Individuals at different levels within both public and private sector organizations are increasingly employing coaches who work outside their organizations. This chapter explores the author’s way of developing a coaching relationship, viewing it through different lenses. First, the lens of experience is used to explore how coaching relationships unfold to offer insight into the client’s situation. Second, the theoretical lenses of systemic, psychoanalytic, and attachment theories are used to examine the dynamics at work during this development. The life cycle of a coaching relationship is offered as a framework to demonstrate how the relationship can release leadership potential and resources.
Setting the scene
There are many different approaches to coaching. This chapter focuses on a coaching style that has grown out of systemic and psychoanalytic traditions. The elements that are primarily examined with this style of coaching are the client in role and the client in his/her organizational context. An understanding of the presenting issues comes about through examination of the client’s personal and work history, organizational dynamics, task and role clarification, and the primary task of the organization, together with its history and context. The experience and feelings that are generated between client and coach, together with dreams and free associations, are used to enhance understanding. The insights gained and the connections made between these layers of meaning are used to design actions and strategies that link the person, role and organization together towards productive outcomes.
146 Critical Essays in his turn have emotions stirred within him? Realists prescribe the latter,
English writers as a rule prefer the former method. But the queer Irish, with Lord Dunsany at their heads… Ah, they know what they are up to.
Because the lesson of the Gods of the Mountain is this: There was a grocer at Putney with sandy whiskers and a lewd mind. But he pretended to be a Puritan with great skill. So the inhabitants of Putney made him a church-warden, and he was then in so prominent a position that he never, never, never once got a chance of going off to Brighton with one of his shopgirls. That is a very good lesson for unser’ Zeit. But Lord Dunsany makes you believe that it is a story of before the fall of Babylon and that his green jade gods have taken the place of the Ancient of Days and the
Fabian leaders. It is the clever man that he is!
Outlook, 33 (11 April 1914), 494–5.
XXXIV. Miss May Sinclair and The Judgment of Eve
A gentleman who made a considerable addition to his income – an addition quite enviable – by writing short stories for American magazines, once told me that he dare not adopt that device as a permanent occupation, because all short-story writers die mad. He was rather a mad sort of person…
I remember when I was a kid and my parents told me to do this or that. Invariably, I’d respond with “But, Dad—,” and invariably, the response was “No buts.” Il was constantly frustrated with this response and yet had no recourse. I knew that I had something earth-shatteringly important to say to my parents that would absolutely change their minds about the issue under discussion, and I had no way to communicate it. I was stuck.
Only years later did I learn that the magic word ending those discussions was but. But is an interesting word. The definition of but is “on the contrary.” Every time we speak that word, we are saying “No, that isn’t right.” Not a great way to start a dialogue, is it? If you’re looking for common ground, if you’re seeking a Third Way, but is about the worst word in the English language to use. It creates an immediate barrier between the people attempting to communicate with each other. When I said the word but to my parents, they knew what was coming: a teenager’s extremely well-thought-out argument why a curfew of 10:00 p.m. was completely unreasonable, with a host of twenty reasons and examples showing why, followed by a brief episode of pouting and hating the entire world. No wonder they shut down any discussion and sent me to my room. I had gone about it all wrong by starting with the word but. Using but never got me what I wanted, and it always left me disappointed.