6th Relational Coaching Conference

6th Relational Coaching Conference

“Love Over Fear”

Why this topic?

A day organised around the quest to bring more love to work, organisations and the political world of today. An opportunity to stand still and deeply understand the power of the love that we use in our work.

We can see many forms that our love might take - respect, empathic understanding, dignity, humanity, warmth, unconditional positive regard, containment, libido, eros, agape - so many nuances of feeling.

What this means for organizations

Meanwhile, organisations are experienced as fractious, politics are ugly and the pressures on leaders are immense. So, what can coaches do to help out and not succumb to these forces? Are we not just small, external, insignificant service providers; often self-employed outsiders with no stronger weapons than our notebooks and pens, and on a good day our reflective minds?

What it means for coaches

We have thought long and hard about what it is coaches are trying to offer and what it is that we are up against. We wonder if what we offer is “love”, at least in our best work, where we see and use the point of view of the boss, the opponent, the client’s ‘better half’, whilst also being entirely on the side of the client, and ‘creatively indifferent’ to the outcome of the work. And we think what we are up against is “fear”: fear that we might be wrong, outnumbered, past our sell-by dates, insignificant, or endangered. This kind of fear guides us not to listen to the other 50% on the referendum ballot or closes us down to learning just-in-time and just-what-we-need to make our time in office a success.

In this conference we are inviting you to take a fresh look at love and fear. Can we have empathy for ourselves in our not-knowing, self-doubting, occasionally fearful state of minds – even our hatred, shame, envy and disgust – in order to allow for love and care?

Agenda

08:30-09:30 | Arrivals, Tea and Coffee

09:30-09:40 | Welcome and Introductions | David Birch

09:40-10:45 | *Plenary Keynote - Forgiveness: As mysterious as love | Marina Cantacuzino | Marina will discuss why she founded the Forgiveness Project - an organisation that has storytelling at its heart, & explore how forgiveness & humanising narratives can break cycles of conflict, transform relationships & be part of a creative and restorative dynamic.

10:45-11:30 | *Panel Session AM – Love and Hate in Organisations

11:30-11:50 | Tea & Coffee Break

11:50-13:00 | Parallel Workshops I - “Managing Fear”

1. *Leadership for Fearless Organisations | Ben Fuchs | This session will help coaches and consultants to support leaders in understanding how they can reduce the levels of anxiety-based responses in themselves and the people around them.

2. An Inquiry into Opening up the Negative Self | Marjan Timmer | In this workshop, Marjan invites colleagues to participate actively in a collaborative inquiry to explore ways to engage with the struggle of embracing the negative self.

3. Contracting Around Love and Fear in Professional Relationships | David Owen | David will explore how both fear & love manifest in ourselves and our clients, and how they become increasingly important in guiding us in the less familiar but deeper realms of our work.

4. The Unconscious at Work: How we manage our emotional lives on the job | Naomi Shragai | This workshop will explore the unconscious motivations behind people’s decisions and behaviours in the workplace.

5. Fear and Love in Business Families | Talia Bar-Yoseph Levine | In this workshop, Talia explores fear and love in ‘business families’ and the complexity of family life along with the challenges of keeping a business afloat.

13:00-14:00 | Lunch

14:00 – 14;50 | *Plenary Keynote - Love Over Fear | Robin Shohet | Robin will give examples from his own life and work to illustrate the application of this theme, including an assessment process where the approach was transformative. He will then look at how embracing the idea of love over fear can be relevant in all aspects of our lives.

15:00- 16:10 | Parallel Workshops II – “Embracing Love”

1. Looking Love in the Eye: Creating the conditions for love to emerge | Helena Clayton | This session offers an experiential and intimate look at love, likely to provoke rich discussion and conversation.

2. The Dance of Love and Fear | Joan Wilmot | In this workshop Joan will see if and how supervision can provide a way back to our roots in love and simultaneously observe our relationship with fear.

3. Metabolising Fear: pathways to loving integration| Dina Rezk | In this workshop we explore the transition from seeing fear as something to be ‘overcome’; to an understanding of fear as an embodied emotion to be metabolised, and lovingly integrated, into the full spectrum of human experience.

4. Working parents – from Love to Fear and everything in between| WOMBA (Work, Me and the Baby) and Hult Ashridge | The transition from worker to working parent is an emotionally charged experience yet little understood in an organisational context.  We'll be sharing insights from the first stage of our research with mums and dads who have recently returned to work.

5. *Love and power - Shame and the need for balance | Simon Cavicchia | In this workshop we shall start with Jung’s polarity of love and power and explore the need for balance.

16:10-16:30 | Tea and Coffee Break

16:30-17:00 | Collecting the Day | Charlotte Sills

17:00 | Drinks & informal conversations

*denotes session will be live streamed

Event details

Date: 14th October 2021

Venue: Ashridge House, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 1NS

Read our Covid19 Event Information

NEW Live Stream Option: Following the impact of Covid, we have decided to offer a live stream option for the conference for those unable to join us face to face.

Ticket pricing:

Ashridge: £250 entry fee - All refreshments and lunch included
Live stream: £120 - all plenary sessions including keynotes, one AM workshop and one PM workshop included.

  • AM Workshop: Leadership for Fearless Organisations
  • PM Workshop: Love and Power - Shame and the need for balance

Conference team

Erik de Haan, Charlotte Sills, David Birch

Get in touch with Jenna Welch at Ashridge to find out more – jenna.welch@ashridge.hult.edu

Register for this event

Use the link below to register for the in-person and live stream options. You’ll be able to select your choice at checkout.

More upcoming events

Workshop Leaders & Presenters

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Marjan Timmer

Marjan Timmer is an experienced senior organisation consultant in organisational and group learning. She runs a relational practice in the Netherlands as an executive (team) coach and a supervisor in organisational change. Marjan loves to work with the unique challenges each client brings, and feels privileged to engage with both them and their questions. Her experiences have taught her that there is richness in saying a candid yes to love, as well as a candid yes to the elements of life we are not so fond of, such as fear or in bolder terms, even hate.

Read more about the session: An Inquiry into Opening up the Negative Self

In the workshop, Marjan invites colleagues to participate actively in a collaborative inquiry to explore ways to engage with the struggle of embracing the negative self. The negative self has many faces. Marjan will encourage us to open up about how we struggle with this ourselves in our roles as coaches, and how this may impact our clients and colleagues. Embracing our own resistances, concerns and rejections, and saying yes to what we do not want, may offer us a multi-layered playing field with space for both love and fear and a wider perspective of tolerance, forgiveness, and generosity. Can we, as Nietzsche said, ‘love our fate’. There is not a certificate to obtain, nor a recipe to follow, that is for sure. What will be asked is that you bring an open mind, frankness, and curiosity in exploring resources that may be right under our noses as a rich opportunity for learning.

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Ben Fuchs

Ben Fuchs has been working in personal and professional development for 30 years. Drawing upon his background in psychotherapy, group psychology and conflict resolution, he works as consultant in leadership and organisational development. He joined Ashridge as associate faculty in 2010 and also works with The King’s Fund, NHS Leadership Academy and the Centre for Supervision and Team Development. His work focuses on how organisations and leaders create the climate and culture where people speak honestly and listen openly. He has published in Harvard Business Review and European Business Review.

Read more about the session: Leadership for Fearless Organisations

How people feel has a major impact on how they work. Emotions are contagious. Where the dominant feelings and cultural norms are based on fear, anxiety, and frustration, the behaviour patterns often become unhealthy. Defensive routines replace creative problem solving. Impression management replaces real development. So how can we create a climate in which people feel psychologically safe, where speaking freely and listening openly are part of the cultural norm? We need to explore the unconscious assumptions, and encourage leaders to disrupt cultural habits, often the habits that are most comfortable to themselves, to model different behaviours. This session will help coaches and consultants to support leaders in understanding how they can reduce the levels of anxiety-based responses in themselves and the people around them.

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Naomi Shragai

Naomi Shragai is a business psychotherapist with over 30 years clinical experience. She now specialises in helping people resolve entrenched work related problems by examining their unconscious motivations. As a freelance journalist, she is a regular contributor to the Financial Times where she writes about the psychological aspects of working life.

Read more about the session: The Unconscious at Work: How we manage our emotional lives on the job

This workshop will explore the unconscious motivations behind people’s decisions and behaviours in the workplace. Managing difficult and negative feelings at work, such as anger, envy, and contempt, and the defences employed to deflect from these feelings will also be addressed

EG

Dina Rezk

Dina Rezk is an Associate Professor in Modern Middle Eastern History and Politics at the University of Reading, UK and a Fellow of the Cambridge Security Initiative. Her research lies at the intersection of security, authority, and popular culture in Middle East studies with a more recent focus on emotions and political transformation. She has been funded as a ‘Rising Star’ by the British Academy, the AHRC and the Leverhulme Council. In 2019, she was selected by the AHRC/BBC to be a ‘New Generation Thinker’, broadcasting her research on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. In May 2021, she wrote a personal essay for Radio 4 titled 'Making a Friend of Fear'

Read more about the session: Metabolising Fear: pathways to loving integration

This workshop begins with a reflection on a personal journey with fear in the wake of trauma. Love and fear are often portrayed as binary opposites, warring expressions of a divided self, with the ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ implications of that division embedded deep in our psyches. Here we explore the possibility of a different approach: the transition from seeing fear as something to be ‘overcome’; to an understanding of fear as an embodied emotion to be metabolised, and lovingly integrated, into the full spectrum of human experience. We reflect on how the energies of fear and love can exist in conversation with one another, what role embodied practices play in this conversation, and how this dynamic might be integrated into our life and work.

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Helena Clayton

A consultant of 25 years’ experience, Helena designs and runs innovative leadership development for public and private sector organisations and is a coach, thinking partner and critical friend for leaders at all levels. She is part of the Faculty for Roffey Park’s MSc in People and Organisations and runs several OD education programmes. Helena is currently researching, writing and speaking about the role love could or should play in organisations and beyond.

Read more about the session: Looking Love in the Eye: Creating the conditions for love to emerge

First I’ll share an overview of my recent research findings: why love matters – including to me - why it’s problematic and what we mean by love. Then together we’ll explore what love might look and feel like between two people. We’ll see if we can consciously create the connections that open the door to love. We’ll explore tuning into the moment and really experiencing it. And we’ll ask how that feels for us and also what it might mean for our boundaries. The session offers an experiential and intimate look at love and is likely to provoke rich discussion and conversation.

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Marina Cantacuzino

Marina Cantacuzino is a journalist and author who in 2004 founded The Forgiveness Project, a charity that works with real stories to explore how concepts of compassion, empathy and forgiveness can be used to break cycles of violence, restore broken relationships and mend broken hearts.

Read more about the session: Forgiveness: As mysterious as love

How does forgiveness mend broken hearts and repair fractured relationships? How can people who have been harmed find freedom from the obsession of why or how? Why do victims and survivors line themselves up to forgive when those who have hurt them offer neither apology nor remorse? Marina Cantacuzino will discuss why she founded The Forgiveness Project - an organisation that has storytelling at its heart, and explore how forgiveness and humanising narratives can break cycles of conflict, transform relationships and be part of a creative and restorative dynamic.

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David Owen

For the last decade David has worked exclusively in the health sector where love and fear are particularly prevalent. The session will help coaches to contract around fear and love in their work and invite participants to explore the potential to deepen their relationship with clients while embracing their own part in challenging relationships including through countertransference and projective identification.

Read more about the session: Contracting Around Love & Fear in Professional Relationships

Fear and love are twin angels that sit one on each of the shoulders of every coach and every client. Getting to know both becomes increasing important as we relate at deeper levels with clients and is part of the implicit journey of every coach. We will explore how both manifest in ourselves and our clients and how they become increasing important in guiding our work in the less familiar but deeper realms of our work. Together they play a significant role informing our intuitive and emotional intelligence that help us glimpse and can guide us in realms that often remain hidden. Participants are invited to bring an issue where aspects of love and fear have impacted on their work, from strong feelings, desire to help, compulsion, anxiety, competition or other manifestations, in coach or client (individual or group).

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Robin Shohet

Robin Shohet has been supervising for over 40 years. He is co-author of Supervision in the Helping Professions and editor of Passionate Supervision and Supervision as Transformation. His latest book ‘In Love with Supervision - Creating Transformative Conversations’ which he wrote with Joan Shohet-Wilmot came out in January 2020. His core belief is that love is the basis of existence, but covered with fear in a way that is not recognised, especially in an achievement orientated culture. He is committed to helping people recognise and accept their fears as a way of achieving their potential.

Read more about the session: Love Over Fear

If we took the title Love over Fear how might that affect our approach to our work as consultants, coaches, trainers, supervisors? How comfortable are we around acknowledging our own fears, and perhaps even more, our love, to ourselves and each other? I will give examples from my own life and work to illustrate the application of this theme, including an assessment process where this approach was transformative. I will then look at how embracing the idea of love over fear can be relevant to all aspects of our lives.

EG

Joan Wilmot

Joan Wilmot works as a supervisor, trainer and psychotherapist. Her particular interest is in working with systems and using organisational and family constellations work. She has been running supervisions trainings for over 40 years. Her passion is in enabling people to find the work they love and love the work they do.

Read more about the session: The Dance of Love & Fear

Two quotes I have found intriguing and inspiring in my work as a supervisor are: Work is Love in Action’ Peter Caddy - co-founder of Findhorn Foundation; ‘Work is Love made visible’ Kahlil Gibran. If that is the case how come that is frequently not our experience? In this workshop we will see if and how supervision can provide a way back to our roots in love and simultaneously observe our relationship with fear.

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Simon Cavicchia

Simon is an executive coach, consultant, UKCP registered Gestalt psychotherapist and author. His work focuses on supporting leaders, their teams and their organisations to develop personally and professionally for navigating the challenges and complexities of contemporary organisational life. He is particularly interested in the phenomenon of shame and how it shapes identity, culture relationships and learning. He considers understanding and working with shame to be central to development and unlocking possibilities, innovation and potential in individuals and their systems. He teaches on the Ashridge/Hult Masters in Executive Coaching

Read more about the session: Love and power - Shame and the need for balance

In this workshop we shall start with Jung’s polarity of love and power and the need for balance. We shall explore the role of shame and how it can drive both an excessive striving for power whilst also inhibiting opening to love and connection with self and other. Through collaborative discussion and inquiry we shall begin to identify ways in which as practitioners we can attend to shame processes in ways that support creatively holding the tension of love and power in ourselves, our clients and the organisations they shape.

Talia Bar-Yoseph Levine

Talia Bar-Yoseph Levine

Talia, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist, gestalt therapist, trainer, supervisor, and business consultant who specializes in retail, leadership and family businesses. Currently she is chairperson of the Israeli Gestalt Association and co-chair of Jerusalem Gestalt Institute. She has been the president of IAAGT, member of the Intagio EC, the head of the Gestalt MSc department at Metanoia Institute in London, the academic director of an 8-year training in the Czech and Slovak republics and of 5-years training in Greece. 

Talia is editor of the books ‘The Bridge –Dialogues across Cultures’, 2005, ‘Gestalt Therapy Advances in theory and practice’,2011,  'From Here to Later – The Art of Staying-with While Planning Ahead During a Global Crisis', 2021, as well as author of many academic publications.

Read more about the session: Fear and Love in Business Families

When addressing family businesses as “business families” we change at once the way the family and the coach perceive the whole. It is an inclusive term that gives voice and space to the entire system - business and family - rather than to the business which is run by some members of a family. The inherent complexity of family life along with the challenges of keeping a business afloat call for a combined skill and multidimensional attention. To highlight a few issues:

· The complexity both of belonging and yet remaining a differentiated entity.

· Jealousy and competition between family members in the business

· How does one find peace and rest away from business and/or family?

· The sources of power – access to money, favourite members and, less so, distance from the ‘Chief’ – and keeping to personal values.

Business-families systems are the most common and also the most complex and never-resting institutions. How can the relational coach help them to create and relate with their love and manage their fear?

Helen Sachden
Alison Green
Carina Schofield

WOMBA (Helen Sachden and Alison Green) with Carina Schofield

Helen Sachdev and Alison Green are accredited executive coaches (Ashridge of course) and Directors of WOMBA (Work, Me and the Baby). We specialise in coaching programmes to make the world of work a better place for parents.

We’re collaborating with Carina Schofield, Senior Research Fellow at Hult Ashridge, on a research project to explore how working parents experience the transition to parenthood in an organizational context.  The ambition for the research is to provide recommendations to inform a transition through which parents feel supported, and organisations retain motivated staff members who are enabled to contribute productively.  

We've all balanced family lives with successful careers. We know from personal and leadership experience that support around becoming a parent is critical to an employee's career and the gender diversity of the organisations they work for.  This is something we all care passionately about.

Read more about the session: Working Parents – from Love to Fear and everything in between

You’re experiencing the force of love and fear in a way you haven’t before. You’re leaving behind a world that’s familiar and known. You’re likely to be judged, overlooked and resented. You’re changing in the full gaze of your family, friends, colleagues and manager. And you’ll do this twice in a year. This is often the reality of becoming a working parent. We’ll be sharing details of our research project, and some insights from the first stage of this research with mums and dads who have recently returned to work and have experienced love and fear - and everything in between.