Home Concepts Schools of Coaching Appreciative Multiple Perspectives and Multiple Truths: Challenges and Opportunities for Professional Coaches

Multiple Perspectives and Multiple Truths: Challenges and Opportunities for Professional Coaches

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So, the anger stays bottled up and, the ironic dynamics within his psyche are constellating and escalating as the anger increases —which makes him even angrier. He is now angry about his anger and about his inability to express this anger in any kind of therapeutic manner without hurting his own work, his own leadership, and the future of an organization (Fairhills) about which he cares deeply. Joshua hates his contingency and the “unfamiliar other” parent with whom he must work. The vicious circle begins for Joshua, just as it does for Kristen.

The Coaching Implications

There is certainly much for both Kristen and Joshua to gain from Carl Jung, a doctor from Switzerland with challenging ideas about psyche dynamics. There is also much to be learned about irony from an American philosopher, Richard Rorty, who believes in a utopian vision of a world in which people come to more fully appreciate “unfamiliar sorts of people.” Carl Jung’s and Richard Rorty’s insights might be of great benefit to those who work in and lead 21st Century organizations. These insights can also provide a distinctive set of guidelines for those of us who provide professional coaching to these challenged leaders. While there are many implications to be drawn, I will focus on five.

Acknowledging Both Sides

When we come to appreciate the irony that is inherent in the bifurcated human psyche, then we must also acknowledge that each perspective is valid and critical to our own engagement with the world in which we live. Both Kristen and Joshua will be effective leaders to the extent that they bring both sides of themselves to the fray. As professional coachs we can be of value to our clients if we encourage them to not only identify each side, but also appreciate the contribution being made by each side to their own work.

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