Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"All real living is meeting"

Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 by International Coach Federation

The following is a brief overview of the ICF UK conference presentation that took place on April 9th:

We have just had a marvellous day with ICF UK in London! On April 9th, Miriam Orriss and I joined Aboodi Shabi (Newfield) and Liz McCann (BBC) in addressing the conference theme of 'The Art of Mastery in Coaching.' What emerged, as a group of about 100 coaches participated in this very successful event, was a shared desire to attend to the deeper enquiry that is possible in our work and the hunger for coaching 'beyond technique.' There was great engagement in the room as we co-created a space in which coaches could explore core aspects of their practice. We acknowledged the primacy of presence, the profound possibilities in the coaching relationship and the miracle that occurs when the 'gods and goddesses of coaching', sit among us.

Edna Murdoch
 I was reminded of Martin Buber's work, which established the principle of the 'I-Thou' – the mode of connecting when we are attuned to one another in a spirit of honour and awe. The 'I - Thou' occurs only as we meet with our whole being. As Buber said,

"All real living is meeting."

In the reflective practice that is coaching supervision, we aim to foster a ‘real’ dialogue, which enables the coach to return to their work, resourced and refreshed. This level of supervisory input enables coaches to converse with their clients with much more awareness, clarity and impact. This happens especially when coaches attend to what wants to emerge in the life of the client or the team with which they are working, while still holding the overt focus of the contract. It requires that coach supervisors 'let go' of our fantasy of what 'should' be occurring and play our part in co - creating an exploration that is real and open and which surrenders to a dialogic process that has meaning and muscle beyond what coach and supervisor may know at any given moment.

The day at the ICF conference reminded us all that in these fast-moving, highly-pressurised times, there is a huge hunger for real human engagement. As the poet David Whyte, puts it in Loaves and Fishes:

This is not

the age of information

Forget the news,

And the radio,

And the blurred screen.

This is the time

of loaves

and fishes.

People are hungry,

and one good word is bread

for a thousand.

Edna Murdoch Director: Coaching Supervision Academy

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