On a hot summer day in Brooklyn, I sat around a lunch table with my colleagues talking about Wholeness. In particular, our emotional wholeness in the context of work.
Recently, I’ve found myself really struggling when working with teams that are striving to invite in the “whole self” into the workplace. I was asking my colleagues what their experiences were in this dimension, and one of them shared a poignant example that helped me understand where I was getting stuck.Read more
For the past 10 years, I’ve been immersed helping leaders and leadership teams develop more robust skills to help guide and shape their organizations, the markets they compete in, and the communities they operate in. I often see short-termism crippling boards, executive teams, and seasoned managers. (more…)Read more
I was in my mid-twenties when I made the conscious choice to find the answers to some very important questions. An unexpected pregnancy had thrown me into an existential crisis and forced me to come to terms with my life choices. It became clear that I needed to begin to make decisions from my own moral compass and intuition rather than following others’ ideas and beliefs about what was right or wrong. Locating that inner compass took time. It also took practice to cultivate its sustainability. (more…)Read more
As aspiring individuals and coaches alike, we are often inherently biased towards short term outcomes. Maybe as a coach, you’re looking ahead at six sessions where you are committed to quickly impacting your client’s life. Or, perhaps you’ve committed to six months to making some more substantive changes in your professional context and are eager to see the results. Or maybe the challenges you’re grappling with are changes that will inherently take you the next two years of concerted efforts to generate. (more…)Read more
In this short video clip below, Diane Musho Hamilton shares her wisdom about how emotional maturity increases alongside our willingness to feel our own difficult emotions such as fear, confusion or anger. Moreover, the degree to which we can be present with others’ emotions depends on how comfortable we are with our own.Read more
In this 1-minute video clip below, Diane Musho Hamilton shares her insights about the fluid and dynamic quality of emotions. She describes our human tendency to either repress our feelings or wallow in them, and how we can instead learn to receive their energy and wisdom as they flow in and out of our lives and relationships.
This video offers a glimpse into what you can look forward to in our new live online training, Willing to Feel: Essential Skills for Emotional Maturity. This inspiring course will support you to learn to ride your emotional swells in service of more meaningful and empowered relating, leading and collaborating. You can find out more or register here.Read more
I needed a breakthrough. Two important group facilitation events loomed in my near future. While I felt excited about them, I also felt terrified. As a lifelong writer who is more comfortable in the writing cave and in one-to-one mentoring situations, the very thought of guiding a group of writers gave me a chill. This was something I had veered away from religiously. But now, doors were opening and I felt called to step across the threshold. I could no longer say no. (more…)Read more
In my experience, any time we engage in a conversation about our differences with an intention to prove the other side wrong, we’re heading for a dead end. When we take a right-wrong stance to any conversation about difference — whether it’s about race or gender, politics or religion — it reveals that we’re more interested in affirming our positions (and our sense of self tied to those positions) than anything else.
Engaging this way also rests on a hidden belief: that the tension between our differences can be fixed. Even if by some miracle – by simply pointing out why “my” difference is right and “yours” is wrong – I do convert you to my side, this at best creates a false harmony. False, because it keeps our psyches untouched, our perspectives unchanged, and our ways of being with one another limited. The only real victory in this case is a shallow truce that avoids a greater complexity and, ultimately, a greater intimacy, in favor of a more complacent sense of safety.
As a facilitator, I’m interested in working with groups that are keen on developing themselves. I’ve found that one of the most essential ways we can foster growth is through engaging our differences. Consciously engaging our differences is transformational for our ability to learn and grow through relationships.
As I experiment with different ways to support curious, keen-to-grow groups, I’ve come to rely on some basic orienting frames for engaging differences in a way that has the greatest transformational impact.Read more
“When you can relate to the present moment, make choices and distinctions, and bring those into the collective—that is where the facilitative and the leadership role really meet. When that happens, you’re able to help a group have the capacity to relate to presence and be available to what is emerging. That’s the interface that we’re interested in. That’s where we start to see performance outcomes in organizations, things that are meaningful—greater cohesion, higher performance, more productivity, bigger breakthroughs, and capacity to collaborate across sectors. That’s when we gain greater capacity to work in a multi-stakeholder way with our most difficult-to-solve problems.” – Rebecca Colwell, CEO, Ten Directions
In the midst of a conversation, a meeting, a conflict—what are you available to?
Your team, or the people you’re meeting with right now—how available is this group? And to what?
In your group or organization’s normal habits of functioning, what kind of information and insight is readily available? And what is (kept) out of reach?
Often when we think about the goals and aspirations we have for ourselves and our organizations, we’re likely to think of things like “agility”, “innovation” and “responsiveness.” Sexy goals. Aspirations that embody power, swiftness, capability.
And a lot of people spend a lot of time making assertions about what generates desirable qualities like agility, innovation and responsiveness. Undoubtedly, there are many (some more lasting than others) paths up the mountain.
We value those qualities, too, because when they are present, they usually generate engaged participation and increased well-being—both of which we want to foster more of in the world.
But when we get curious about these desirable qualities, we approach them from a reverse-engineering perspective.
What leads to innovation, creativity, agility, and responsiveness?Read more