The Traps of Power, Privilege and Entitlement

At CLE Consulting we often work with leaders and individuals who find themselves embroiled in conflict.  Our role is not just to help clients extricate themselves from these conflicts, but to learn from them.  

One cause of conflict in workplaces and society, which isn’t discussed nearly enough, is the use of power and rank.  Rank comes when we have greater power compared to someone else.  

Rank brings certain privileges – such as greater social mobility, the freedom to make certain decisions, purchasing power and influence.  The problem is that over time we start to take these privileges for granted.  We begin to assume them as a birthright or a reflection of our personal talents and attributes.  We feel entitled.  We also forget what it’s like not to enjoy these privileges. 

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Acknowledging Our Humanity

Like many of you, I am grieving the loss of Robin Williams.  I know I’m not the first to ask “How can a man who was so funny, who brought such joy to me and to millions of others, experience a level of depression beyond the reach of those who loved and supported him?”  

I know Williams was not alone is suffering depression and that many bear the agony of their suffering in silence and isolation. Each day, five Australian men commit suicide linked to depression.

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Coaching: Working with Attractors and Disturbances

Last week Vicki Henricks and I launched the Global Coaching Institute

It’s the realisation of a dream Vicki and I first spoke of lying on a beach in Hawaii when we were first en-route to study with Arnold Mindell, the founder of Process Oriented psychology. Our coaching methodology is based on the work of he and his colleagues. At the time, the conversation could best be characterised as idle dreaming rather than a clear plan or from intention.  We were shy about our visions and still needed to grow into the ability to realise them.

So it's hardly a surprise, with our first cohort of students commencing in October, my focus lately has been on what it takes to become a skilled coach.  I’ve been thinking about what prompts individuals to take that step to develop their coaching skills and perhaps embark on a coaching career.  I’ve also been thinking about what prompts individuals to seek out coaches.

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The Risks Of Transparency In A Diverse World

Over the past few days there’s been widespread commentary on Olympic gold medallist, Ian Thorpe’s announcement that he is gay.  Discussion ranges from unconditional support, expressions of disappointment and even criticism that he didn’t come out sooner.

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Knowing When to Retreat

Have you ever thought you’re pushing too hard?   If you drive yourself, chances are you’re pushing others as well.  Usually the two are connected.

Having our foot permanently on the accelerator results in chronic change fatigue and burnout.  As an organisational development consultant, I see individual leaders and organisations spinning their wheels.

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History Is Not In The Past

For the last week I’ve been in Warsaw, as a member of the facilitation team for an event known as Worldwork. Delegates from twenty-eight countries gathered to discuss, understand and address current and historic global conflicts. 

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Wising Up to Power In Leadership

As a coach I find one of the biggest challenges leaders face is knowing how to relate to the power and authority that comes with their role.

Some leaders are so uncomfortable with the idea that they habitually defer to others and fail to take action on issues that turn into major problems.  But sidestepping the question of power and leadership, is short-sighted.

If we are to develop confidence in our use of power in leadership, we need to understand it.  It’s important to be able to differentiate between the effective use of power and its misuse.  We need to recognise the circumstances in which each of us may be prone to using power poorly.

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Being Authorised In Your Role

Do you want to set your staff up for success?  An important strategy is ensuring that they are clear about their roles, responsibilities, delegations and accountabilities.  

Whilst this may seem obvious, its something most managers don't pay enough attention to.

Many managers rely on position descriptions to convey this information. While position descriptions are a starting point, the truth is that each person needs to discover what their role really means and how they can best occupy it.   Bruce Reed likens this journey to that of an actor who given a script must determine how to interpret the role.   

 

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Reflections On Typhoon Hayain, Privilege and Responsibility

As 2013 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the events that had a significant influence on me this year.  

High on that list is a trip my partner and I made to the Philippines for our friends, Russell and Linda’s wedding.  The openness and generosity of our hosts is still with me.  That simple meeting with strangers, who celebrated, laughed and danced with us, reminded us of our basic humanity.  We came home deeply enriched.

Only a few weeks after our homecoming, super-typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines.   I found news coverage of recovery efforts both inspiring and deeply challenging.  Sitting in the comfort of my lounge chair I became an uneasy voyeur, watching some of the poorest people on the planet piece their lives together. 

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When Communication Goes Underground

Failure to communicate openly can be a real problem for teams and working relationships.  In the absence of direct communication, indirect communication usually results.  A culture of gossip, high unexplained staff turnover and widespread complaining to no-one in particular, can be signs your workplace is a little reticent when it comes to direct communication.

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Forthcoming Events

CINERGY

Conflict Management Coaching

Our four day training program introduces participants to the CINERGY® Conflict Coaching model and the Not-So-Merry-Go-Round of conflict which is central to developing insight and change. With a focus on experiential learning participants become skilled in facilitating others in a process of change.

  • Canberra: 23-26 October, 2017
  • Melbourne: 13-16 November, 2017

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