promises, but I find that inaction is often not a product of unwillingness. And you can’t blame them for their inaction: because people’s memories fade, priorities shift and situations change. With that understanding and compassion, approaching people and having another heartful conversation becomes a natural act of follow-up. I think people with the ethos (presence, gravitas) are great at keeping that flow going.

Thank you Andre Rubin Santos, Hidemi Takano, Prarthana Alley, Sebastian Bahner, Sorcha Millican-Nagle, Minh Vo, PhD, Morteza Ahmadi, Dr. rer. pol. Monika Friedrich-Nishio, Ranil Perera, Rahmawati Hardian, CHRP (and others, apologies for the omission) for the wonderful time learning together.

– Coach Takeshi

That inspiring and influential leader we stare in awe. Without telling, selling, persuading and convincing much, they consistently sway people in their way. How do they do that? What’s special about them? Can we become one? What does it take to learn this art of influencing? Let’s explore.

Reference reading: (1) Aristotle’s Influence Model, (2) How to Influence, Not Manipulate


  • Session A: Sep 7 (Thu) 08:00 SGP, Sep 6 (Wed) 20:00 US EST, 19:00 CST, 17:00 PST
  • Session B: Sep 7 (Thu) 18:00 SGP, 14:00 DXB, 12:00 PAR, 11:00 LON
Aug 8, 2023 Session A/B Delegation Empowerment Spectrum
Aug 17, 2023 Session A/B Waterfall Agile

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