Creating Change through
Courage, Compassion and Wisdom

In the fast changing, uncertain environment we find ourselves in, it is important that we stay connected to the diverse people around us to build enduring relationships and generate sound, workable and sustainable solutions to the daily issues we face. I strongly believe that courage, compassion and wisdom are three companions who work together to allow us to engage with others in a way that results in a positive outcome. Together, they  provide us with a way of being that is generous, nurturing and kind to ourselves and others.  If we are truly open to what they mean to us and how we can live our lives, we have the potential to grow and evolve as individuals and in so doing connect with and enable others to do the same.  These values are about connection and not isolation, about we and not I, about the individual and collective good rather than individual gain.  Very much the antithesis to how much of life is lived today in 2020.

Employed in the workplace, courage, compassion and wisdom enable us to create more inclusive environments in which we listen and engage with our colleagues on a deeper, humanistic level.  When individuals operate from the intersection of the three companions people are seen and heard. This is vital when tackling thorny organisational issues.

 

Research

I have conducted research to gather stories that illustrate different situations in which individuals display courage, compassion and wisdom and what gets in the way when they don't. The results were fascinating. I discovered that there are a number of factors that impact our ability  to display these qualities: self-compassion, our values, personal boundaries, self-care and supportive others. When we pay attention to these factors we are more able to operate from all three qualities. I am offering a range of services related to courage, compassion and wisdom:


CCW Programmes:

I have created 3 levels of programmes that individuals and organisations can benefit from: 

  1. The main programme is an experiential programme that deepens self-awareness and insight and provides practical tools to help individuals to access courage, compassion and wisdom more readily in the moment. It comprises 8 x half-day workshops with a cadence of 2 weeks to maximise the participants' embedding their learning into their daily lives at work and home.

  2. The purpose of the second level is to build awareness about the three companions and the conditions for developing them. This consists of 8 x 1,5 hr workshops that introduce the concepts and facilitate an exchange amongst participants that stimulates learning from each others' perspectives and experiences.

  3. Self-compassion is the foundation that allows us to show compassion to others. My findings show that many of us have a hard time in being kind to ourselves, recognising that we are not alone in our experiences and noticing how we are feeling in each moment. So, I have created a stand-alone workshop that focuses on helping participants comprehend how their self-talk relates to the different elements of self-compassion as defined by Dr Kristin Neff.

Online Community

I formed an online community in March 2020 in response to the bewildering times we faced as the COVID 19 pandemic hit and governments around the globe imposed lockdown restrictions. I host conversations for this community 3 times per week to provide a safe space for the members to have a conversation that they are unable to have elsewhere because they are free to show their vulnerability, express concerns, display negative feelings and feel seen and heard. The community members have gained strength and resilience from their participation in large part due to the shared common humanity of experiences, hearing different perspectives and approaches to the challenges we are all facing as we navigate how to live and work safely. This pandemic is certainly a situation that benefits from us showing courage, compassion and wisdom. I believe that there is a place for more communities of this kind.  if you are interested, please get in touch.

Book:

I am writing a book to enable people to see that courage, compassion and wisdom are qualities that are accessible. These qualities are innate in all of us and this books gives us examples of different ways in which they can be manifest and how we can reveal and express them in our own way. The book is in 3 parts; Defining, Displaying and Developing Courage, Compassion and Wisdom.  Watch this space for news about how this is developing and when it will be available.

Change

Organisations are changing all the time to adapt to their external environment and shifts in their chosen field of play.  This can be as simple as fine tuning organisational goals, re-focusing roles in new areas or more drastic changes such as implementing omnichannel marketing, implementing more sophisticated technology.

 

It is easy to underestimate the impact of even the smallest change, or not to take opportunities to re-think how to get the most out of technology enhancements, such as mobile working.  The organisation is an inter-connected system, where a change in one part affects other areas, leading to intended, and perhaps unintended consequences.

 

I help organisations to look at areas that are under-performing and work in a systematic way to increase their effectiveness at achieving their strategy.

 

Examples: targeted whole-scale leadership development; increasing collaboration; effective matrix organisations. 

Your Personal Chemist

I strongly believe that personal chemistry provides a powerful underpinning in any business relationship.  I cultivate strong personal and lasting relationships that engender trust, care and openness.  This creates a firm foundation on which to work with clients on their specific, and often sensitive issues and opportunities and develop solutions tailored to their circumstances.

Inclusion

The business case for diversity and inclusion is well-known; different perspectives, increased creativity, greater innovation, faster problem-solving, better decision-making, higher employee engagement, lower employee turnover, enhanced reputation. increased profits.  However, these benefits will only be realised if everyone feels included and a sense of belonging.  True inclusion means that individuals can authentically be themselves and are given equal opportunities to develop to their full potential. 

Most organisations are great at recruiting a diverse workforce. They are less skilled and ensuring that everyone feels included. It is not surprising that leaders define success based on what they value and what they have seen work in different contexts. Our identities impact the way that we engage with others and how we show up. Taking time to unpack our identities and whether we belong in the dominant or marginalised group in any situation gives us self-insight. Listening to the stories we tell ourselves and learning the stories of others enables us to form stronger connections and learn how to work well together to bring out the best in each other. We are shaped by the multitude of experiences that we've had from our early upbringing, school, friends, work etc.  Even though we may look the same on the surface, we are unique individuals below the surface.

I work with organisations to understand the experiences of employees that impact their feeling of inclusion and belonging. This takes the form of:

  • Courageous conversations for individuals and groups that provide a safe space for them to express themselves and feel heard.

  • Inclusion coaching to support individuals in working through inclusion issues that they are facing, generating insights and determining what changes they want to make.

  • Educating individuals on the language of inclusion

  • Looking at identity, how this relates to the opportunities (or lack thereof) that they enjoy, why and learning how to deal with group vs. individual identity.  

 

This leads to greater consciousness about how each person impacts others and how they can adopt more inclusive behaviours.

Leadership and Talent

Organisations succeed or fail on the quality of their leadership.  Leaders create the environment in which others can do their work - either enabling or disempowering.  Leaders set the tone of the organisation and through their actions 'write' the implicit rules that govern how work gets done 'around here'.  So, investing in your leadership is vital to success.  In todays climate, leaders have to deal with increasing complexity and make decisions faster than ever before.  The digital age has made everything possible - real-time information on how and what employees are doing to public feedback and comments on the organisation in a range of social media.  Leaders have to chart a course that allows them to stay true to the core purpose of their organisation whilst being agile to take advantage of changes in their marketplace.

 

A lot of emphasis is placed on developing senior leaders and middle managers, however, it is equally important to focus on first level leaders since they are often closer to your customers and inspire, motivate and engage the majority of the workforce.

 

Talk to me about bespoke interventions to increase the capabilities of the leaders in your organisation.

 

Examples: leadership development; intact team development & coaching; executive assessment; executive coaching; matrix leadership

What are innovative ways to source scarce talent? Where do I find, grow & retain talent in my organisation? Can I engage managers more effectively in developing talent? How do I define talent in my organisation? Tell me good ways to increase mobility in my organisation.

 

These are some of the questions I am often asked by clients.  There are many different solutions to these questions, so the starting point has to be with your organisation and people.  We know that talented individuals stay with an organisation as long as they are engaged in interesting work, have sufficient freedom to act and have opportunities to progress along their chosen career path.  As we say it's 'horses for courses' i.e. it's no good using sophisticated career development tracks if the characteristics of your organisation do not allow easy transfers across different business units or geographies.  Similarly, using social recruiting techniques, which are the latest buzz, only work if you put in the time and effort to build communities of prospective candidates and take your search beyond the 'usual suspects' such as LinkedIn and FaceBook to find hard-to-reach candidates. 

 

Talent acquisition, development and retention must come from a holistic talent strategy that embraces, employer branding (that is in sync with your product branding), good analytics that allows you to track employees and predict your future skills needs, a range of development opportunities (for all) that includes stretch assignments, secondments, shadowing, special projects and other programmes targeted to develop/enhance capabilities.

 

I work with clients to identify their unique needs and then tailor solutions to address those needs.  Examples: talent strategy; talent review; talent mobility; succession planning; capability development; diversity & inclusion; customer relationship development.

Contact Me

Tel: +31 611 526 090

joan.vandenbrink@arabaconsulting.com / info@arabaconsulting.com

Amsterdam, Netherlands

@joan_vd_brink

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