There are questions in this world that are easy to answer. What’s your name? Where were you born? What did you have for breakfast? Then there are questions that cause such a twist in my brain I spend six hours trying to write about them in a “simple” blog post, and the answer still feels as elusive as dappled sunlight in the treetops.
Questions like, “What’s your process?”
It’s a reasonable question. A good question, even. My challenge is this: how do I speak to my process when my approach to working with clients is to not impose a predetermined process?
I can tell you about the tools in my toolbox like the Diamond Power Index®, Clifton Strength Finders®, the Diamond Power Audit™, Guarding Minds @ Work, and Deep Diversity® to name a few. Or the more embodied social arts-based change methodologies I use like Social Presencing Theatre.
I can speak to the different ways I gather information to inform our work together – the “let’s get to know each other and are we a good fit” phase, the “let’s uncover what the challenge really is” phase, the “let’s make meaning of the data together” phase. You get the picture.
But when it comes to choosing a way forward – to deciding what we do next – the process is always different. Even once we’ve landed on a path, there will surely be many pivots along the way as we learn what works and what doesn’t.
How do I satisfy a desire for something tangible like a predetermined process, when the truth is that I meet my clients where they are at? There are a multitude of entry points to the work that we will do together and so many creative and effective ways to support your hopes and dreams and challenges.
When a seasoned leader in her prime was facing a crossroads, unsure of where to go next, and asked me for leadership coaching, I didn’t suggest a set coaching plan. I worked with my colleague Emma Richard to create a new coaching approach that blended an experiential, embodied coaching experience using Relationship Systems Intelligence™, and graphic recording. We called it The Pathfinding Coaching Package.
When a Human Resource Director was referred to me for cultural sensitivity training, I didn’t start by signing her up for a standardized workshop. I got curious, asked questions, and discovered that the real challenge was having language to name and disrupt the unconscious gender bias. With my colleague Dr. Anna Lise Trudell, we developed a workshop that met this client’s particular needs.
One of my first clients was the Centre for Organizational Effectiveness, founded by Maria Sanchez-Keane. When Maria reached out and asked if I could help her refresh her mission and values, I didn’t have any idea where we would start. I certainly wasn’t positioning myself as a consultant who helps organizations refresh their mission and values. But I accepted the gig and based on our conversations, I developed a creative and embodied process for Maria and her sister Anne-Marie Sanchez to excavate and name the essence of the Centre for Organizational Effectiveness.
These experiences have taught me that if I have a process – and I’m still not sure I could identify just one – it begins with holding space. Regardless of what brings you to me, when I have the space and time to tap into who you are at your core – when I can sense your essence – I am at my best. And if you’re ready for meaningful change, in partnership with you, I can create magic.