May I Be of Service?

Cropped  GLASSES Head Shot Apr 2014Over the years, I’ve used various words to describe myself in my work: clinical social worker, leadership coach and mentor, consultant, process designer, conversation host, group facilitator. I had these words printed on letterhead and business cards, and in social media. And now I realize, like a coat that’s become too small, none of these words speak to the essence of who I am and what I do. So dispensing with nouns and titles, I’ve found another way to describe how I, and Panache Consulting, may be of service to you.

“Let your work be your love made visible.” — Kahlil Gibran

This is my “north star.” I’ve never seen a distinction between my work and my life. It all flowed, one informing the other, even during the inevitable fallow periods of tough love, unrequited love, dis-spiriting love. It’s why the notion of work-life balance never made sense to me, and why David Whyte, in his The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship, made perfect sense. Whyte, among others, suggests it’s less about balance and more about holding steadfast our commitments within each and across all “marriages.”  While not for the faint of heart, many of us are looking to create “a marriage of marriages,” by integrating our heartbreaks, gifts and lessons learned within each marriage.  Does this make sense to you, too?  Would reimagining your own “three marriages” bring you fulfillment and peace of mind?

“To listen to others as if everyone were my Master speaking to me his last cherished words.” —Hafiz

My professional training and life experiences have honed my abilities to listen deeply to what lies under the words and outward expressions, to uncover essence. Recovering from illness has given me the boon of becoming even more comfortable with and appreciating more fully the energy required for such deep listening. This is an act of service to the individuals, groups and circles with whom I host. Do you yearn to be listened to in this way?  Can you anticipate its benefits to you personally, professionally?

“…the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.” — David Whyte

By cultivating my own inner stillness, learning how to empty or put aside my “material,” and being at ease in silence, I know how to create and hold the space to witness another. I know how to serve as a circle’s guardian, observing and responding to its energy, dynamics, patterns, and timing. I know how to support others in the development of these practices to grow in their capacity to lead in emergence and complexity. Do you right now need the privilege of this touchstone as you make your own personal or professional journey? Would support help you develop the practices to grow in your capacity to live and lead in emergence and complexity?

“What are the questions that really matter to us here? How can we nurture the collective intelligence and wisdom to create the conditions which will give rise to the futures we want rather than being forced to live with the futures we get?” — Juanita Brown and David Isaacs

My work is premised in asking meaningful questions, creating the conditions for individual and collective wisdom to surface, and stepping into the fires of conflict, challenge and paradox to hold the tension for new insights and common ground to emerge, for courageous and compassionate action to ensue. Are you and-or your teams, departments and organizations charged with asking these questions, with creating these futures?

“Consciously or unconsciously, leaders put in place organizational structures, practices, and cultures that make sense to them, that correspond to their way of dealing with the world.” — Frederic Laloux

From my early clinical training, I’ve known that the real work of leadership is the inner job of deepening self awareness – of illuminating our blind spots, accepting our fears, vulnerabilities and uncertainties, widening our perspectives, surfacing and challenging our assumptions, inviting dissent, holding tension, forgiving our failings – to  align with our outer decisions and actions. To evolve into soulful, productive workplaces, we need to evolve our soulful selves, especially as leaders. Would taking time to deepen and align your self awareness with your leadership decisions and actions help you become the leader you envision, and help you help your organization realize its purpose?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions and recognize the benefits of support to help you find your answers, then I may the person to be of service to you and your group, team, department, organization.  Please complete the contact form below and I’ll be in touch with you to determine: if yes, now what, how, when, where and with whom?  Then we establish a suitable fee for service.