Your next steps
Applying your learning
Congratulations on completing ‘Fundamentals Part I‘. It is the first step on a learning journey into coaching that’s in service of the whole system. Here are some ways in which you can take your learning into practice:
✣ Offer mapping (the first part of every constellation) in a ‘chemistry’ or first coaching session as a way of surfacing the deeper agenda. Then look with your client at ‘what is’, just as it is. See what they and you notice together.
- Go further, if appropriate and you feel ready, by facilitating a systemically-informed intervention (a question, movement or ‘sentence’) to illuminate the hidden relationship architecture, and then what ‘one step towards better’ might look like.
✣ Listen for information that may indicate that there is something out of balance in the system.
- For example you may hear your client say something like “Oh don’t worry about them, they left long ago. . .” or “It’s always been like that here. . .” or “There was another founder who left shortly after it all started . . .” or anything else that is mentioned, often as an aside, that you recognise could be a violation of the organising principles of systems.
✣ Remember that stuckness can be caused by hidden loyalties to events or people in the past.
- Ask system-orientated questions to surface loyalties and resources. For example “Who would ‘smile on you’ if you did that/didn’t do that?”
✣ Remember to look out for repeating patterns, then follow them to their source.
- Remember that all patterns repeat and that all behaviour makes sense when seen in context of the system in which it originates.
✣ Invite teams and individual leaders to consider the impact of TIME in their system. It’s an important hierarchy to consider alongside the organisational hierarchy. Ask questions like “Who/what was the first in this system?” and offer interventions that allow the hierarchy of TIME to reveal itself.
- Invite your team or group of clients to stand in a circle of TIME (the order of joining this system), and/or create it on the tabletop individually before you meet the group.
✣ Start experimenting with the methodology of mapping and constellations by self-facilitating your own issues of stuckness or concern in your work as a coach, HR or L&D consultant.
- Using objects on a tabletop, map your own stuckness or current challenge and see if you can find a ‘step towards better’ through the use of respectful sentences and movement. In this way this approach can offer very useful self-distance and ‘super-vision’.
Fundamentals Part II
The second part of the training is a three-day experiential learning journey, building and expanding understanding and application.
Facilitated by John Whittington and a member of the team, it offers the opportunity to facilitate constellations in small groups, building understanding and confidence in applying the methodology while dancing with the dynamics that influence systems. Alongside learning to facilitate ‘classical constellations’ you will also have opportunities to:
- Embody an inner movement that brings you closer to the ‘stance’ of this approach.
- Learn the core process to follow when working with any team or group.
- Understand the deep need to belong and the impact that this has on leadership and organisational change.
- Illuminate the unspoken rules of belonging in different organisational systems and see their impact.
- Expand your capacity and reach when using tabletop mapping and constellations with individuals, as well as in tripartite meetings and with teams.
- Learn how to use the directional mats as floor markers to bring tabletop work to life and to lead clients into more embodied work.
- Learn the most common categories of ‘sentences’ and the language of systems.
- Build and expand your repertoire of systemic questions to use with your clients.
- Disentangle yourself from some elements of your ‘Peacock’s Tail’ – systems in which you have belonged. Then learn how to support your clients in doing the same.
- Learn how to access hidden resources in your systems and be able to support your clients to access their own.
Because you will have opportunities to bring your own challenges, dilemmas and difficulties to the training, you will also have space to explore any issue that is important for you.
You are welcome to complete each level of the training at your own pace, when you feel ready. The next Fundamentals Part II training with availability is shown on our DIARY page. A participant on a 2018 ‘Fundamentals Part II’ shares her experience:
Life, Love, Leadership
John Whittington offers occasional subject-specific constellation workshops through ‘Life, Love Leadership’ so as to make this approach more widely available and accessible. These workshops are open to participants of the Coaching Constellations trainings as well as others with an interest in systemic constellations and the theme of the particular workshop.
On the same website there are also a growing number of articles by John about the dynamics that support and disrupt flow in life, in intimate relationships and in leadership.
Our sister company Business Constellations offers in-house workshops and trainings for communities of leaders, L&D professionals, and teams as well as open programmes.
If you would like to support your learning as it moves into your professional practice, then our occasional one-day ‘Stepping Stones’ workshops in London are available. These provide an informal way of staying connected to the learning and also the growing community of systemic coaches and facilitators at all different levels of their learning journeys.
As you develop your understanding of this way of thinking and working, this ‘applied philosophy’, you will benefit from reading a broader selection of books, papers and other sources. To access the latest reading lists please scroll through this page and explore further.
You may apply for a place on our Practitioner training once you have been accepted onto Fundamentals Part II. The 10-day training, in three modules, is for those who wish to continue their learning and build a deeper experiential understanding of systems so that they can bring it even more closely into their life and work. They will also be part of an ongoing learning community that explores system dynamics in multiple contexts, including the family system. Entry requirements are for you to:
- Complete our 2-day Part I and the 3-day Fundamentals Part II training.
- Read ‘Systemic Coaching & Constellations’.
- As a result of reading the book, write a learning journal focused around the contents of one chapter of your choice.
- Have an open heart and mind and a love of lifelong learning.
Each Practitioner training begins with a 5-day residential module in a retreat location in southern Spain. The remaining two 3-day modules are held in central London. All details and dates of the next Practitioner training are here.
A participant on the 2018 Practitioner shares her personal perspective, from the residential retreat in Andalusia.
At any stage of your learning and developmental journey you may want to enjoy the benefits of supervision from a systemic perspective.
We are delighted to open a door to the systemic supervision work of Maren, one of our core team of trainers, who offers one-to-one supervision over Skype from her base in Berlin and who teaches on several of our programmes.
Share your experience!
You are also welcome to ‘follow’ and ‘like’ the Coaching Constellations Facebook page, in order to keep up to date with trainings and other news, as well as our new Instagram page! Our YouTube channel is also available to explore. Finally you are also welcome to follow Coaching Constellations on LinkedIn.
Personal follow up
Systemic coaching and constellations is an embodied, somatic process that gives us access to our own hidden depths. As a result, personal issues can emerge which need longer attention than is possible or appropriate within a training environment.
For this reason, we offer an introduction to two practitioners who offer individual follow-up sessions. Richard and Lynn and both trained deeply in this and other approaches to looking at and healing personal challenges. Please explore here.
If you would like to give feedback on any aspect of your experience you are welcome to here.