If people work together in an open way with porous boundaries – that is, if they listen to each other and really talk to each other – then they are bound to trade ideas that are mutual to each other and be influenced by each other. That mutual influence and open system of working creates collaboration.
Richard Thomas (American actor)
Working together with people and helping others to find ways of working together is central to how I go about doing my work. Whether it be in coaching, facilitation or consulting I will seek to work with you as a partner working together to:
- Trade ideas and experiences
- Ask questions and make inquiries
- Try things out and learn from experience, including safe-to-fail experiments
- Co-design and co-produce whatever is most needed in the circumstances
Often this involves designing and initiating liberating structures as starting points for conversation and dialogue, Almost inevitably it also involves having the courage and flexibility to encourage and allow conversations to take they own path and for new dialogues to emerge.
I can also help groups of people manage conflict and difference in order to work together more successfully.
In my experience working in this way means several important things:
You and your people always remain the “expert” about your challenge or situation – my role is to offer ideas or experiences that might help extend or enhance that expertise.
Inevitably I bring a different perspective (or perspectives) and perhaps some practices or methods for exploring what’s going on but these are just tools or frames through which to look at things, not recipes for success or solutions to the “problem”.
Where to go or what to do next will emerge from the process, not be imposed, theoretically, from outside.
For the leaders in your organisation there are always developmental possibilities inherent in engaging in this sort of work. Thinking at the edges and working from within an emergent situation is challenging, but the potential for vertical development is significant.
For more information please contact me.