I used to hate this time of year. Being a summer baby, born under the sign of Cancer, the first signs of seasonal change would bring out the worst of the crab in me. Every year would see me on my knees, clutching desperately at summer’s leg as she tried to make her graceful exit, begging her not to leave me.
I’m a little more dignified about it now and find that I almost welcome the arrival of the colder months. I’ve learned to see the bonfires of autumn as the cleansing fire that lays waste to the old, in order to make space for the new. In practice, what this means is that I’ve taken a good long look at all the cr*p I’ve acculumated over the past 15 years and set up an eBay seller account.
What at first seemed like a necessary chore has since become a true source of delight. I’ve been invited to see with fresh eyes the piles of clothes spilling out of my closets – the result of a lifelong fascination with vintage and second-hand clothing and what my mother refers to as ‘charity shop clobber’. Selling online requires that I give each item some loving attention and present it for my audience by photographing it in its best light and telling its story. In reframing my stance, my ‘trash’ has the potential to become another’s ‘treasure’, and I am loving the process of transformation.
Our lead feature in this issue explores this notion of reframing, transforming and seeing work with fresh eyes. In ‘Work: what is it good for?’, Phil Renshaw and Jenny Robinson examine how leaders today are impacted by the challenges of the pandemic in terms of overwhelm and burnout, and look at how coaches can help their clients reframe these challenges, while neither ‘demonising’ work, nor ‘glorifying’ stress. Whether you work directly with leaders in organisations or not, I imagine you will find their suggestions useful in your practice.
Social worker and coach, Dr Suzanne Triggs, reports on the impact of training social workers in the use of coaching approaches, and how this is helping their clients access a sense of internal power in Power from within. In a similar vein, Fred Ehresmann, in our regular Coaching in Practice column, explains how he uses solution-focused coaching to help people who have lost all hope in the face of the global climate crisis. Both demonstrate the power of coaching to help clients recover a sense of agency and potential for change.
I am grateful to Jeremy Bacon for his update on the development of the SCoPEd framework and its relevance for BACP members who coach, and to BACP Coaching Executive members, Val Watson and Karen Ledger, for sharing with us their own creative coaching inspirations in Who's on your guest list? I am also happy to launch fellow Executive member Xeni Kontogianni’s research column, and to welcome the first of our latest additions to the Executive team, Lucy Myers, in our regular Meet the Member column.
Finally, Sam Isaacson’s piece on virtual reality, called Coaching in virtual worlds, gives an exciting glimpse of the potential future of coaching, beyond Zoom. I am especially thankful to Sam for reminding me that I was an early adopter of Second Life back in the 2000s and that my bald-headed, purple-eyed avatar could still be floating around in there, for all I know. She is one relic from my history that I can’t sell on eBay.
I hope that this issue gives you plenty of food for thought and if you are inspired to respond with an article of your own – get in touch!
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