It was tempting to run away from this experience, with an easy out that I didn't want to get stuck in that story. I soon realized though that I actually needed to be fully in the experience of what I blurted out so I could find the healing it offered. It proved to be an opening to a very important pivot in my current journey. It was the only way in. Once there, I could see the gift in it and make the shift.
It seems to me that much of what people look to us for in coaching is an expression of courageous compassion. They hope that we will hold space for them in all of their humanity. They want to feel we care for them without condition and from that place we will also be courageous to say what needs to be said . . . and ask the one question they most hope (and fear) we will ask them. They want us to go all in on both and not settle for some bland average. Your strength as a practitioner and their growth depend on it. Why settle for anything less?
I was reminded of this yet again in reading people's reflections on David Bowie's death. One in particular caught my attention as it captured the spirit of narrative coaching as a process that helps people get to and act on the crux of the matter. Read it and ask yourself, "Where can I be more courageously compassionate today?"
Part of our mission is to help organizations take a more human-centered approach to develop and engage with their people. Ironic, I know . . . Part of the beauty in so doing is that it turns out it is also better for the business and those it serves. The beauty comes not from adding more programs or perks, but from pruning anything and everything that impedes people from being at their best and contributing their best.
Narrative coaching and design enable people to get to the crux of their issues and resolve them as simply and elegantly as possible. No big binders or slide decks required. No fads or fancy terms necessary. Instead, they help everyone at work meet four core needs:
Are you getting what you need? How about others around you? What's getting in the way? Reach out to us if you would like to know more about what it takes for people (and organizations) to flourish.
To save on carbon costs yet still reach more people and organizations, we are proud to offer two 10-week online programs! They are rare and exciting opportunities to learn this work from their creator. Both courses start February 1.
The Narrative Coaching for Practitioners course provides an opportunity to learn the essentials of this work from its founder. It takes you deeper into David's new book on narrative coaching and will help you learn more about how to put it into practice.
The Narrative Design for Organizations course provides an opportunity to learn how to scale narrative coaching to resolve organizational issues. You will learn the fundamentals of integrative development theory, a new paradigm for developing people and organizations, and get coaching from David and your peers on your own project.
I drew my inspiration for the blog posts this year from Frederick Buechner's wonderful book, Alphabet of Grace. In it, he invites us to discover the hidden wisdom that can be gleaned through a heightened experience of daily life. This seemed fitting for a blog about narrative coaching and design and their focus on getting to the crux of the matter through simple, deeply human processes. In keeping with his alphabet, I will write about one element of this work each week—from A to Z.
Each post will be structured around the Pivoting tool from narrative coaching. Pivots are designed to help us be aware of moments when we have a choice between an old story we want to move away from and a new story we want to move toward. For example, "In this moment, will I avoid making the call to ask for the sale (because I am afraid to fail) or will I act (because I want to learn and improve)?
As you think about your life or practice, what is your golden cube? What is the old story that needs to be released or reconfigured so you can be more in alignment with what you truly want? For example, it could be a belief that you have to be completely prepared before you can even start. I know I often struggled with this one in the past. I integrated design thinking into this work in part because I recognized the value in just getting started sometimes. Align yourself with new stories that serve you AND be willing to break free of old stories when you need to adapt or grow. Start small; keep it simple; nudge yourself. That is the narrative coaching way.
CASE STUDY CLIENT: NIKE
Faced with a monumental change from dozens of systems into one integrated supply chain, Nike's change team engaged David Drake to help them identify and address issues that had emerged. David worked with the team to get to the crux of the matter and provided training on narrative coaching for the team and SMEs to help shift the culture in line with the new systems. The project was able to move forward with great success.
When Kerry Dawkins, Managing Director of Potential at Work in South Africa, was inspired to to design and facilitate an online Leader as Coach programme for a large global company, she wanted to create and provide a world class coaching program with depth, structure and new ideas that would interest and educate the busy leaders in coaching and improve their coaching skills, plus insure that the program structure was suitable for online facilitation. Learn how working with David Drake created the best possible outcome.
Hint: The answer to the question is “Yes!”
Nine ethical guidelines for narrative coaches. As part of our due diligence as professionals, it is incumbent upon coaches to be aware of our own unconscious biases and preferences that shape
Listening narratively. Narrative coaches stay in the lived experience of the conversation as much as possible. Some of the practices they use in doing so...