Welcome to our new website!
One of the greatest gifts we give our clients is to truly see them for who they are and who they are becoming. We serve as a witness as they cross thresholds which set them free so they can set forth. Narrative coaching became what it did in large part because my first audiences saw the diamonds in the rough in my doctoral research before I did. More importantly, they invited me into a new story about myself. For this I will be eternally grateful. It is amazing how Narrative Coaching has evolved over the years and the places it has taken me. Even so, I keep coming back to its core tenet, “Everything you need is right in front of you”, as a reminder of what is essential in helping people bring new stories to life.
I want to honor the three eras of this journey in my first post:
Narrative Coaching 1.0 was about laying the academic and professional foundations for this work. In so doing, I advocated for a more integrative view of evidence, coaching as a profession, the psychologies we used, and what clients needed from us. Check out my book to learn more about its roots and relevance for today.
Narrative Coaching 2.0 was about building a sanctuary on that foundation and distilling this work down to its essence. It emerged from a difficult period in my own life and yielded many of the powerful practices I teach to this day. Check out the Narrative Coach program if you want to get trained in this liberating work.
Narrative Coaching 3.0 is about developing post-professional practitioners who can facilitate real change in real time. It is why I have launched the Institute and takes this work into the world in ways that include yet transcend coaching as we knew it. Check out our programs to learn how you can contribute to this mission.
As a tribute to the old site, I am closing out the alphabet series with three letters on what it takes to be a PRO now. In so doing, I bow in deep gratitude to the old site as my muse for all these years. I bow to this new site in deep gratitude for the adventures it will bring—and who it and I will become in the process.
P is for Postprofessional: Standing still while standing for
As practitioners, we often struggle with the same fears as our clients. This includes the infamous FOMO (fear of missing out) and FOBLB (fear of being left behind). In our race to remain relevant in a relentless economy we fear standing still while everyone else seems to be moving forwards. Find out more here on how to get off the treadmill, stop chasing and recognize your ‘enoughness’.
Allow yourself to stand still in radical presence and to stand for others with courage and compassion. Both of these practices are essential in a time when the world feels frenetic and frayed and there is so much energy around standing alone (with our phone) and standing against. If you would like to learn more about the future of coaching, check out my WBECS Summit talk on enlightened pragmatism later this year.
R is for Ritual: Creating crucibles for change
As narrative coaching has evolved, so too has my conviction that our greatest gift to people is the quality of the space we hold for them. We are stewards for a change process that is already underway. We are offering a ritual space, from one human to another, in which people can have the conversation they most need to have. In this crucible, we can bring their stories alive in the field and the moment so they can transform.
Check out this photographer who creates images that are stretched out moments to get a sense for what I mean. As Cheryl Mattingly, notes, “Stories which are located in ritual actions may take on special therapeutic powers.” Rituals invite us to return to the direct apprehension of life that we had when we were children and blend it with the wisdom we’ve gained as adults.
O is for Openings: Preparing for a new future
We live in precarious times, often feeling bereft of the narratives we need to create a different future. As Douglas Ruskoff notes, “Whatever future humans have, it will be together.” This is why I continue teaching narrative coaching and even more why I started the Institute. We are attracting visionary practitioners who want to use this work to reinvent how their work is done, e.g., in education and health care.
"Every day that passes, the sage discards another useless weight. Finally all the accumulated burden of a life spent seeking something is gone. In its place is a lightness of being and a clarity of seeing that makes a heaven of each moment" (William Martin). The Institute is based in my work but will grow through collaboration with others who want to discover what is possible in this space.
Thank you for your time and attention. Phase two of our site will be up in September, featuring information about our 2019 programs and a number of resources for you. Until then, blessings . . .