Last week, in a quiet café, I witnessed two intelligent people shouting at each other over a latte. Neither seemed once to listen to the other, in their twenty-minute heated exchange. I speculated that if I had interrupted them and asked each what the other had just said, they would have been unable to say… I was reminded of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, when the bard cautions us not to let life become a tale ‘full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’.
When she told me that, “Our coaches are hired to help us maximise the efficiency of our workforce,” I lost all interest in the prospective new client and walked away from the pitch.
“A colleague has put a knife in my back and now we have to work closely together on an important major project. How can I trust him?”
When we are learning to constellate, at first we pay great attention to developing skills and technique. While these are important, we also soon learn that they are completely insufficient – our clients are not helped as fully as they could be by the mechanics of methodology alone...
The various forms of Organisational Development, such as coaching, teambuilding, facilitation, consulting, leadership development and others, are forms of helping. Seen systemically, helping can strengthen, but it can also weaken – in part because it can establish dependence, and also the inner movement of wanting to help can put us above our clients, and therefore subtly infantilise them.
New research is returning challenging findings that a 3-day working week offers increased productivity benefits. It’s official - we can achieve more by doing less…
To parody Otto Scharmer, there is a blindspot in coaching theory, training and practice, as well as in our everyday social experience. This blindspot concerns the outer place – the physical environment – where the coaching is situated.
Being ‘solutions-focused’ as coaches does not always serve our clients. Heresy, perhaps, but I think we can be more effective when we orient to the underlying need of a client, which is so often about a desire to be resourced through the quality of the relationship alone, rather than through solving a problem.
I felt seething fury last week. I had avoided giving a colleague some difficult feedback about the impact working with him was having on me, and eventually he confronted me about the inevitable leakage of my irritation. I was not pleased with myself for avoiding giving timely feedback, nor was I best pleased with him for the public confrontation. While we ironed out our differences, the situation got me reflecting on how to have ‘courageous conversations’.
What moves you? What turns you on or off? How do you get your needs met? And how far will you go to get what you want?