When your company exists to produce electricity and you fail to generate power, relationships fray. That’s what happened to the South Texas Project (STP) when a series of complex technical issues resulted in the shutdown of a nuclear reactor.

“I saw a degradation of behaviors, finger pointing, and teams becoming siloed and failing to work together as we were trained to do,” says Ed Halpin, president and CEO of the 1,200-person company located 80 miles southwest of Houston.

Eventually, STP worked through the crisis and got the reactor back online, but the experience left emotional scars among longtime workers. “I recognized that our leadership toolbox lacked the ability to engage correctly without getting emotional or telling stories about each other,” Halpin says. “That deficiency, in some cases, protracted the resolution of issues.”

The CEO set out to fill this skill gap.

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