In this issue
Personal consultancy: a grand design?
The spirit of coaching
Between two worlds: coaching employees on international assignment
Phil Renshaw, Michael Dickmann and Deryn Holland
Message from the chair
Around the table: ‘What should I call myself? And how much should I charge?’
Compiled by Eve Menezes Cunningham
Why I became a coach
Meet the team
Steve Page, Executive Specialist for Supervision
When I first began coaching eight years ago, one of my very first clients said something to me I will never forget. She said: ‘I just want to find my way home.’
There is both a powerful simplicity and profundity in that statement that I believe speaks to the work we engage in with our clients as coaches, counsellors and therapists. We use the metaphor of ‘home’ when we describe being at our ‘best’; home as our centre, our ground, our true north, as being in flow, in harmony or ‘at one’ with ourselves – at home in our own skin, or at home in the world. It strongly suggests a state in which our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are in alignment with our values and our beliefs – a place of intuitive knowing, a place of safety, one where we can let our guard down and the mask drop, where we are unapologetically and unashamedly our ‘selves’.
At the same time, home can be a tenuous concept – a place of ambivalence at best and conflict and danger at worst. For people who have never felt ‘at home’ in the world, finding a place of safety or ‘home’ within oneself can prove to be challenging.
It’s for this reason I love our cover feature by Carolyn Mumby, in which she uses the metaphor of home renovation to describe and explain the personal consultancy framework of coach-therapy. It’s a beautifully simple, practical and yet profound method of illustrating how a personal consultant works: with an approach that enables a client ‘both to move forward purposefully and to ensure that change is built on secure foundations’ (p6). Her analogy of creating and executing a ‘grand design’ draws on the popular television series of the same name and demonstrates how coaching and therapy practices can complement each other; that in the process of visioning our new design we may realise in fact that we need to ‘go back to the foundations in the service of building something new’ (p6), and how a personal consultant has the skills, freedom and flexibility to respond to the client’s needs in the moment, however and whenever they may manifest and surface.
Meanwhile the metaphor of home can also be applied spiritually, and I am delighted to welcome back former 'Coaching Today' contributor Jackee Holder with a beautiful and moving meditation on how she applies her own spiritual practice in her work with clients. She extends the invitation to us to consider how we may already be using spiritual practices directly with clients, or even indirectly, through our own self-care rituals, finding our own sense of home within so that our work comes from a grounded and centred place; and how we can then harness that embodied and lived experience and bring it into our relationships with our clients.
Of course, home is not merely a metaphor but in practical terms is also a place where we locate ourselves, culturally and geographically, at local, national and global level. Employees of global organisations who are sent on international assignment and relocated to another part of the world for months or years at a time can in essence find themselves caught ‘between two worlds’ geographically, socially, psychologically and culturally. Our third feature article presents a compelling case for the role that coaching and mentoring can play in these circumstances – for the assignees, their families/partners, and their employers/employees in both their host and home countries.
Wherever you are spending this summer, whether home or away, I wish you all a delightful one. Until next time…