What is your role in bridging the old and the new, contributing to the new world breaking open, rather than falling apart? In the midst of all the rapid changes, conflicts and uncertainty around us, where we may at times feel like yelling out the window, “I’m not taking it anymore!” (ala the movie “Network”) or crawling under the covers, how do we move forward with hope? In our “Coaches as Facilitators of the New World” roundtable podcast for Sacred Changemakers, we discussed how to contribute to our world breaking open, viewing our role as coaches as bridge-makers between the past and the present.

1. As we stand in the midst of this stream of change, we reach back to the past with one hand, pulling our values and treasured legacies with us, and reach out to our desired future vision with our other hand. I love this image and metaphor heard in an Indigenous Wisdom program. Those still clinging to the shore of the past, expecting life to resume as “normal” may be left behind, as some businesses were who were unable to pivot or shift during the pandemic.

2. We can embrace the shift in the West from “I” to “we”. At the beginning of coaching sessions, I ask, “What will be of greatest value to you, your team, your organization, your stakeholders?” This is the big “we” picture, and reflects a Quadruple Bottom Line impact: people, planet, prosperity and purpose. Yes, stakeholders can include our planet and future generations, also our communities, families. We can expand prosperity beyond the 1%, to #unlockallpotential, per the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Coaching tip: focus on 1-3 goals for greatest impact

How will you put this shift into action? I called my Senator with the message: “It’s time to focus on what is best for our people, our nation, rather than what is best for a  political party.”

How else can we contribute to the world breaking open? We discussed recent Wall Street Journal and NY Times articles pointing to the role of leaders expanding beyond making a profit to social and corporate responsibility, that their stakeholders are expecting this of them, especially after they’ve made public pledges of support. And do they have the skills and mindset to do so? That’s another bridge that coaches can serve-to partner with leaders to reflect and make those shifts, especially with cultural intelligence. Our fellow roundtable guest reminded us to first take a deep breath!

In our culturally complex, diverse world, it is important for us to practice cultural intelligence with ACHE™, my acronym for Awareness, Compassionate Curiosity, Humility and Empathy for successfully navigating our emerging new world.

See how our podcast relates to the earlier edition of this blog, first written in 2018, especially practicing grace or “nonviolence towards ourselves” as we recognize we may be in different places during this upheaval and #3, not going it alone

I received validation of my grieving for the state of our world breaking open while being called to action through practicing nonviolence toward ourselves, all others and toward a world longing for peace, economic and social justice, environmental healing and effective nonviolent solutions through Fr. John Dear’s Campaign Nonviolence program. Wow, that is a tall order! I am both inspired and overwhelmed by this goal.

I was not familiar with “practicing nonviolence towards ourselves”. Are you? I now see it as an invitation to check in with how we treat ourselves: our self-talk, our diet, exercise, our spiritual practices, who we choose to be in relationship with, honoring our boundaries, including our relationship with our earth. We can “beat ourselves up” over our imperfections or accept and love ourselves, others, and the earth.

1.Where do we start? Mindset leads to action. Does that mean we accept all kinds of behavior? No. We can consciously choose to act in ways that honor and respect ourselves, others and the planet, based on our mindset of viewing ourselves, others and our planet as worthy of respect. If a person or group of people are disrespecting you, others or the planet, we can choose how to interrupt that bullying, also respectfully.”Never wrestle with a pig; you both get dirty and the pig likes it,” unknown. I would add “someone momentarily acting pig-ish”, not choosing to label or see someone as a pig.

I am currently participating in an eight week guided journey integrating contemplation and action. I find myself at times wondering when to speak up. At a dinner party recently I challenged a label of a certain nationality based on the person’s interaction with one person, and asked for a definition of a negative label someone else used. What might this look like for you?

Active on social media for my business, I find it challenging to determine when and how to speak up and stand up for what I believe to be “right” (best for the common good) when people are posting disrespectful comments. And it can impact my hopefulness. I monitor how much time and attention I give to reading or listening to “rants” and the news. I access diverse news sources to avoid being taken in by “skewed” (distorted, misrepresented) news. “Every story has 3 sides to it-yours, mine and the facts.” Foster Meharny Russell

How are you determining when and how to speak and stand up, what media to take in?

Whether you choose to be involved in Fr. John Dear’s Campaign Nonviolence or anything else that will contribute to our world breaking open rather than falling apart, I invite you to take action. 

2. An action tool: In “Challenging Communication Two Step“, I share a nonviolent communication model for interrupting bias and bullying which I use successfully with leadership and team coaching clients. Yes, our coaching both the “victim” to interrupt the bullying as well as the bully to change their behavior resulted in the organization’s increased talent retention, not only of these two contributors but also stopped a talent loss of many years due to the bullying behavior.

I not only partner with leaders, teams and coaches to check in on the assumptions they are making about others and how that may reflect bias and how to manage it, but I also have advocated for increased cultural intelligence (CQ) within coaching for decades. Where and how are you speaking and standing up?

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”-Helen Keller (on my vision board!)

3. How to stay hopeful: Fr. John’s reminder to not go it alone, to act in community and through the power at work within us was also especially helpful and helps me stay hopeful

He has been rejected by his own faith community, jailed 75 times, and yet nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (and embraced) by Desmond Tutu.

He reminded us that Ghandi meditated on the beatitudes daily for 45 years. Talk about training your brain, with patience! And offered a new translation of the beatitudes, “Poor, meek, grieving.. go forth and act!” rather than simply the passive “blessed be”.

I say to not act is a decision with consequences, please choose carefully. You can play a part in the world breaking open to the new and wonderful rather than falling apart, starting with your mindset, from which your action emerges.

Committed to being part of the solution, but not sure how to move ahead within your team, organization, community? Apply for an Unlock Potential Strategy Session with me.

Coaches, join now, our next Culturally Intelligent Mentor Coaching + Certificate Program cohort will be filling fast!

To our success, we are in this together!

Marilyn O’Hearne, MA, MCC

#unlockallpotential Culturally Intelligent Executive, Leadership, Team and Mentor Coaching; Supervision
First published April 19, 2018