Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

You are not talking to me!

Ever had a slightly weird feeling that someone talking to you is not actually dealing with you but with someone else. If so, you probably been on the receiving end of some 'transference'. Its a term that cover a myriad of situations, but refers in essence to when someone plays out a past relationship or way of relating in the present situation. So for example, its the phenomenon that explains why grown men suddenly start behaving like school children in the training room, just as if they were suddenly back at school. They are taking how they used to behave and transferring it into present situation - usually inappropriately!

Counter transference is when you start responding back - ie playing the role that has been assigned you. So if you have ever seen a trainer get all 'school-marmy' on you,then they are probably in the grip of some counter-transference.

Why does this all matter to coach? Well if you are interested in keeping your communication clear and open then you can easily see how this stuff could murky the waters. So if your coachee suddenly starts putting you on a pedestal .. and you would quite like them to ... check out if there isn't something else going on and take it straight to supervision.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Talking to the void

You may have noticed a drop off in my regular flow of blogs - I have all the usual excuses .. too much to do, working away, living in hotels, a new computer etc. But truth be told I've become a little dispirited of late with my blogging as its become a bit too much like talking to the 'void' .. putting out your thoughts into cyberspace with little or no feedback. Net result a tail off.,

Now I don't think I'm alone in this. Too many of us work in organisation where we get little or no feedback. It gets so we'd rather hear something, even if it is negative, rather than nothing. Net result .. a gradual disillusionment and disengagement from the organisation.

In my experience, really excellent organisations have mastered the art of 'little and often' feedback, telling people what they are doing right as well as what they are doing wrong as they go along.  Net result .. mistakes get corrected quickly and the positives get reinforced, but best of all we feel like we matter.

So would it really be so hard to press the 'like' button?

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Tread on my dreams lightly

I am a big fan of Ken Robinson  - author, speaker and adviser to government on education. Knighted in 2003,  he is also a naturally funny man. If you've never seen him action, watch this TED talk to get an idea of his talents:

His passion is how we crush passion and creativity out of children, with our education system deselecting anyone who dreams of doing anything other than going to college. Robinson wants to see a revolution in education where the diverse talents and aspirations of all our kids are nurtured. Quoting Yeats, Robinson suggests that we routinely trample on each others dreams, and that we should learn to 'tread lightly'.

I'm sure it is not just kids who have their dreams trampled on. Working as a coach I meet far too many people who are disconnected from their aspirations to the point of being afraid to have any dreams. Somewhere along the line it just becomes too tough to hang on to them. So next time you hear someone talk about their ambitions don't just mock... maybe listening to them might just spark something special.