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February 28, 2017 Dinner Meeting

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Jesse CombsPowerful Non-Defensive Communication™ (PNDC): Cutting Edge Skills for Project Managers

Presenter: Jesse Combs, Founder/Principal Consultant, Clearstream Consulting, LLC and Partner, Institute of PNDC

For many project managers, being caught between multiple stakeholder groups with different expectations and agendas can lead to significant levels of anxiety and confusion. And when our personal defensive mechanisms are triggered in response, physiological changes in the brain occur which make it more difficult to think clearly and respond appropriately, ultimately rendering us less effective at resolving the issues at hand.
In this talk, Powerful Non-Defensive Communication or “PNDC” will be presented as an alternative method of responding to and navigating situations that have, in the past, consistently triggered our defensive reactions. We’ll first review the current “War Model” of communication, where “to be open is to be vulnerable and to be vulnerable is to be weak,” and corresponding physiology of defensiveness as well as the dynamics of power struggle. Then we’ll discuss a new way of using tools of communication like questions, statements, and predictions to shift away from outdated and obsolete methods of communicating, using real-world project management examples.

Location: Twisted Fork Restaurant

PDU: 1

pdf February Dinner Meeting Presentation (1.17 MB)

Jesse's Bio:

Regarding these real-world examples, Jesse would like to gather at least some from you all as members of PMI Northern Nevada. And so, if you have any examples you’d like to submit of typical defense-triggering project management situations, please send them to him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. He will also be soliciting your ideas via our chapter’s LinkedIn group. Finally, anyone who attends this talk can receive for free the audio download of the 80-minute overview of PNDC called “PNDC Principles and Practical Skills” (an $18 value) read by the creator of PNDC, Sharon Ellison.

Jesse Combs began his career as a molecular biology researcher 25 years ago on the Human Genome Project, and then spent the next 10 years in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry. Always drawn to the IT aspects of his work, Jesse migrated full-time in 2000 to execution of IT-related business projects, first as a web developer and then as a project/program manager. He has spent the last decade as a project/program management consultant in diverse engagements with companies like Nike, Providence Health Systems and Wacom Technology.
Jesse has consistently been recognized for his outstanding project and people management skills, and particularly for his ability to expertly navigate difficult project and interpersonal situations while remaining calm under pressure.

Communication skills are commonly recognized as being among the most important tools in a project manager’s repertoire. Jesse has worked diligently over the years to cultivate his expertise in this area, with significant focus on the study and practice of PNDC. He is now a partner in the family-run Institute of PNDC, collaborating withhis mother-in-law and wife to take this new model to the next level.

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