Skip to content

Leading with Resilience and Clarity for Innovation and Growth


Expand your Capacity to Navigate Complexity

Landscape for Complexity - Landing page

In today’s world, new skills, habits, and approaches and different ways of thinking are required for sustained success and vitality for individuals, teams, and organizations. Individually and collectively, we need to tap into a broader set of capacities for effective action to realize our goals and objectives.

Let us help you navigate the complex realities of your experience through advanced and customized programs and processes that expand your capacity for inquiry, learning, development, innovation, and effective action.

Skype Call Group
Chess Bridge
Fenix Leadership Small Logo

Candor & Diplomacy in the
Context of Conflict and Change

Presenter: Sandra M. Martínez, Ph.D, PCC

When to speak forthrightly about what we are sensing and feeling?  How to say it and to whom?  How does our desire to speak with candor and, alternatively, the need for diplomacy align with our goals?  What are the consequences of speaking up or not doing so.

The tension of Candor & Diplomacy influences all of us in public settings, at work, and at home. This is especially apparent in conversations amid conflict, uncertainty, and
change. This tension plays out differently depending on an individual’s relationship to the dominant culture in an organization. Often, individuals with perspectives, identities, and backgrounds that differ from the majority culture are impacted differently.

The necessity to participate with more confidence, humility, and skill in these potentially fraught conversations is arising more frequently in our workplaces.

At Fénix Leadership & Development we customize a 3-hour virtual or in-person workshop to respond to your needs and organizational context.

Sandra M. Martínez, Ph.D, PCC

President and Founder

Sandra M. Martínez is the President and Founder of Fénix Leadership & Development.  She is a seasoned executive coach and consulting professional with
more than 20 years of experience working with strategic leaders in the U.S. and abroad.  She assists her clients in expanding their understanding of self, growing their awareness of the impact of their behavior on others, and broadening their repertoire of leadership perspectives and strategies.  This enables them to lead more effectively in complex situations, turbulence and uncertainty.  Formerly an instructor and researcher associated with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, she also served on the faculty of the U.S. Army War College as the Transformation Chair, with a mandate to prepare national security professionals for leadership in turbulent and complex environments.  

Sandra’s work has always been grounded in recognizing the intrinsic value and potential contributions of all cultures, races, and ethnic groups to address the challenges we collectively face.  She believes that diversity and inclusion are strategic imperatives for organizations.  Thus, it is critical for organizations to create psychologically safe spaces where individuals can grow and thrive equitably. Through her experience coaching leaders of color, her support of women in the U.S. and abroad, and her own life experience, she has learned to leverage the dynamics of conversation as a pathway to the emergence of understanding, empathy, inclusion and constructive change.

Our services and programs gives you the opportunity to:


Experiential Learning

  • Experience two days of highly interactive immersion into the complexity and paradox of three critical challenges: Diversity & Inclusion, Supporting High-Achieving Women and Cultivating Innovation
  • Learn to identify the paradoxes at play in situations presenting competing demands and values

Sensing And Leveraging Leadership Paradoxes

·      Populate the Polarity Maps® of salient tensions to better ‘see’ the interrelated dynamics and broaden choices for effective action

·      Practice tools and approaches that account for the complexity and ambiguity of challenges in moving toward greater clarity and effective action


Improvising to design action

  • Through jazz improvisation, learn to act in the midst of uncertainty and change
  • Expand your network of leaders seeking to develop their capacity and grow in their awareness of their own perspectives, assumptions, and worldview
Guitar Improvisation

Conversations to build trust and awareness

  • Develop a deeper awareness of your own ambivalence and defense mechanism
  • Expand your capacity to communicate in difficult and complex situations


“Dr. Martinez’s thoughtful, insightful approach of blending jazz improvisation with leadership tools I can use in complex adaptive systems created a powerful environment in which to learn. My excitement and enthusiasm are heightened and I am actively noticing paradoxes and polarities in discussions I have with my team members and leaders.”

Senior Leader

National Security

“With Sandra’s support as my executive coach, I made significant progress in my leadership development and I am much more confident about my leadership capacity. This coaching experience positively impacted my day-to-day operations. I am experiencing different patterns of thinking and behavior on a daily basis, in particular I now recognize and step back from my immediate and more primitive reactions to a crisis to consider other options and the impact of different options on the outcome of dealing with a difficult situation. I examine how my behavior might be contributing to the outcome. I empathize with people who are probably not acting in their best or the team’s best interest and have a greater appreciation of where they are in their development.”

“I enjoyed the way Dr. Martinez referred to evidence-based knowledge and behavioral insights and also provided me with materials that helped me to make sense of situations we were discussing. She has an innate ability to translate the conversation in a way that pushes one to consider the whole picture, and even see points of views one had not explored beforehand. I am now committed to continue to nurture this side of my professional life, as much as I nurture the scientific and content expert side. I would work with Sandra again and highly recommend her to others, especially those who seek to be challenged to accelerate their leadership capacity.”

Senior Leader, Research and Public Health administration

Senior Leader

“Experiencing Sandra’s coaching led to a transformational change in my leadership style. Creating an open environment for discussion, reflection and positive challenge, Sandra has taken my leadership performance to new heights and enabled me to engage with greater influence and positive outcomes across all organizational levels.”

Senior Leader

Multinational Consumer and Industrial Business

Dr. Cathy Downes

“It has been a real privilege and treat to work with Dr. Sandra Martinez. She researches, understands and shares concepts of leadership and leader development in a highly integrative and interconnected way. Her research is deep and thorough-going. Her ability to diagnose and focus in on organizational, institutional and cultural issues that affect the abilities of leaders is unusual and goes well beyond just surface problems and conditions. She is highly professional in her coaching and consulting practice and authentic and genuine in her desire to assist clients. ”        

Dr. Cathy Downes

Professor, National Defense University

For more information



Email Address:

Social Media:
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Cookie Consent

To learn more about our data practices, please see our recently updated Privacy Policy. We also use cookies and similar tracking technologies to give you a better experience , improve performance, analyze traffic, and to personalize content and ads. Find out more and control how cookies are used by clicking Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. By continuing this website you agree to the use of cookies.