Making Magic in an Organizational World
My mission in life is to help make the world a better place, one person at a time. To that end, I’ve taken courses and conduct my practice in the field of interpersonal communications skills. I work with teams and groups and help them understand themselves and others better. I am also trained in Organizational Relationship Systems Coaching, which draws on Bert Hellinger’s Constellation Work. Constellation work is deep work that draws from the emotional field that connects us all rather than working from the head.
Recently I had the honour of working with three VPs who were charged with an enterprise-wide transformation project in a government organization. Two of the VPs were at odds with each other. Roles, responsibilities weren’t clear. The messaging from the CEO was unclear and, at times, contradictory and there was baggage between the two.
I was brought in to work with them to help them align on roles, responsibilities and get them to work from the same page.
Rather than taking the traditional approach of talking things through, I used a very special activity that allowed them to tell their story, understand each other’s story and to soften into relationship.
The three VPs, each standing in “their land” (a designated spot on the floor) each told the others what they loved about the work they do, what is important about the work they do, what the challenges are about their work and tell the others what they need to tell them from their land. After each has spoken from their heart, everyone gets out of their land. Then the others go into one person’s land and tell the person what they understood about that land. They tell them what it feels like for them to be in that land. They reflect back the wonderful things about that land as well as the challenges, etc. They each go from one land to another reflecting back what they heard and understood.
What I observed with this particular group, was when the first VP, who felt misunderstood and alone heard what the other two reflected back to her, she had tears in her eyes and her face and body softened. It was a look of “they get it”about her peers. That softening went deeper and deeper each time the VPs stepped into each others land.
The final part of this activity is when they all step into “their land”. When they first went there (again, a designated spot on the floor), they were standing about three feet apart. They started talking about what it was like in “their land”, their challenges, what they are passionate about, etc....as they talked, they became more animated and they started moving closer and closer to each other until they were inches from each other. The rapprochement was magical to watch! Faces animated, speaking from the heart and joyful to be
in each other’s company creating something powerful and real!
The VP of HR later said that he was skeptical that we could reach our objectives in 2.5 hours and called our process “magical”. What was magical is that by going through this process, each VP got to speak from the heart, felt heard and understood and got to a place of peace rather than conflict and competition. Proof that peace and being human can be reached even in our organizations when people get a chance to speak from the heart and be heard.
Diane Brochu King - Diane is a dynamic, bilingual human relations coach, IAF-Certified Professional Facilitator, and trainer.