Relational Coaching Conference

The theme of the 8th Annual Relational Coaching Conference is Building Trust. We believe trust is of desperate importance in today’s fractured world and lies at the heart of executive coaching.

With just a couple of days to go, if you want to order livestream tickets, please email the organisers using the button below.

Radical Hospitality: Building Trust

Friday 21st June 2024, 09:30-17:00, Ashridge House, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 1NS

Our previous conferences have been focusing on big, contentious issues for coaches in a frayed and crisis-torn society: love over fear in coaching relationships (2021) and identity: belonging and isolation (2022). This time we want to focus more deeply on what we as executive coaches can do in the circumstance, namely, building trust in relationships. We believe trust is of desperate importance in today’s fractured world and lies at the heart of executive coaching.

In this our 8th Relational Coaching Conference, we aim to enrich our awareness and understanding of trust, both within the coaching room (in the morning), and within our clients, where trust is integral to important coaching themes such as (self-)confidence, credibility, and assertiveness (in the afternoon).

We will begin our day with a keynote presentation from Foluke Taylor and Robert Downes who will be exploring trust in the context of radical hospitality where ‘radical' means: affecting the fundamental nature of something, making connection, and creating the conditions for dialogue and other possibilities.

How do we meet the absence of trust in ourselves, in our clients and in the field between us? How might we navigate the comings and goings of trust and render ourselves prepared for the kind of dialogues that might need to take place so that trust emerges as a consequence of truth telling and reckonings with multiple realities. Given that trust does not exist in isolation, that it comes about in relation to truth telling and dwelling, what are the kinds of truths we are troubling with that require radical hospitality within coaching conversations, both regarding the content of thought and the pattern of practice.

Foluke and Robert will reflect on these themes and questions with us.

The afternoon will be about the age-old dance between omnipotence and impotence, transforming the extreme poles of hubris and injury, that so often go hand in hand, and transforming them into a sense of ordinary competence. After a keynote about trust in our own full life experience from babies to older adults, there will be time to build our skills in working with clients who report under- or overconfidence. Important coaching themes such as narcissism, imposter feelings, assertiveness, and credibility, will be explored in depth, together with coaches and academics specialising in these areas.

Agenda

08:30 - Registration and Refreshments

09:30 - Welcome and Introduction

Erik, Charlotte and David will open the conference in this short welcome session.

09:40 - Keynote: Radical Hospitality - Foluke Taylor and Robert Downes

We will begin our day with a keynote presentation from Foluke Taylor and Robert Downes who will be exploring trust in the context of radical hospitality where ‘radical' means: affecting the fundamental nature of something, making connection, and creating the conditions for dialogue and other possibilities. How do we meet the absence of trust in ourselves, in our clients and in the field between us? How might we navigate the comings and goings of trust and render ourselves prepared for the kind of dialogues that might need to take place so that trust emerges as a consequence of truth telling and reckonings with multiple realities. Given that trust does not exist in isolation, that it comes about in relation to truth telling and dwelling, what are the kinds of truths we are troubling with that require radical hospitality within coaching conversations, both regarding the content of thought and the pattern of practice. Foluke and Robert will reflect on these themes and questions with us.

This session will be live streamed

    10:45 - Panel Discussion

    Our keynote speakers and coaching faculty will come together for a panel discussion, inviting participants to come and speak if they feel compelled to.

    11:30 - Tea and Coffee Break

    11:50 - Parallel Workshops

    Restoring & Safeguarding Public Trust

    Chris Edwards

    Consequent to a persisting series of reported investigations and inquiries in the public domain, I believe we are witnessing an unabated contagion of abuse of power and public trust in many of our major institutions.

    This workshop will explore what is needed to transform the leadership culture of these organisations: and how as coaches and supervisors we can help break down defensive barriers and promote systemic, sustainable change.
    This workshop will draw from an illustrative Case Study, and then jointly explore key themes arising both from it, and from others’ experiences. Themes will include the relationships between accountability and learning, power and powerlessness, and the impact different supervisory lenses can have in promoting our own ethical practice and leadership.

    Different Kinds of Trust

    James Gamgee

    “There are different kinds of trust” my research participants told me. A kind of tit-for-tat trust where the coach shows up on time and does what they say they will. This seems essential to help both parties want to continue. But there is another kind. One that makes people feel it is OK to bare their souls and explore areas where they feel vulnerable to shame or embarrassment. When they do that, they get clearer about what is going on and can envision a new future. Join me on an interactive journey through my grounded theory research into trust, from the stories of my participants to the striking resonance with empirically tested theory like social exchange theory, self-determination theory and synthesised models of trust.

    Facing Into Racial Difference

    Jan Baptiste-Grant with Charlotte Sills and Judith Bell

    We have been interested in the experiences of coaches and coachees who have worked in coaching partnerships where there is a visible difference between coach and coachee. This would usually mean a coaching pair of different racial heritages.
    We conducted a questionnaire survey of coaches and coachees about their experience of working in such configurations, which focussed particularly on whether the racial differences between coach and coachee were talked about in the coaching and if so, how this affected their contributions in the coaching relationship, the impact of their work and the outcome. We then interviewed in depth a small sample of coaches and coachees about their experiences. Our participants offered rich and varied material linking their experiences as a coach or coachee and their life experiences of racialisation. Data from these interviews was analysed for themes using grounded theory techniques. Central to these narratives was the profound importance of contracting, authenticity, and building trust in the coaching relationship.

    We will present initial findings from our interviews and invite our audience to consider their own experience of working with racial difference.

    This session will be live streamed

      I Trust the Coach Can Help Me”: The Power of Trust in Coach Support.

      Andreea Nicolau

      In my research, trust isn't just about the information we share but the compelling "why" behind it. In other words, trust occurs if the clients believe coaches can help them, which is “why” they are in the coaching conversation. My findings point to trust as an essential element of the coach’s perceived support that predicts coaching effectiveness. Moreover, trust can impact differently on the coaching outcomes based on how the coach perceives the client's effort in the session.

      This workshop is an exciting journey into the heart of coaching dynamics! You are invited to discover what fosters trust by exploring different perspectives, unraveling how our perception of the client shapes our coaching interaction, and unearthing actionable steps to elevate our practice and better support our clients.

      Expanding Our Radical Welcome to Nature

      Ann Knights & Dr Alexandra Stubbings

      Many of us are bringing the natural world into our work – thank goodness! The bizarre, centuries-old separation in the West between humans and nature, between the rational and the poetic, has not served us well.

      We hold the view that we are part of nature, that the Earth is animate and self-aware and that everything living is in communication with us all the time – if only we can notice and trust what they are showing us.

      In this session we will draw on practices we have developed in our own deep inquiries with nature in the company of eco-philosophers, rewilders and reformed academics.

      We invite you to join us in an embodied encounter with the non-human beings at Ashridge – to experiment at the edge of what you trust and is familiar, and what feels intuitive, edgy, or even risky.

      This session is outdoors, so please bring appropriate clothing and footwear. We welcome all to this session, so please let us know if you would like some support with getting out and moving outdoors.

      13:00 - LUNCH

      14:00 - Keynote: Trust and Attachment Throughout the Lifecycle - María Cañete and Arturo Ezquerro

      Human development is complex and multidimensional. Early developmentalists tended to focus on infancy, childhood and adolescence, largely to the exclusion of other periods in the life span. In recent decades, a more comprehensive perspective has evolved. It is now widely accepted that growth and change, gains and losses can occur throughout the entire life cycle. As we grow older, certain capabilities become more sophisticated, whilst others involve loss of skill. Furthermore, there are shifts in how people invest their resources (in terms of motivation, energy and time) at different points in their lives.

      In this talk, we will invite delegates to embark with us on a captivating journey through personal growth and group lives, including interpersonal and group attachment, from infancy all the way into old age. We shall amalgamate relevant research findings on life-span psychosocial and peer-group development, and on how these experiences impact the establishment of working relationships that are based on mutual trust and a sense of balanced, reality-based self-confidence.

      As a learning objective, we aim to go beyond conventional mental health and provide a distinct developmental standpoint, to dig into the processes through which healthy attachment and trust are established in our personal and professional lives.

      This session will be live streamed

        14:50 - Parallel Workshops

        Cultivating Self Trust in Our Coaching Clients

        Maria Gray

        How can we support our clients in building their self-trust, so that their self-doubt serves as a platform for learning and growth?

        We will explore the protective side of self-doubt, its positive purpose and the role it plays in creative reflection. We will engage the collective wisdom in the room to inquire into ways of evolving the protector into a trusted advisor, leading to self-trust, and the development of robust and resilient internal resources.

        Reframing Coaching Approaches To Imposterism

        Rachel May

        Imposterism has become a hot topic – the sense of not belonging, or feeling unworthy of a role or opportunity. Rather than trying to ‘solve’ or ‘overcome’ imposterism, is it time to think about this experience differently ? I have been researching how top coaches think about the topic with clients, and the creative approaches they use.

        Based on my findings, this interactive workshop will explore how our own relationship to imposterism shapes our approach with clients. imposterism will be viewed from personality, transition or social perspectives, reframing it as a positive spur for learning and change. I will also discuss strategies and assumptions about imposterism held by coaches working in different traditions, and the importance of coach flexibility in response to a client’s framing of their imposter experience.

        Fostering Trust and Confidence - 1

        María Cañete

        Our two PM keynotes will run the same workshop in parallel. Participants may choose to attend the workshop hosted by whichever speaker compels them.

        We expect people to actively engage in reflection and discussion (as per the group-analytic approach), based on the keynote talk, which will provide delegates with plenty of food for thought. Members will have opportunities to make their own links and bring their own experiences, regarding the process of fostering trust and confidence in oneself and others, whilst bearing personal and professional development in mind. We aim to create a safe, confidential space for members to feel free enough to firstly, reflect on the themes and learning points of the keynote lecture, and secondly, to consider the relevance of interpersonal and group-attachment experiences for the study of their personal and professional development, particularly the process of building trust and confidence in their work with clients.

        Fostering Trust and Confidence - 2

        Arturo Ezquerro

        Our two PM keynotes will run the same workshop in parallel. Participants may choose to attend the workshop hosted by whichever speaker compels them.

        We expect people to actively engage in reflection and discussion (as per the group-analytic approach), based on the keynote talk, which will provide delegates with plenty of food for thought. Members will have opportunities to make their own links and bring their own experiences, regarding the process of fostering trust and confidence in oneself and others, whilst bearing personal and professional development in mind. We aim to create a safe, confidential space for members to feel free enough to firstly, reflect on the themes and learning points of the keynote lecture, and secondly, to consider the relevance of interpersonal and group-attachment experiences for the study of their personal and professional development, particularly the process of building trust and confidence in their work with clients.

        Building Trust. An Inquiry Into The Validity Of Separate Identities

        Robin Shohet

        The Indian scriptures, the Upanishads, say where there is another there is fear. If I believe that I am only a separate individual, separated from you and all that is, then I will want to protect this separated self from you and apparently dangerous others, thereby reinforcing the separation. We buttress up our separate identities with roles, qualifications, courses, but might there be a nagging feeling underneath that perhaps something is not quite right?

        Might we be like Emperors, donning the clothes of our separate identities? From this perspective we would feel imposters, regardless of our impeccable ethics and credentials. This puts the idea of building trust into another paradigm; a willingness to surrender a belief in separateness to a presence that will guide us to what needs to happen.

        This session will be live streamed

          Who Can You Trust When You Are Juggling Everything?

          Glen Stewart

          A circus artist is willing to risk life and limb to do their job. They must trust that their equipment is manufactured correctly, that the rigging lines that they are hanging from have been installed properly and that their own body and mind won’t let them down when the pressure goes on. Most of all they need to trust their colleagues can be relied upon.

          The National Centre for Circus Arts will be running a practical workshop where you will discover if your mind and body are trustworthy when the pressure goes on. Can you trust yourself and colleagues to complete the task and do their job correctly to affect your ability to be successful?

          In this fun workshop, you will play with some basic physical tasks that require trust, communication and coordination with a partner or group of people. You will literally be leaning on others, build your confidence and learning to juggle your life without feeling overwhelmed.

          Speakers

          Our morning speaker sessions focus on building our awareness and understanding of trust within the coaching room.

          Foluke Taylor

          Robert Downes

          Chris Edwards

          James Gamgee

          Jan Baptiste-Grant

          Judith Bell

          Charlotte Sills

          Andreea Nicolau

          Ann Knights

          Dr Alexandra Stubbings

          Speakers

          Our afternoon speaker sessions focus on building trust within ourselves and our clients.

          María Cañete

          Arturo Ezquerro

          Maria Gray

          Rachel May

          Robin Shohet

          Glen Stewart

          Accommodation

          Book a room at Ashridge House for the night of the conference.

          Ashridge House is the perfect place to stay and unwind. A home away from home, our cosy rooms are located a short walk away in the modern extension of the main house and are the ideal place to escape from the bustle of life. All guests at Ashridge House can enjoy the complimentary use of the gym & pool including the jacuzzi, sauna, tennis courts, and bike rental. Please note, all accommodation is a short walk away from the main building. We have parking available for guests closer to the rooms, as well as a buggy upon request.

          As a conference delegate you will be able to access a special Dinner, Bed and Breakfast rate.

          Please note, we've now sold out our accommodation options for the night before the conference. Rooms are still available for the night of the conference, onwards.

          Download Brochure

          View our online brochure

          Contact Us

          Ask Us Anything

          Our admissions team are ready to answer your questions so if you’d like to talk to us please enter your details and we’ll be in touch.

          Next intake: October 17, 2024

          The deadline for our next intake is September 11, 2024. This is a fully online cohort and places are filling up fast, so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.