Exploring Relational Practice
Relational practices support connection: connection with one’s self, and with others in relation to the challenges faced within and between individuals, organisations and their environments.
My work takes me into organisations: with people leading and governing them, or taking professional roles within them, who require a capacity to maintain judgement, and establish credibility. These might be teams or individuals in executive, managerial or specialist operational roles, or HR/Internal change agents who are working to effect change, learning from their experiences as they do so.
I work from a pragmatic position, exploring what it is that actually happens, trying to construct some meaning and create understanding with others, and experimenting in the moment to bring about change in the way people think about and organise themselves for work.
This is a practice that is:
Led by experience: what is happening now, in this place, how can I make sense of my thoughts, feelings and behaviours in this moment? (see case examples)
Informed by research-based methodologies which engage with organisational and professional dilemmas through participative exploration – drawings, narrative, improvisation and delivered in creative interventions designed with both planned and emergent developments in mind.
Underpinned by a range of theories ‘the Relational Terrain’, where the questions ‘who am I’ (identity) and ‘who am I here? (place) help to orientate ourselves in shifting ecologies of work-place and societal systems.
Relational Practice and Change
Change is an ever-present aspect of living and working in these times. Although changes and developments might be anticipated and planned for, working on change involves engaging with shifting and unpredictable human processes, technologies, economies and the emotions they generate.
All consultancy and professional development work involves an ability to notice and find out what is going on, in one’s self, and in the organisations we work in and consult to, it is a continuing process of following our curiosity, using our knowledge and imagination, and being attuned to the emotions that are being evoked.
Coaching is both a developmental and educational activity designed to support the effectiveness of individuals or teams in the work that they are undertaking. It offers a chance to analyse and bring about change in one’s own behaviour in relation to others, and to explore and experiment with different perspectives and behaviours. Usually part of a wider organisational change strategy coaching can additionally help bring ‘just in time’ awareness to professional practices.
My consultancy, research, coaching and professional development work takes me into organisations in the UK and internationally: in financial services and banking, higher and executive education, government and politics, health and social care, and in professional partnerships and practices.
Always with a base in systemic and psycho-dynamic perspectives but easily moving on to organizations, society, culture, science and art, Karen is at home in many different settings and cultures. Effortlessly she comes to the core of the matter, enabling people to move forward from their own authority and role. I have learned from and with her and have first-hand experience of how useful it is to me in roles as manager, coach, teacher and citizen. Client: Stockholm