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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According to Jung, we arrive at truth through our thinking function and through our feeling function. Our persona presents one version of truth to the outer world, as does our shadow. We find truth in our personal unconscious and in the archetypical images (imago) of our collective unconscious. It is a condition of contingency in which we must willingly embrace these multiple realities and enter these realities into our own consciousness—despite the (ironic) fact that these realities might contradict one another. We embrace these multiple realities (and accompanying truths) by fully appreciating and empathizing with the emotional experiences (especially pain and suffering) of not just ourselves, but also those who live with these alternative realities and truths in their own lives and psyches. These are what Rorty identifies as the “unfamiliar others.”

In terms of organizational dynamics and leadership, we can begin to embrace Rorty’s sensitive ironist perspective (and our coaching clients can begin to embrace this perspective) by gaining a fuller appreciation of the wisdom regarding the human psyche that is provided by Carl Jung.

As organizational coaches, we can encourage our client not just to understand and appreciate the values and perspectives of the unfamiliar other, but also wholeheartedly claim each of these values and perspectives as being part-and-parcel of their working perspective regarding their challenging life (Hard Irony). The environment in which our clients work and their organizations now operate is filled with complexity, unpredictability and turbulence. It requires that our coaching clients have access to all of the different elements of their psyche.

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