Coaching. Counseling. Teaching. Consulting. I do it all. And I’m an artist. Imagine that.
Once upon a time, a recruiter at a London job fair for overseas teachers took a look at my CV and asked me what I did. ie. Which ONE did I do? She was confused. I had emphasized three strands in my work based upon my deep love of and history with them all: counseling, teaching and arts management. Hers was a question designed to haul me up and make me make myself smaller.
Well, I refuse.
I do them all and have worn all of these hats for decades.
Read on, if you are looking for a coach, to learn more about my collaborative ways of working:
(ANALYTIC, PERSON-CENTRED, FEMINIST/INCLUSIVE, EXISTENTIAL = INTEGRATIVE)
Relational, existential, person-centred coaching is focused on you here and now: your empowerment, decisions, and awareness of what is at the root of your conflict, which may be showing up as anxiety, fear, resistance, rumination and suffering. All of these are natural and part of the human experience. Yet they may be debilitating personally even if you are highly functioning professionally.
We’re on a journey of discovery together. Trust and presence in our coaching relationship are what provide a powerful impetus for change. While we will likely look back at some of the events that have impacted you, the present is the most powerful way to approach any presenting challenges, because these are happening right now.
Together we work to understand what is happening; then rebalance what’s not working in your personal or professional life. We analyze what is causing you difficulty and go to the heart of the problem so that you can begin to think, feel, and do things differently.
You should know that altering any combination of thoughts, feelings and behaviors can lead to change. Most people don’t know this, but awareness alone is enough to prompt significant change, too, though action is better than analysis alone. So we will work in a variety of ways to get things moving in the direction you would like them to go.
I COACH FROM A FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE. THIS ACTUALLY APPLIES TO PEOPLE OF ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. WE EXAMINE SYSTEMS AND CULTURAL CONTEXTS WHICH MAY BE LIMITING OR RESTRICTING YOU.
Individually, you may be dealing with systemic issues that are literally not in your favor. Gender roles, racial inequity, agism and more can lead to power differentials and toxic or limiting environments. Identifying the forces going against you enables you to look at how to challenge or leave these situations, which is empowering.
From an organizational standpoint, I support companies that could be categorized as ‘firms of endearment’. These are ethically oriented organizations that prioritize all stakeholders and consider impacts on community and society at large. Marrying the needs of all stakeholders creates a win-win situation and promotes sustainability in organizations.
I work with organizations to look at how values and ethics drive your mission. We work with strategic plans that can be simple or complex, but better than this…we engage in iterative, flexible, adaptive planning for change. Strategic planning and iterative planning work beautifully to anticipate needs and challenges ahead.
WHY LOOK WITHIN AND OUTSIDE OF OURSELVES FOR ANSWERS?
Absolutely everything in life is relational.
Gestalt therapists and many others in business, philosophy, and Adlerian and family systems therapy teach us that. The living planet and its eco-systems teach us that. We are complex beings living in a complex world. We are systems within systems, interconnected and interrelated. As such, we must not dismiss the importance the complex world we are living in, for this directly impacts each one and all of us in uniquely personal ways.
You cannot change one area of your life without considering what else may be at play within your ‘environment’ – people, work, society – and how that impacts your living conditions, social opportunities, professional status, and fundamentally you. Covid-19 has taught us that. Real forces larger than ourselves do overtake us sometimes. By taking a systems view of life, we can plan better and plan for risk.
Having a ‘systems perspective’ gives you a better view of what is happening as you consider the systemic challenges that restrict or keep you down. Increased awareness of the large picture, done in a playful way sometimes, can unlock new and barely considered perspectives on how to live and be.
THE ULTIMATE COACHING GOAL? PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL EMPOWERMENT! REDUCE RESTRICTION / ENHANCE FREEDOM
The ultimate goal of therapy, as well as coaching and counselling, is to address personal and professional issues that restrict freedom. This is a more precise way of saying: personal and professional empowerment.
As we learn about the choices we make and what we are doing to ourselves, we learn to be kinder and more authentic. This requires self-compassion, and I have a range of tools that will help you with this.
People I coach are often intent upon finding one this thing that can help achieve them freedom and peace: balance.
You may also be seeking existential freedom (from pain or sadness) because something has come up for you at this time in your life: midlife issues, medical issues, disappointments, regrets, and the fear of illness and death. Various life stages trigger expectations we have of ourselves. It would be an honour to help you achieve inner peace as you ride the waves of life and learn to be kinder to yourself and more accepting of what is within your control and what is not.
Organizations also grow over time, in stages and unpredictably as they adapt to natural forces that work for and against them.. I would be delighted to help you look at your organization through the lens of its ‘growth stages’ to help you to make sense of what this means for you.
Existential thinking focuses specifically on the meaning of what is happening. By examining ‘meaning’, this imbues a person or company with new life and purpose. I hope this has given you some interesting things to consider.
LENGTH OF PROCESS
The coaching, consulting, or training process is entirely personal: short and laser-focused or open-ended. You may wish to take one of my workshops or courses, to start, then decide you’d like to continue with personal coaching. I find a simple chat is enough to determine if I can help you to grow.
The first step is to determine if there is a ‘good fit’ in our professional relationship. I am comfortable moving between coaching and consultancy roles, and I have a qualified list of professionals who can be called upon to support you, too.
WANT TO EXPLORE THE POTENTIAL OF A COLLABORATIVE COACHING EXPERIENCE?
Change begins with the genuine desire (or desperation, depending on where you are in your experience) to open your eyes and heart to the truth of where you are, where you want to be, what is happening, and what you have to work with. What is required of you for a successful outcome are clarity and commitment.
One question to help us both know if we should work together:
Are we the right fit for this problem or challenge at this time?
Sometimes the time isn’t right, or the fit isn’t right, or the people aren’t a good match.
COFFEE AND A CHAT…
If you’re anywhere near where I am, let me buy you a coffee and let’s have a chat to see if we might be a good fit. Otherwise, I’d love to meet you online, each with our own cuppa – whatever is convenient for you.
Reach out and let’s connect!