I've been doing a deep dive into my own development over the past few years and I am loving it. I was yearning for something new, some new input, feedback for me, something from outside my system. The investment has been worth it, my consciousness is shifting in all sorts of ways and strangely so is my organisation and my clients (I didn't ask them to!).
I am in a parallel process. Inadvertently, the things that are happening in my individual system are being reflected in all of the other systems that I am directly part of.
Do you recognise this?
I worked with a client once who was a highly competent project manager headhunted for a role in a new organisation. He was in a parallel process too, but a more challenging one. A year into his new role, he began to worry about being an underperformer, he felt he was getting nowhere and wasn't sure he was the right person for the job.
When we explored the organisational system, he started to name that at a higher level the organisation was struggling to progress, they were in a panic, and not clear about direction. There had been questions about whether the governing board were doing their job properly and he could see something similar happening in their clients. Something had been set in motion that influenced everyone. No one had looked at what it might have been.
Stepping out of the field?
Exploring his reality in this way helped him step out of being overly responsible for something that was actually in the dynamic of the system. He felt relieved to be looking at things differently, his critical self-talk backed off and he became more grounded. He came up with some next steps for himself and his team that felt authentic and realistic.
How can you do this within your own profession as a leader?
We talked about useful ways of offering what he had learned in a coherent framework to enable his people to develop a way of thinking 'outside the box' about what has happened and is happening. Here are some questions we came up with:
- What are you sensing in yourself when you come to work each day?
- Have you always felt like this or what is new?
- How does the organisation feel at the moment?
- What might have happened to affect me/us?
- When did things change and how?
- What are you not saying out loud? What are you not naming?
- In what ways are your clients experiencing what you are experiencing?
- What do we need to accept right now?
- and finally...
- What are you noticing as a result of reflecting on these questions?
By raising awareness, consciousness can shift in unexpected ways.