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Your storyline, my storyline.

February 23, 2019

The construction of your storyline within your professional or personal life - where does it start?


I’ve just been reading about the basics of how to write a screenplay, the role of plotting, eg a basic storyline. So this got me thinking about the storylines that exists or played out in work.


This is how it goes.


The ‘Somebody’…a character that exists in a place, a time and a life.


The ‘Wants Something’…this gives us a goal, the story question: what is it all about?


And finally.


And ‘Has trouble getting it’…this brings out the conflict, the obstacles and raises those difficult questions that need to be asked.


So from a Coach’s (the somebody) perspective brought in to a corporate place, at a particular time. The Coach has a specific or generalised goal (the want), maybe increase the performance of the sales team or shift mindsets to enable a transformation to take place. The Coach, through questions, training, workshops, whatever it maybe will emerge the underlying conflict (the getting it) or obstacles that is causing the interference relating to the goal.


That’s just one storyline. How compelling is the storyline - is it average, great, sits in the background?


Now bring in the person, CxO(?), who brought in the Coach. Bring in the ‘somebody’, the team who made the request to the CxO who brought in the Coach. Bring in the ‘somebody’ who recruited the Coach, on behalf of the ‘somebody’ on behalf of the team on behalf of the CxO.


Now add in the stories of the other people, the other somebody’s that exist in this human constellation that exists within this organisation. You can immediately start to see, too visualise the complexity of needs and wants. 


You can ask yourself, does the organisation exist as a somebody, with a want that is battling the web of ego’s that stifle or beat down those difficult questions. An organisations entity living its purpose through the filter or bottleneck of just a few key people.


When you look at coaching through the proposition that organisational life is played out through storylines of people, rather than dealing with people or teams as isolated objects of performance improvement, it makes much more sense.


There’s an underlying unconscious reference to multiple relationships in a system. As a coach, looking at the wider system in view and applying an approach that respectfully brings the dynamics to life – ‘systemic coaching with constellations’ –  this allows a coach to work at a level that’s beyond the individual and beyond the visible.


I've included the top image - subpersonalities awareness model, as the dynamics of a system can be intrapersonal, that is, taking place or existing within the mind. Just something to be aware of when you are working with individuals, within a team that there's more playing out that's not always visible.

 So, listen to people’s storylines and listen to the dynamics of the visible and invisible of the system. Coaching is so much more than a process or methodology. 


Coaching, through listening, curiosity, challenge and empathy brings about the building of trust in relationships, so that what needs to made visible and emerge is allowed to do so.


If you, your team would like to explore more about systemic facilitation, embodied coaching so as to help explore aspects of team dynamics, then please get in touch.


Thanks for reading. Mark (AoEC - Accredited Systemic Team Coach)

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