This paper offers an account of my on-going learning and professional practice as a Living-Theorist systemic coach. In it I clarify my understanding and meaning of my learning and development, starting from my values and my living standards of judgement (Laidlaw, 1996). I authentically share what being a Living-Theorist systemic coach means to me in that coaching capacity. Writing in this way strengthens and resources me to meet the challenges of this role. It helps me to make sense of my experiences. By writing in this way I open-up my learning to critical reflection with the hope that this will, in turn, create space for life-affirming dialogical relationships (Isaacs & Senge, 1999).
I focus on my professional practice as a systemic coach serving an Information Technology directorate within a United Kingdom Government agency. We have approximately 140 staff. The emphasis on my original contribution to knowledge is on the explanatory principles I use to describe my professional development and the living standards of judgement I use to judge the validity of this knowledge. My practice involves all the principles of being a systemic coach. These include having a paradoxical non-attachment to any specific outcome; being loyal to the whole system; and balancing challenge and support in the process of what is emergent. My grounding is my loving kindness that I seek to bring into my work. From my ground I seek to co-create safe spaces, or what we locally term as the ‘right environment’ for staff members to engage with genuine dialogue, co-inquiry and co-learning. This paper focusses on one key workshop that we called the whole system event. This workshop seemed to me, and to some within the system, to be a key or seminal shift in group-relations across the whole system. To aid the story-making sense-making I will provide sufficient contextual background information. This I hope will help to make my claims to knowing authentic, relevant and valid.
Keywords: Living-Theory. Systemic Coach. Emergence. Aesthetics.