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Edie Seashore: On Coaching

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So, the question is: in a group setting, why do we take a look at the person without looking at the context they’re in and seeing if they understand what’s going on in that context. Understanding that this is why they’re behaving as they are. And do they have the ability themselves to behave with awareness of the system that they’re in?  Or, do they simply behave because something is a catalyst to them and that’s the way they behave without any consciousness or the awareness?  I don’t think most people do, but I think that the question is: how conscious are they that that’s what they’re doing?  If two people aren’t getting along in a group, for instance, the question is: what’s going on in that group that’s making it difficult for these two people to get along? Is it just the two people or is the group in some way a valuable thing to understand as well?  Do you see what I’m trying to say?

Dorothy:  Absolutely. There are answers in the context. Helping people understand the influences of their past, helping people get in touch with past filters just so that they can be more actively choosing or aware of that they can choose. That they’re not the person of their parents’ era or their school system or whatever that was. Then to really look at the context and get some more awareness about that, and particularly within organizations that have so little time for reflection.

What kind of secrets did you find that could engage people in wanting to do that—because there is such a resistance against that?

Edie:  I know. And it’s so interesting because everybody loves the stuff that keeps coming out, but they don’t know what to do–how to make it–to build it in. I mean, they love emotional intelligence, right?

Dorothy:  Right, the love the theory of emotional intelligence, but in practice…

Edie:  They go, “wow, this is it. You can’t have a leader without it”. And then they don’t figure out how to get it from loving it, and when they read the book to getting their leaders to have it or to be more aware of it.  I mean, we’re missing that translation.

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