Values in action

2 December 2019

I love to explore the big picture.

I love to drill down into the detail.

I love to integrate the two to develop a clearer and more relevant understanding of my clients - be they individuals or organisations.

Gerard Egan wrote about "the thoughtful search for contextual meaning" (The Skilled Helper Model, 9th ed: G Egan; p149) an this seems to me to be crucial for working effectively on personal and organisational development.

Egan developed his model many years ago yet it remains as relevant today as it has ever been.  The model has been developed and revised over the years to provide an approach which deals with the way we think, the way we feel/express emotions, and the ways we behave/take action.  It is focused upon problem situations AND unused opportunities, whilst recognising our social and personal contexts, the significance of lived experience and the potential for problem-solving, goal-setting and action-planning.

I first came across Egan's model when studying several years ago and immediately saw the potential for it to be widely used.  Egan himself writes of using it in organisations, not just with individuals, and certainly not just in a therapeutic counselling relationship (though it can be used to great effect in that context).

This approach looks at the situation now and the context which helped to create the situation.  It also explores 'preferred' situations or contexts and draws on creativity to imagine beyond existing experience.  From here it takes a path through choices - choosing which could be the best, more appropriate way forward at this point in time.  Solution-focused yet remaining person-centred, acknowledging the past whilst imagining new futures.

For me this model provides recognition and space to acknowledge the past without getting lost there - because it draws you on to imagine and hope by creating future possibilities.

In my coaching, training and organisational development work this is the model I come back to repeatedly beginning with: let's explore your story/current situation.  Then, let's begin imagining how you would prefer things to be.  Once we have become creative (no artistic skills required!) then we can clarify what is right for you - here & now, with the personal, physical, intellectual, emotional, financial and other resources you currently have to hand.  And we can begin devising both a strategy and an action-plan together.  Always led by you, always with your needs and available resources in mind.  Always to enable you to develop personally, professionally, organisationally.

Values are what we put into action in the way we work, speak, write, behave.  For me, valuing a client's story, their context and lived experience demonstrates that I value them and all that they bring to a session with me.   Offering a safe space for a client to explore all sorts of possibilities, no matter how fanciful, in order that they can drill down to which way forward is the right way for them at that time indicates that I value their imagination, their creativity, their willingness to engage in thinking outside the box in order to find feasible solutions.  Working collaboratively through the process demonstrates that I value time spent with a client as time well spent to further their own and, where relevant, their organisaton's development.  Challenging a client to identify clear actions to take the forward into a new future an holding the to account as they move forward shows that I value the potential within them.

So, how about it?  Does this way of working appeal to you?

Why not email me - book an initial, free consultation and let's have a conversation.  You have nothing to lose and potentially so much to gain.

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