Coaching With Emergence & A Systems Perspective

At GCI we are all about working with emergence, but what exactly do we mean by that?

Emergence is a characteristic of nature

It’s about what’s already beginning to happen. Emergence is about new growth, as well as understanding what has had its time and is beginning to die back.  Sometimes these tendencies are so subtle or unexpected, it’s easy to miss them.

To see this principle in action, take a few minutes to sit in a garden and watch nature going about her business.  Pay attention to the leaves and flowers and insects and birds.  Things are happening all around you, right?  They didn’t start only when you arrived, and they won’t stop when you leave.  Just as there’s no moment when a flower begins to bloom, there is no point you can name at which an event begins to happen.

Within the activity in the garden is an incredible momentum toward growth and there is also die back; letting go of what’s no longer useful or cannot be sustained.

Coaching with emergence includes a commitment to support conscious leadership that harnesses these deep principles.

One challenge of this commitment is accepting that we, as individuals, are not the center of the universe.  We have important contributions to make, but we are part of larger systems. When we see ourselves as either central to or separate from our organisational or social system, we are in trouble.

Looking at the world stage right now, we see the consequences of this myopia.  Leadership based on narcissism wreaks havoc.

We build the acuity of our coaches.

Our coaches take a systems view of leadership and organizations.  We work with leaders to better understand what is emerging in their organisations, what growth needs to be supported and what needs to be relinquished.

These principles are so important that they underpin the E1ME2RGE3 Model of Coaching.

Catching the early indicators and flickering signals of what is to come requires mindful attention.  At GCI  we train our coaching students to discover and track these signals.  They learn to follow not just the content of their clients’ narratives, but also the subtle non-verbal or unconscious signs of emerging change.  This awareness is akin to the clarity that comes when you sit in stillness in the garden, observing the life teeming within it.

Invaluable Skills for Leadership

For leaders, this skillset brings access to rich and dynamic information.  Being alert to emerging trends proves invaluable in businesses interested in being first to market.  While spotting the early signs of change and innovation, enables leaders to support the natural initiative and momentum within their workforce.  In a time of disruption, it alerts leaders to unfolding developments and helps avoid nasty surprises.

Of course to recognize what is emerging, we must learn to look in often-overlooked places and also confront our own blindspots on occasions.  The coach’s role is to guide and hold the client in this enquiry.

In the mean time, why not pop out into a garden and become a student of nature again… or if you’re keen to know more, please get in touch with us.

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