What mattered was what we had in common: caring for an aging mother, honoring nature and the land, parenting a teenager these days, thinking back on simpler times, and finding a good rhythm in working together. It was a reminder again of our shared humanity and the fact that we all are seeking to meet our needs the best we know how. In breaking bread together at the edge of the pool we met as humans first and foremost, then used that trust to learn from one another. In so doing, we allowed ourselves to be changed by the conversation.
It is why we focus more on generating human experiences than on giving abstract explanations in our narrative coaching, leadership and change programs. We start from a non-judgmental position, a respect for the whole person, and an invitation to greater awareness as the prelude to growth. We enable our clients to change by not trying so hard to change, by noticing what is true right now, and by accessing what is already present. In so doing, they can free themselves from the boxes in which they place themselves and others, find common ground and develop new ways forward.
In the News
I will be presenting a pre-conference workshop on "Using Stories to Drive Change and Employee Engagement" at the SIOP Conference next month. Find out more at http://www.siop.org/Conferences/17con/regbk/workshops/ws03.aspx
If you want to learn more about my latest work with attachment theory in coaching, listen to my interview by my fellow Fielding graduate, Dr. Katrina Burrus, MCC, on "Creating Moments of Meeting in Coaching"!
2. Time is art. Our lives these days seem dominated by time as science: the clocks that schedule our lives, the algorithms that guide our choices, the billable hours that shape our business, the marketing that drives our consumption, and more. There is value in the science of time as evidenced by the formation of the drop as it falls into the water. However, there is also value in the art of time as evidenced by the reflection of the flowers in the drop. This led me to engage the beauty in the moment more often as a way to remember our shared humanity.
3. Time is. In our narrative coaching programs we talk a lot about how stories are formed from disruptions and point toward desires. It is easy to get caught up in all the disruptions around us, which often leads us to feel like we are not getting to our desires. This photo was a reminder of one of the questions we teach coaches: "What is this story trying to achieve or resolve?" Time just IS, but we can define it by our disruptions (or our distractions) or by our desires. It is about allowing ourselves to remain present to what is so we can connect more deeply to ourselves and others.
How can you experience time differently today?
In the News
Next online narrative coaching course starts June 6th!
This is the last chance to take the course in its current form. It is a wonderful and intimate opportunity to learn the essential elements of this work with colleagues from around the world. The course includes over 200 pages of material, over 20 tools, and opportunities for coaching by me and your peers. You can find out more and register at http://www.narrativecoaching.com/narrative-coaching-for-practitioners.html.
In August we start building our new program in collaboration with WBECS.
Interview by the Institute of Coaching
I am doing a webinar called, "Mindfulness in Motion: Creating Real Change in Real Time through Coaching" on June 21st. You can find out more and register here.
One of the strategies you can use to deepen your trust in going deeper:
Striving to catch up is often driven by the fear of missing out (FOMA). I have been experimenting with working as if I already had what I needed. I notice and ease my fears when they come up by sharing kindness rather than grasping. I notice and release others' fears when I am allowing them to define me. I more intentionally self-regulate to let my fears pass through me as much as I can. As a result, I can use that energy to get done more of what truly matters to me and my clients. There is no need in organizations for false urgencies like setting platforms on fire or false destinations like 'caught up'. There is only going below the surface of our fears and descending “with the grandeur of our ordinary tears” because it is the right way to behave.
We are already caught up. Everything we need is already here.
IN THE NEWS
ONLINE COURSE IN NARRATIVE COACHING
To learn about working with fear and self-regulation in coaching, join us for our next cohort starting February 28th!
It is a great opportunity to join with other coaches from around the world to learn about radical presence, applied mindfulness, Three Chairs, serious play and more. The course features nine webinars, an abundance of resources and tools, and an active online discussion forum. You can find out more and register here. We have only a few spots left. Is one of them yours?
INTERVIEW ON MOMENTS OF MEETING
Check out my interview at last year's Harvard Coaching Conference prior to presenting on the use of attachment theory and narrative coaching techniques to increase our clients' ability to transform their lives.
There are big actions to take and big problems to solve—and we need to show up to them. It is also true that brief interactions with others make up much of our daily lives. Part of my practice now is to look for 'moments of meeting', often in unexpected encounters, where we can simply connect as humans. It might be acknowledging a difficult experience (safe haven). It might be providing an opening for an expression of joy (secure base). It might be creating more spaciousness to formulate a new story (working model). These moments remind us that we can always pivot toward our shared humanity.
For example, I was walking by a city playground on the day the President announced his intent to impose a travel ban. I looked up and saw a teeter-totter with a Muslim woman and her child on one side and another Muslim woman (sister?) on the other side—smiling as they went up and down. We caught each others' eyes and shared in their happiness as the young girl and the other woman giggled with glee. It was as if they had vowed to carry on with and celebrate their lives despite the fears others were projecting on to them. At the end I said, "I am not sure who is having the most fun (the little girl or the other woman)—to which they all laughed with even greater joy. That minute, largely in silence, was the highlight of my day. Note: I didn't take a photo out of respect for them that day and because I wanted to feel the exchange rather than succumb to a need to 'capture' it on my phone.
Look for moments to cut through the noise and connect with the signal of your shared humanity.
It is about shifting frames, witnessing others and being vulnerable ourselves.
Give it a try, then post a comment about your experience.
IN THE NEWS
To learn more about using attachment theory in coaching, join us for our next online course starting February 28th!
It is a great opportunity to join with other coaches from around the world to learn about radical presence, applied mindfulness, Three Chairs, serious play and more. If you already know about the work, you can sign up here. If you would like to find out more first, you can do so here. We have only a few spots left. Is one of them yours?
To learn about moments of meeting and narrative coaching, check out my interview at last year's Harvard Coaching Conference.
If you are in the Seattle area on February 11th, I am doing a workshop at the Society of Consulting Psychology Conference. Check it out here: Using Attachment Theory to Develop Coaching Capabilities in Managers and Leaders
Dr David Drake is the founder of the field of Narrative Coaching.