The large multipurpose room in the community college was full – chairs clustered around tables, and it buzzed with the hum of about 100 people saying hello to each other. And, there was an electricity in the room that felt exciting, unpredictable, and somewhat volatile. I was midway through a series of open dialogue meetings
Insights From the Field
by Ten Directions
Today, I’d like to share some feedback on an interesting dilemma that’s come across my desk. As you read this, see if you can find in your own experience a moment when this might have been true for you. You might also engage in thinking about your immediate response and whether you’re “listening to fix
A few years ago, after working with a business coach, I decided that self-care would be the central focus of my work. I chose a group coaching model where I bought 20 women at a time through a 10-week self-care reconditioning. This process included web content, group phone calls, and culminated in a three-day in-person
Emergence. A word filled with openness, possibilities, and novelty. I often witness it with teams I work with, and it is truly beautiful to see a group of people unlocking new ideas that will carry them a little further. The resulting burst of positive energy and motivation creates momentum and amazing outcomes. As a
While I’m not aware of my fears all the time, when facilitating groups, my “big fear” becomes very alive. Will I be able to serve this group well? Will I be able to intervene when necessary? Or, will I fall into my habitual pattern and avoid getting messy? And so it goes, on and
“I hate this exercise,” she announced in moment of quiet as the group sat working diligently on their own. “I am sick of having to use my own oppression to teach white people about their privilege,” one of the only women of colour in the group angrily proclaimed, sitting back, arms crossed, challenging
I have been trying to find purpose and meaning in my life for a long time. Looking back, I would say at least since high school. What is it that we, and in particular I, am here for? What is it that will bring me passion and fill my heart? I searched for it
As a psychologist and political scientist, I always felt drawn to two “acupuncture points”; engaging systemic structures and causes that give rise to deeply challenging societal conditions, and serving individuals in their own evolution into “being for life.” In my work right now I’m addressing both of these expressions through several new and exciting
A few years ago, I was asked to work with the board of a housing co-op who were having issues around workload equity. Resentments were brewing because a few members had become burdened with the lion’s share of the work. Before our first meeting, I was warned about the board’s ‘problem child’: a longtime
“Let’s have a working lunch so we can make sure to get through all the content.” When a client says something like that to me, I experience contraction and agitation. Why? Because this frame places a premium on the “content” (or the “it”). I am now simply a “content” dispenser and the groups I’m
Recently I was hired to work with an intact team whose presenting issue was poor communication, with associated breakdowns in collaboration and decision-making. They knew they “needed to communicate better,” and by all accounts, they were absolutely right.
Twenty years ago, I made my debut as an organizational psychologist. Perhaps influenced by academics and my former life as an accountant, my envisioned ideal was a neutral, even stoic, helping professional. But I failed spectacularly; I have always had preferences and get very passionate around values, ethics and methods in organizations and leadership. I’m
A big ah-ha from the field: Successful self-management depends on this. Many teams and organizations, especially in the last few years since the rise of Holacracy and the popularity of Reinventing Organizations, are transitioning to self-management—or at least sniffing around the possibility.