Source & What is this Systemic work all about?
Coaching culture for growth
Source & What is this Systemic work all about?
Coaching culture for growth
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How Families and Organizations are Alike

Unlocking the Power of Systemic Coaching

Meet Jan – the boss of GreenTech, a small company with a big vision. Jan is the kind of leader who pours his heart into his work, always striving to make the company better and his team stronger. But even the most dedicated leaders need a break sometimes, right? So Jan finally decided to take some time off. But what happened while he was away is something that many of us can relate to.

As the days went by, something strange started to happen at GreenTech. The employees began to talk behind each other’s backs and criticize Jan’s management style.

Without their boss around to keep them in line, the employees’ behavior began to change, and they started to act like they were in competition with each other. They were supposed to be working together as a team, but instead, they were focused on their individual success.

Now, you might be wondering what this has to do with families. Well, when both parents die, adult children may experience a similar shift in power dynamics and relationships. This shift in dynamics can lead to conflicts between family members, particularly disagreements over inheritance or other assets. In some cases, siblings may begin to criticize each other or even become estranged as a result of these conflicts.

From a systemic perspective, the behavior of employees and family members in these situations is not simply the result of individual personalities or character flaws. Rather, it is a reflection of the broader family or workplace system within which they are operating. There are 3 principles in systemic work: Order, Place, and Exchange. In the story, both the organization and the family were issues with the principle of “Order.” Simply put Order is about who comes first. In all kinds of systems (organization/family etc), order brings a sense of security, continuity, and predictability.

So when order is disturbed, a systemic coach would work to uncover the underlying dynamics of the family or workplace system and help the family members or employees to understand how these dynamics influence their behavior. Here are a couple of questions a systemic coach could ask:

  • Who came first?
  • From which place are you speaking?
  • Who has been here the longest?
  • What can not happen as long as you are there?
  • What is possible because … is there?
  • What do you do to claim your place in the system?

By bringing these dynamics to the surface a systemic coach could help family members or employees to build stronger, more supportive relationships and ultimately create a healthier family or workplace system.

As coaches, therapists, managers, and educators, we can all learn from this story. It’s essential to recognize the impact of broader systems on individuals’ behavior and work towards creating healthier systems. By doing so, we can help individuals to thrive and create more supportive and fulfilling relationships both in the workplace and in families.

Wanna learn how to approach systemically different situations in a family or organizational setting? Join the next Source in October. Click here for more info.

Text: Lena Nasiakou