How can coaching support climate action?

LinkedIn post, 1 June 2021  How can coaching support people’s actions on climate change? There are so many ways, as I’ve learned from the excellent 12-week Climate Change Coaches course I’ve just completed alongside an inspiring international cohort.

Here are six reflections from my learning:

1. Climate coaching in one form or other is becoming central to leadership coaching.

2. Climate change evokes big emotions. We can hold a safe space for clients to work through eco-anxiety, anger, grief, overwhelm and feelings of powerlessness. Continue reading

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Designing organisations that welcome everyone

25 May 2021 How do we design organisations that inspire, connect and welcome everyone? Community initiatives can teach us a lot. Colinton Tunnel, a former railway tunnel on the outskirts of Edinburgh, used to be grim, dark and scary for the walkers and cyclists who passed through. Read my LinkedIn post about how it was transformed. This photo depicts a small part of the amazing Colinton Tunnel mural.

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What will matter most after the crisis?

10 May 2021 By Alison Maitland

How do you want life to be when we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis?

It’s a big question. You may have been too busy juggling work and home-schooling to give it much thought, or too overwhelmed by sadness and exhaustion to focus on anything other than just getting through. If so, I invite you to make a little space now for reflection, even just to jot down a few thoughts and let them mull.

The pandemic is one of those life-changing events that offer a precious opportunity to reassess everything and to refocus on what really matters. In this rare case, it’s global, collective and simultaneous, which means the possibilities for change are much bigger.

To make the most of these possibilities, we need to consider both what we do and who we are as humans – what actions we take and who we really want to be in relation to ourselves, others and the planet.
Continue reading

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Seven ways to find joy in climate action

LinkedIn post 4 May Is there room for joy in climate action? Anxiety, anger and anguish are often dominant as people face up to the enormity and seriousness of climate change. These are powerful emotions that must be recognised, acknowledged, expressed. But as humans we also need counterbalance.
As Charly Cox and Megan Fraser of Climate Change Coaches point out in their excellent coach training programme, painful emotions like anger and grief can tell us a lot that’s positive about people’s values. Someone experiencing climate grief, for instance, is also expressing their love for what is being destroyed.
Similarly, sorrow can be an expression of lost joy. So I’ve been reflecting on seven ways we can find joy in taking action on the environment: Continue reading

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Creating excitement about the power of inclusion at work

LinkedIn post, 27 April How do you excite people about the power and potential of inclusion at work? Using everyday analogies is helpful. In our book INdivisible, Rebekah Steele and I describe a truly inclusive work environment as being like a well-functioning traffic roundabout or intersection.

Readers have told us this captures their imagination. It’s highlighted in a new review of our book in International Coaching Psychology Review. Describing INdivisible as ‘very timely’, reviewer Claudia Day says it gives many examples that make it easier to grasp all the angles of the topic. ‘I especially like one where they invite us to see inclusion as a roundabout, where everybody pays attention to everyone else, takes turns, and is thoughtful of their actions to be successful as a whole.’ Continue reading

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Sustaining motivation in the face of setbacks

LinkedIn post 13 April Are you a change-maker? Do you get disheartened when progress is slow, when you see hard-won gains reversed, when the path ahead is blocked?
Setbacks can be tough to bear, especially tackling urgent challenges like climate change, racial equity and women’s rights. But progress does not follow a straight line, it takes many paths, some circuitous.
I’ve been reflecting on change-making, and acknowledging the wisdom of the past and future, since reading Ijeoma Oluo’s excellent book So you want to talk about race.
Oluo describes how it’s both inspiring and disconcerting when young people call for things that older generations of change-makers were brainwashed into believing were ‘too much to ask’. Continue reading

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Podcast: Radically rethinking inclusion

30 March  As part of Workplace Forum 2021, my co-author Rebekah Steele and I were interviewed by Ben Rue for this podcast on overcoming barriers to inclusion with a bold new approach. Drawing on our book INdivisible, we discussed:

  • Our expansive vision of inclusion to address global challenges
  • How inclusion helps Performance, Preparedness and Purpose
  • Moving beyond ‘belonging’ to the 10 enablers of inclusion
  • Measuring the business impact of inclusion
  • How to take account of people’s whole identities, and much more

What are you and your organisation doing to advance sustainable results with inclusion?

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What do we need from ourselves to bring ease to others?

LinkedIn post 23 March 2021. I was sent a gift last weekend. A link to a raw but uplifting poem for our times: ‘For One Who Is Exhausted, a Blessing’ by John O’Donohue.

It describes how we can lose our sense of self and the choices we have as we travel fast through life. Although published in 2008, it seems to capture how many people are feeling right now – exhausted through overwork, lack of work, anxiety, grief.

The poet tenderly offers a path to recovery, reconnecting with ‘small miracles’ of nature, discovering space where there seems to be none. Continue reading

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Embarking on climate change coaching

LinkedIn post, 16 March 2021 What changes have you made over this past difficult year? What’s precipitated those shifts?

Last May I attended my first online coaching conference as UK ICF responded to the ‘New Reality’. I heard Charly Cox, Climate Change Coach, FRSA speak about how many of us feel powerless in the face of this existential threat, and how coaching can help people shift from fear and uncertainty to action.

It was inspiring. As a non-expert, I’ve been reflecting on what more I can do to help ensure future generations enjoy a planet that’s in balance. I’ve just embarked on Climate Change Coaches training programme to learn how to apply my coaching practices to this biggest of all challenges. Continue reading

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Getting to equity: time to celebrate or worry?

8 March 2021    By Alison Maitland

It’s apt that this year’s International Women’s Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge. Even though there are some milestones to celebrate, the journey towards gender and other forms of equity faces troublesome obstacles and there is plenty ahead to challenge. I see two big threats to hard-won progress, one driven by the economic and social fallout of Covid-19, the other by prejudice and ignorance.  Continue reading

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