Archive for September, 2016

Systems Coaching

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Several of us at Arbuckle Consulting are training in relationship systems coaching with CRR Global. (The program is called Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching, or ORSC.) This is going to be a really enriching experience and have a wonderful impact on how we manage our projects and help our clients get their strategies accomplished.

We are learning to work with the human system dynamics that emerge between and within people. In this approach we hold the teams we work with to be naturally creative, resourceful and whole. So, our role is to help reveal the system to itself so its members can come to their own solutions. Discord is reframed as symptoms of something ‘trying to happen’. Excellent and unique approaches for hearing all the voices in a system really lead to shifts and better solutions. Here are the four cornerstones of the approach in a bit more detail.

  • We hold the relationship system as the client. In Relationship systems work, the client is the relationship and not the individuals. We listen for the voice of the system, or the voice of the relationship: What is needed? Or, what is “trying to happen” for this partnership or team? We help to unfold that agenda.
  • We hold the relationship as naturally intelligent & creative. All relationships have an arc to their lifespan, and whether a team is together for weeks or decades, it has everything it needs to evolve and devolve.
  • We work with the whole relationship system, and we champion “deep democracy”. We keep an eye on the whole system regardless of which member demands attention, including all team members rather than just aspects or single events. Like a conductor who may cue in the violins one moment or work with the oboes next, we are always listening for the music of the entire orchestra. (One of the challenges here is to determine the system’s parameters. When considering the work that needs to be done, a critical decision is around who needs to be included in the team or nested systems within the organization.)
  • We reveal the system to itself. Our job is not to repair or ‘fix’ the system but rather to reveal its nature to its members and help the system learn about itself. Armed with new awareness and new tools the systems’ members can become “response-able” to better perform the tasks of the system. This mirroring process reveals the system to itself and empowers the self-regulating function of the system.

(Adapted and excerpted from CRR Global’s Organization & Relationship Systems at Work, p.10)