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March/April 2020 PowerPoints

Many leaders truly want strong, productive teams. At times though, it seems the harder the leader tries, the less effective team interactions become. What to do? Here are 3 specific actions leaders can take right away that can turn around an effective or dysfunctional team….

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Free Resource During Pandemic

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Strategies to Cope Well in Challenging Times

There is no doubt that all of us are facing multidimensional challenges during the Coronavirus pandemic. While it may not be realistic to thrive or be anxiety free, we CAN take steps to foster optimal health and wellbeing. Here are a few suggestions to help you take good care of yourself so you can emerge more resilient than before:

  • Recognize and accept that the stress and anxiety you may be feeling is normal in these uncertain times.
  • Be compassionate with yourself. Be aware of and steep away from any critical self- talk.  Take some extra time to pray, meditate, do yoga or read uplifting passages or quotes.
  • Practice healthy habits.  Try to maintain your regular schedule as much as possible.  Practice good sleep hygiene: stop screen time at least 1 hour before getting ready for bed. Follow regular bedtimes and waking times.  Eat healthy meals throughout the day.  This may be a great time to explore new healthy recipes including lots of fruits and vegies.
  • Exercise! Get outside in nature at least 6 feet away from others and breathe fresh air. Go for a hike, ride bikes or roller blade. Being in nature is proven to release endorphins that boost mood.
    Inside, try yoga or Pilates videos and/ or lift weights.  (Improvise: use cans of soup if you’ve no weights at home.)
  • Stay connected!  While we need to practice physical distance, we don’t need to isolate because isolation is a breeding ground for depression and anxiety. 

Call, Skype or Face Time a friend or family member.  Be creative: watch movies together and talk about it, have contests for the best decorated cake or do exercise together virtually.

  • Take up a new or long- forgotten hobby: paint, draw, knit, put pictures in albums or arrange them on your computer. Start a new book or puzzle. 
  • Finally, remember that you are not alone.  Reach out for support. Contact a therapist or coach. Now is not the time to soldier on and let anxiety or fear overwhelm you.  It really does take a village.  It could be that this time to shelter in place gives us time to strengthen family ties and support the marginalized or elderly in new and different ways. While I am in no way downplaying the real health and financial risks we are experiencing, we can grow stronger and build a stronger sense of community through this adversity. 

Wishing you health and wellbeing,


Marjorie Johnson, LCSW, PCC is a clinical social worker and executive coach. She is president of Ascend Consulting, Inc. Contact her at for virtual counseling or  coaching during this pandemic or to schedule future training for your organization. 

Free Resource!

Email Marjorie, at to Sign Up for her FREE Mindfulness Meditation in Uncertain Times Session on Zoom which will be Tuesday, March 31, from 12-1 EST.

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An Important Message to My Clients Regarding COVID-19

To my clients,

In light of the evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19), I am offering all my clients the opportunity to do virtual sessions. These sessions can be done via several platforms, including the phone. I remain highly committed to supporting all my clients during this challenging time.

Please call, email, or text me to confirm your appointment and how you wish to meet.

Note that I will be monitoring the advice of local, state, and federal health experts and will update this decision accordingly. Keep in touch so we can discuss how I can best meet your needs during this evolving crisis.

Wishing you health,

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Marjorie presents Communicate to Collaborate.

May 14, 2020

Downingtown/Thorndale Chamber of Commerce. 

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POSTPONED UNTIL NOVEMBER: Marjorie presents Come to The Quiet: Manage Stress With Mindfulness Meditation at Girls Spark WCU.

Girls are speaking out! A young women’s movement called “Girls Spark” has ignited and we are spreading the word about Girls Spark 2020. 

We all know the social issues and pressures of being a teen girl has been amplified by technology and are very different today than ever before!

Girls Spark is lighting the way with a fresh approach created by and for teen girls.

The 2nd annual one-day retreat for girls ages 13-19 will be Postponed until November at West Chester University to help teen girls better navigate these social challenges.

Last year the inaugural Girls Spark retreat was held at Delaware County Community College. It was a huge success! 

153 teen girls from 54 schools attended.  The girls left feeling connected, supported and empowered!

According to the retreat survey, 80% said they would return and bring a friend next time! 

Breakout sessions 2020 include:

Mental Health |  Mindfulness | Live Safe & Confident | Street Smarts/Defend Yourself | Sexual Health

Sexual Harassment |Yoga De-stress | Unconscious Biased | Compassionate Action (Bullying) | G.I.R.L Power

Emotional Intelligence |  Nutrition & Body Image

Seize the Awkward (How to talk Peer to Peer presented by the AFSP – American Federation of Suicide  Prevention)

Breakout Session leaders are various coaches, trainers, therapist and inspiring women leaders in the community !

We strive to deliver messages that will help teen girls better navigate the challenging social issues they face in today’s world!

To attend sign up at  OR

Cost is $20.00 to attend and  $1.00 for every ticket sold will be donated to the AFSP Philadelphia Chapter.

Each girl will leave with a Girls Spark swag bag full of goodies and a Girls Spark T-Shirt

Along with a chance to win over 30 door prizes; College swag, Spa, Tech, Food, Gift Cards, Movie tickets, Make Up etc..

just to name a few

Treat the teen in your life to a great day in her life!     

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November/December Power Points

The more you do, the more you accomplish. What if we were able to do less and accomplish the same? My November/December Power Points discuss the Possibility of Doing Less, as well as the benefits of and how to schedule an Executive Retreat from your work team.

November/December 2019 Power Points

Time for Your Executive Retreat?

When was the last time you invested in making designated time for your team to pause, come and think collaboratively?

You may be thinking, “yes, we do strategic planning every year”. While yearly strategic planning is necessary, I’m suggesting something even more important: think time away from daily pressures, emails, and other distractions.

A powerfully effective retreat provides senior leadership teams some or all the following:

  • Time to enjoy each other
  • Stronger team identity
  • Better connections based on trust
  • A safe space to ask, challenge & productively work through conflict
  • A fresh perspective to frame how we move forward
  • Renewed commitment to follow through

An executive retreat is presented by an experienced, trusted Coach, planned with input from the senior team and based on the current needs, strengths and challenges of the organization.

Team building & socializing is essential as is a serious commitment to professional growth and the pursuit of big, hairy, audacious goals! *Jim Collins Good to Great.

If you are considering this investment in evolutionary progress for your organization, contact

The Possibility of Doing Less

Sue was the vice president of a subsidiary of an international parent company. She had responsibilities for five direct reports and indirectly, of another 30 employees. She served on the executive leadership team of her company and several committees. Additionally, her role required that she served on a key committee for the parent company. This required frequent travel to Germany. Sue was dedicated, determined and of high integrity yet she often worried that she was leaving something undone or not done well.

In her Personal life, she was the single mother of two elementary school children and the sole caretaker for elderly parents who lived 30 minutes away. Sue reached out to me at Ascend Consulting for coaching, because the holidays were coming up and the added stress made her realize something had to change! It is often said, “if you want something done, ask a busy woman.” While this may be true, as my grandmother used to say, “there is a limit to all things!”

Sue and I began our coaching conversation with assessment. We explored her current vision of leadership, when & how she delegated to direct reports and the amount and nature of feedback she gave them. We also got clear about her definition of what it meant to be a “good mom.” Sue realized that more often than not, she didn’t ask for help, she didn’t delegate enough, and she held herself to unrealistic standards without checking out her expectations with her boss, her parents, or her children.

Through coaching, I shared with her the concept of creating a “we” mindset rather than an “I” mentality. This meant having open fact-finding and brainstorming conversations with her team and her kids about what really needed to happen and how. She stopped making assumptions about what her performance should be. Rather, she learned to check out with her boss what his top priorities actually were and what the definition of done “well enough” really was in each case.

As a result, Sue began to see many opportunities to do things with a little less angst and with a lot more empowerment of others. Most of all, she began to enjoy what she was doing and to allow others to create an atmosphere of ownership and collaboration. The result was greater enjoyment of everyone’s accomplishments- both at work and at home.

As Sue did less & was choosy about her definition of achievement, she had more time to listen to colleagues and spend quality time with her children. Turned out when they talked about what mattered most to them, her children chose playing board games with Sue rather spending her weekends on creating a perfectly decorated home.

So, as each of you go into the holiday season this might be a great time to reconsider some of you own definitions of leadership delegation, achievement, and perfection. It may just turn out that less really is more!

Mindfulness Meditation Group Starting in October