Karen Valencic,  Founder & Author

From black mark to black belt! It's been a journey!

As a young female engineer, the first one at my company, I worked hard to please. When conflict occurred I mostly tried to roll with it.   

At one point, I found myself working with a team leader who was super intelligent, a micromanager, and loud!  The overt criticism I received caused me to retreat and question myself - it also was embarrassing!

Frustrated, I asked my boss for guidance. While interested and appearing concerned - didn't offer direction. I don't believe he knew what to say or do.

Then, I finally spoke up once to my team leader, which was so liberating for me. My co-workers privately applauded me for finally drawing the line. 

Though, I was the one who got a black mark on my record. 
Always a high performer  - this communication challenge eluded me. 

My life radically changed when I learned and applied the principles of Aikido – it taught me how to express myself in a way that honors myself and others.

My experience reveals to me how many people, in all positions, react or retreat when difficult or uncomfortable situations occur.  I feel so fortunate to have experienced another team that was so collaborative - drawing the best out in everyone.  The innovations from this team were pivotal in the technology we have today.

Now, I have a mission to help others find a better way!  I've named it "Spiral Impact".

Few people know how to master conflict and create situations that prompt positive engagement and innovation - my mission is to change that!