chapter  8
19 Pages

Respons-able leadership part 2: rethinking thinking

This chapter explores how coaches develop their capacity to respond. The non-stop stream of habitual thoughts and reactions that runs through their brains may pass for thinking but leadership requires something better. True thinking is an interactive process, a multi-sensory process, intimately linked to context, and stimulated, as we will discover through the work of psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion, by frustration. One of the most precious gifts of the coaching space is the mandatory pause from what can feel like the gadarene rush of everyday life. Language and the capacity for abstraction are critical to the making of meaning. Language is a container and enabler for ideas but it also restricts; like institutions, it can suffocate the contained; or conversely the new "explodes" the formulation designed to express it. For thinking to progress to action it must enter the public domain through communication to create shared understanding.