Friday 6 November 2020

Philosophy, Purpose and Process

 A colleague and I were discussing 'hurt' the other day, and (it being a supervisory conversation) we drew on the model proposed by Jackson and Bachkirova, in Eve Turner’s Heart of Coaching Supervision.

So we started by discussing our philosophy of hurt; what we believe about it. We recognised hurt as part of the (fallen) human condition; and the fact that we can choose the power it has over us: we can feed it, or not. It may require us to forgive – both ourselves and others. We can support and hold others experiencing hurt but cannot rescue them from it. We may be able to help them to change the context. 

We also discussed the issue of attributing intentionality to it – which may make it worse. But recognised that meaningless suffering was also intense. So Viktor Frankl's ideas arose as so often… The opportunity for hurt to be transformative and redemptive, and for it to be an opportunity for learning and growth – the relevance of the famous Serenity prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference...

In terms of our purpose in working with people in their hurt, we discussed awareness and learning: our common humanity and the associated responsibilities… compassion, improvement, action….

Awareness is foundational, perhaps; admitting and acknowledging hurt, using it to become more self-aware and to reflect on the impact of one’s own behaviours; becoming more compassionate in judgement of others; thinking about the power we are giving to hurt, and seeing the continuing impact on us and our relationships.

We moved on to discuss the processes we might use in working with hurt, and noted how well grounded in our philosophy and purpose these turned out to be – and how helpful it was to make those links explicit in this way.

We started by discussing the basics: being there, holding, listening, psychological safety; and then some of the other tools: stories, systemic visibility and understanding, re-building confidence and competence, time perspectives, resource anchors, resilience self audit, challenging binary (good/bad) thinking, picture cards to access feelings and futures, assumption hunting etc. And also the importance of the coach being the guardian of hope in the system, the issue of timing in all of this, and the importance of support, and how to encourage people to identify and access the support available to them.

All in all, we found the structure a very resourcing way of provoking a rich conversation on this theme, which left both of us with several practical ideas for ways in which we can better work with our clients.


With thanks to Tom Pumford,  jurien huggins and Marc-Olivier Jodoin for sharing their photos on Unsplash

No comments:

Post a Comment