Your next steps
Applying your learning
Now you’ve completed ‘Fundamentals Part I’ – the first step on the learning journey into coaching that’s in service of the whole system – here are some ways in which you can share the approach with your clients:
✣ 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, just 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. 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 all behaviour makes sense when seen in context of the system in which it belongs.
✣ Invite teams and individual leaders to consider the impact of TIME in their system. It is another important hierarchy to consider alongside the organisation chart. Ask questions like “Who 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 interventions for issues of stuckness or concern in your own 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.
Our sister company Business Constellations offers in-house workshops and trainings for communities of L&D professionals, managers and leaders. The interventions are often within corporate organisations but a regular programme of executive education and leadership workshops in Business Schools is also a popular context for introducing this approach and methodology.
Fundamentals Part II
The second part of this fundamentals 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 opportunities to facilitate ‘one step to better’ constellations in small groups, building your understanding and confidence in applying the methodology and dancing with the dynamics that influence systems.
Alongside learning to facilitate ‘classical constellations’ you will have opportunities to:
- Take part in an embodied exercise designed to move you closer to the aspect of the inner stance you find most challenging.
- Learn the core process to follow when working with any team or group.
- Understand the deep human need to belong and the impact that this has on the human condition at work and in coaching, organisational change and leadership.
- Learn how to introduce mapping to client groups – large and small – so that they immediately understand the value of spatial relationship mapping.
- Learn a way of using mats as floor markers to bring tabletop work to life and to lead clients into embodied inner process work.
- Learn the most common categories of ‘sentences’ and the language of systemic questions and constellations.
Because you will have opportunities to bring your own challenges, dilemmas and difficulties to the process you will have some time to explore many subjects that are important for you including, for example:
- Illuminate and soften the hidden loyalties in your ‘Peacock’s Tail’ that limit you.
- Disentangle yourself from systems in which you have belonged – and then support clients to do the same.
- Learn how to access hidden resources in systems – and support your clients to do the same.
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 the DIARY page.
Life, Love, Leadership
In early 2017 John Whittington began to offer regular open constellation workshops through ‘Life, Love and Leadership’ so as to make this approach more widely available and accessible. These subject-specific workshops are open to participants of the Coaching Constellations trainings as well as others with an interest in systemic constellations and the workshop theme.
On the same site there is also a growing number of articles about the dynamics that support and disrupt flow in life, in intimate relationships and in leadership. The articles combine insights into the hidden dynamics that limit us, together with suggestions on how to illuminate and soften them using the understandings that underpin the approach you have been learning about.
You may apply for a place on our annual 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. The 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 3-day Fundamentals Part II training.
- Read ‘Systemic Coaching & Constellations’.
- As a result of reading the book, write a personal journal focused around the contents of one chapter of your choice.
- An open heart and mind and a love of lifelong learning.
Each Practitioner training begins with a 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 most recent Practitioner shares her personal perspective in the video below, 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 one of Maren, one of our core team of associates, who offers one-to-one supervision over Skype from her base in Berlin and who teaches on several of our programmes.
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 down this page and explore further.