The problem is this: often the heart and mind disagree. Fervently.
— Chip & Dan Heath
Changing the Way We Relate
Transformation is about shifting how we listen, see, think, and behave.
Real change can be quite simple, but rarely is it easy. This is true for individuals, and it's certainly the case in organizations. We humans are at an evolutionary turning point; our very survival may depend on changing the ways we view and respond to the world around us.
Increasingly, organizations are developing new strategies and policies to address vital issues—like diversity, equity and inclusion, and environmental sustainability. However, our strategies are only as effective as our ability to implement them.
Who's got time to practice mindfulness, conscious communication, and reflective inquiry when strategizing and implementing urgent changes?
In one way or another, everything that must get done in an organization is dependent on relationships between people; and what's unspoken will affect those relationships as much or more than what is said aloud. Haven't we all experienced the productivity drag created by dysfunctional relationships in the work place?
Now, consider for a moment how good it feels (or would feel) to be truly heard and respected; how liberating it is (or would be) to bring more of yourself to your workplace. When we feel safe and valued for who we are, it's easier to be more present, more openminded, more collaborative, and creative. Everything an organization does, from strategy to implementation, is a product of its culture; and culture arises through relationships.
From this perspective, fostering healthier forms of organizational relating is both vital and urgently needed. Time spent working in the limiting confines of old paradigms—where people are discouraged from being vulnerable, self-responsible, compassionate, and highly collaborative—is perhaps the biggest misuse of precious time and resources.
My work with organizations promotes a refreshing shift in perspective: it helps to align heart and mind; supports greater awareness of 'self' and 'other;' and it cultivates more respectful and effective dialogue...which yields higher levels of creativity and productivity.
Of course, working differently will challenge our well-established norms, and can give rise to temporary discomfort. Yet, as we practice new ways of listening, talking, and working with each other, the payoffs are enormous.
"I found Helen's warmth and teaching style inviting and easy to respond to...it was definitely a fruitful [retreat] for me. The framework and reflective questions she provided made explicit things I was only subtly aware of, and helped me understand and articulate my experience and our emerging roles in [the organization]. They provided a means to examine where things get stuck or might get stuck if not addressed."
Team Retreat Participant | Consulting & Training Organization
"The workshop helped us consider how to work within our organization to step outside our comfort zone and think about old problems in new ways."
Communication Workshop Participant | College Access Non-Profit
"Helen is able to harness chaos in service of synchronicity, making her very valuable to organizations, because recognizing and harnessing patterns of synchronicity in systems can keep them in flow with the environments that surround them."
Kate Reagan, Ph.D | Kairos Consulting Group