Home Research History of Coaching Natalie and John: A Narrative Perspective on the Future Hopes and Fears Facing Organizational Coaching

Natalie and John: A Narrative Perspective on the Future Hopes and Fears Facing Organizational Coaching

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An organizational problem (or personal problem for that matter) may involve finances, interpersonal issues and marketing. John’s challenge could be viewed as a matter of getting out of the “can’t do” role and as a matter of reducing his need for control, and as a matter of helping his executive team to shift their dynamics, and as a matter of shifting Kurt’s role

Accountability is much more difficult to assign, for an organizational problem usually is partially under the control of the client and partially under the control of other stakeholders within and outside the system (a mixture of both internal and external locus of control). John can do something about his own role in the committee and about his need for control, but he cannot unilaterally determine the nature of group dynamics in the committee of which he is a member or to change the role played by his president. Metrics are much more difficult to apply in determining the relative success or failure of the solution generated in addressing a problem.

Organizational problems become even more elusive and difficult to assess when they involve dilemmas, polarities and paradoxes—and this often is the case. John, for instance, might wish to work with Natalie on a major dilemma in his life – namely the balance between work and family He could schedule a work-free weekend each month (a puzzle-based solution) or he could delve more deeply into the issue by identifying and exploring the pull between work and family life (and perhaps his own personal time away from family). He could also explore a somewhat more subtle pull between wanting predictability and control and wanting to be more of a visionary One solution to an organizational problem creates a new problem or one approach to the problem necessitate s the neglect of an alternative approach which is just as viable. We even find dilemmas and paradoxes that are embedded in or nested in other dilemma s and paradoxes- quite a challenge!

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