I want my daughter to be discerning and exercising good judgment as a driver, but not get caught up in reacting to and judging others. It echoes a key agreement with my partner, in which she and I speak up for what we need rather than judge what we don’t like about the other person in the moment. It is about attending to the present more than assessing the person; about honing our wisdom more than honing our criticism.
This stance has a lot in common with narrative coaching and design, bodies of work that are often described as the intersection of East and West. We teach practitioners how to be radically present to what IS without judgment (East). This enables them—and those they work with— to connect more honestly with themselves, each other and the stories in play. This based in our experience that people learn and develop best when they can first notice, without judgment, the stories they are currently telling and living. This gives them a more accurate point of reference for exploring what IF so they can achieve new results (West).
In working narratively, we refrain from making normative judgments such as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Instead, we work with a nonjudgmental openness and a trust in the potential usability of all experience in the service of growth. It is about working with compassionate candor (East + West) so that we can have real conversations in real time. If you favor one, do you coach more for the East or the West? How might you develop the other stance to grow as a practitioner, particularly in releasing your judgments?
Thinking about judgment this way reflects three of the paradoxes in working with people’s stories:
Would you like to learn to coach like this?
Next online narrative coaching course starts June 6th!
This is the last chance to take the course as part of a smaller group. ONLY FIVE SPACES LEFT! It is a wonderful and intimate opportunity to learn the essential elements of this work with colleagues from around the world. It gives you plenty of opportunities to work closely on issues that matter to you in your life and work. This is based in our core belief that it is developing ourselves as an instrument that we can do our most powerful work for others. The course includes over 200 pages of material, over 20 tools, and coaching by David and your peers. You can find out more and register at http://www.narrativecoaching.com/narrative-coaching-for-practitioners.html.
Dr David Drake is the founder of the field of Narrative Coaching.