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Navigating Your Ocean

What's the relationship to Business Psychological Consulting?

Whew!'s Business Psychological Consulting Engagements 

Are Booked Through February 2022

Whew! partners with clients to provide customer-specific solutions. We intentionally keep our active client list small so that we can give each client the kind of attention that facilitates meaningful, lasting transformation. 

Our approach also gives us an opportunity to engage in the kind of innovation that fosters new learning and the development of new evidence-based practices.  

We partner with corporations, schools, government and non- profit organizations.  If you are interested in learning more about Whew!'s multi-disciplinary, evidenced based approach and our application of psychological principles to solve business and organizational problems, we want to hear from you. Contact us today to learn more.   

Business Psychological Consulting

Business Psychological Consulting is the practical use of psychological principles and research methods to solve problems in the workplace and improve the quality of life.

Whew! Offers:

* DEI Consulting

* Employee wellness and mental health, engagement and quality of life

* Organizational change and development, including consulting related to profitability, improvement of organizational structure, enhanced innovation, and creativity

* Assistance with performance management

* Employee training and development

Whew! Works With:

* Corporations

* Schools

* Government agencies

* Nonprofit organizations

* Other groups, including professional associations and other membership organizations

Change Points

Whew! helps organizations navigate Change Points.

Whew!'s use of the term  “Change Point” evolved out of Founder & CEO Desyree Dixon's conversations with clients. When considering their handling of some unexpected adverse event, clients often beat themselves up for being unable to "see the opportunity in the crisis."

The notion that crisis situations give rise to opportunity is a popular idea, put forth in both business and personal settings. The popularity of this mantra can cause us to feel pressure to dismiss or minimize difficult situations when they arise, or to see and appreciate the "good aspects" of such situations.

These feelings of failure and guilt were so strong with one client that Desyree decided to research with them where this idea came from. There is a famous JFK quote from one of his speeches that says, “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis'. One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.”

The client disagreed with this idea because their personal experience with crisis situations were all horrible. Crisis caused fear and anxiety, not opportunity.  Desyree agreed. 

Crisis isn't always good. Nor are we failures for being unable to see the opportunity in a crisis. It's okay to say, "This is really horrible." Or to grieve.

It turns out the client was onto something. Desyree and the client's research led them to the work of Prof. Victor Mair, a sinologist and Professor of Chinese at the University of Pennsylvania. According to Prof. Mair, there are indeed two Chinese characters used to define the term "crisis." The first character does mean "dangerous" or "precarious." However, as for the second term: 

"The jī of wēijī, in fact, means something like “incipient moment; crucial point (when something begins or changes).” Thus, a wēijī is indeed a genuine crisis, a dangerous moment, a time when things start to go awry. A wēijī indicates a perilous situation when one should be especially wary. It is not a juncture when one goes looking for advantages and benefits. In a crisis, one wants above all to save one's skin and neck!"

See  Weir, V.H. (last revised September 2009). danger plus opportunity ≠ crisis. How a misunderstanding about Chinese characters has led many astray. Online:

This means that following a crisis the person or organization may not be the same after the crisis as they were before. This may be due to the effect of the crisis itself, or by virtue of how the person chooses to respond to it. This divergence due to crisis may be profound and life-altering. Weir's translation affirms the real-world esperience of many of Desyree's clients. Often when we face a crisis, especially if the scope of the crisis is big enough, it does in fact equal what Whew! calls a Change Point, a "crucial point when something changes, a dangerous moment, a time when things can start to go awry."

The first step in dealing with a Change Point - and this applies to both individuals and organizations - is seeing it for what it truly is and being honest about it, especially to ourselves. The truth may be that there is the potential for adverse consequences, maybe major setbacks.

Opportunities may come later, after we've done the hard work of navigating that Change Point.

Navigating Your Ocean

Whew! uses the ocean and related concepts to conceptualize the encompassing societal influences that shape core identity, and in turn our beliefs and behavior. These influences also impact how we feel about ourselves, and what we believe we're capable of doing.

The influence of our oceans can be difficult to fully appreciate because "we're swimming in it." It surrounds us and submerges us and has done so every moment of every day, since birth.

We once viewed the personal and professional as separate silos. The rule was "keep your personal business separate from work." Today, people increasingly understand that this isn't possible We bring our personal selves and core identity to work. We bring it even if we try to suppress or mask it.

Our core identity profile and history doesn't just impact us personally, it has significant impact on our professional lives, as well. It affects how we show up to perform our jobs, and how we engage with colleagues, customers and other stakeholders. The core identity profile of organizational leaders will impact how they relate to their employees and how they manage the organization.

Organizations are comprised of people. People are the engine that powers organizations. Organizational identity reflects the core identities of its people. It is impossible to meaningfully transform organizations without also transforming their people.  If individuals don't understand and manage the effects of core identity, it will nevertheless guide them.

Employees who invest the effort to see, understand and manage their personal core identity profile and the ocean of influences that shape it will improve the way they show up in all aspects of life, including work. This is why Whew!'s organizational consulting approach starts with individual people.


Why Having Empathy Works

The concept and value of individual empathy is well known. In recent years, as empathy's importance in organizational settings has become increasingly prevalent, leaders are now starting to consider and define "Organizational Empathy."

"Organizational Empathy" can be defined as "a concept that really is about putting individual empathy into a system and creating a culture of trust, listening and selective action on things that matter."

Voss Eriksen, S., CEO of Tapad Engineering. (April 20, 2020). Organizational empathy. Online:

Studies show that empathy has become an important factor in the business world, and it is likely to become more important with time, evolution in consumer interests, and changes in workforce demographics.

Empathy is associated with increased sales, performance enhancement, and more innovative product development.

See Martinuzzi, B. What's empathy got to do with it? How to exercise your thinking and feeling muscle. Online.


"We live in a cynical world, a cynical world; and we work in a business of tough competitors."

- Jerry Maguire, 1996

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