An introduction to phenomenology in the workplace

Phenomenology is a concept from one of the many theories and academic texts on the subject of business management, and most of these see the discipline as a subset of social science. By this, I mean they look at sociological theories, assumptions and principles and then apply them to the business setting, presenting the conclusions […]

Essentials of effective business coaching (Part 2)

MIT professor Edgar Schein suggests the open inquiry approach I concluded with last time is one of three modes of inquiry; he calls it ‘pure inquiry’). We move on from pure inquiry to what Schein calls ‘diagnostic inquiry’ – focusing in closely on specific elements of the coachee’s story. This should not be confused with […]

Essentials of effective business coaching (Part 1)

An orthodoxy has started to ossify around the concept of effective business coaching: it is all about helping small business owners streamline and optimise their strategies for business expansion. That is true as far as it goes; however, I think it leaves a lot out. Business coaching, from a Gestalt point of view, involves working […]

What’s at the heart of effective facilitation?

Effective facilitation isn’t simply a matter of getting people together in a room. The facilitator needs to demonstrate some core competencies – subtly, but authentically. Participants should feel the presence of these competencies even if they aren’t fully aware of them. Here are some that I consider indispensable. Empathy: the empathic facilitator starts not simply […]

Handling stressful workplace conversations you’d prefer to run from

Sooner or later, everyone faces the prospect of stressful workplace conversations. Whether you’re a manager who needs to draw attention to a staff member’s unsatisfactory performance or you’ve just unwittingly detonated a bafflingly angry reaction from a work colleague with a remark you took to be innocuous; somehow or other these situations have to be […]

The embodied leader – lining up heads, hearts and core values

What makes a good leader? Humans have probably been asking themselves for millennia. In our hi-tech, intricately linked and fast-moving world, the answer has got to be more complex. Most of us can recall people who managed to inspire us to do something out of the ordinary, to break with the comfort of convention and […]