14 June, 2010

Maternity Coaching Pioneer Jennifer Liston-Smith joins My Family Care

Jennifer Liston-Smith joins My Family Care as Head of Coaching Development, adding her strong presence in the maternity coaching field to MFC’s leading-edge range of services.
Press Release 15th June, 2010

28 May, 2010

One Reason Women Don’t Make It to the C-Suite

I re-read today this smart article from HBR by Louann Brizendine, MD

Louann points out that making a push for leadership roles in our forties is bad timing for women, especially those with children. Could organisations helps themselves improve the gender balance by widening the window of promotion opportunity to women once in their fifties when life’s day-to-day stresses may be less distracting?

22 May, 2010

My Management Today blog - latest entry on Identity in Motherhood

How does motherhood impact our identity as a career woman?

I value my expert role on this brilliant Management Today blog. Here’s my latest entry:
The Parent Project: Identity Opportunity

Coaching people through transitions - lifespan development perspective

Some thoughts on how we can bring lifespan development theories to our work in coaching people through transitions.

I was responding to a question from a student today following a university lecture I gave on coaching people through the parenthood transition, as part of a coaching psychology module. We had been looking at Levinson’s (1978, 1996) ideas about transitions and life eras, as well as cognitive-developmental approaches, such as Kegan (1982). Thought it would be helpful to share these thoughts more broadly:

The way I tie the life eras and developmental stages into my perspective on transitions is:
1. that people may have different goals depending on their life stage, so it can help our empathy as coaches to tune in to that (could be very different from the goals we might assume if we are not currently in that life phase e.g. varying career goals etc) (e.g. Cox, 2006)
2. people at different developmental stages will have access to different resources, solutions and states within themselves for handling complexity, relationships and demands and we have to work with people at the stage they are at, rather than assuming they are at the same stage we are (may be further on or further behind so to speak), or wishing they were at a different stage that might be easier to work with. (e.g. Kegan, 1982, 1994)

However, an important proviso: as coaches / coaching psychologists, while it can be helpful to have insight into where people are ‘coming from’ the most important thing - in my opinion and experience - is to be present to the real individual in the room rather than getting caught up in our imagination of who they are because of their life stage (so we carry the psychological knowledge ‘lightly’).

For more on the references behind this, please see the extended text by clicking the title of this entry. And do email me if you have a shared interest in this area.