I help people who are meeting change to step into curiosity. Instead of asking ‘How did this happen?’ and ‘Who’s fault is it?’ we create a space to ask ‘What’s changing?’ ‘How can we grow from here?’ and ‘Who do we choose to be in this context? Through this approach I encourage individual and collective leadership. It is a generative approach for people, teams and organisations navigating through any form of transition.
Healthy systems produce better outcomes. A healthy system is one where healthy relationships are prioritised, ensuring people are connected and cared for. People participate in change they have had a hand in creating. This more human-centred approach best supports agency, creativity and achievement of desired results.
My work is organic, responsive, participative and co-designed with you to find new pathways and solutions and where the ownership of the process remains yours and where you bring about the desired change.
Benefits to this way of working are…
- Generates energy of potential and possibility
- Increases levels of connection and collaboration
- Increases capacity for self-awareness and of seeing selves within a system
- Provides valuable new perspectives
- Moves people from feeling stuck to momentum and growth
- Increases adaptive ability and more distributed leadership
- Provides language and frameworks for understanding change
- Surfaces awareness of organisation culture and of needed culture shifts
- Aligns values with purpose and direction
- Helps prevent burnout
- Reinforces positive synergies, increasing tolerance for difference
It is a qualitative, process-based approach requiring investment of time and energy, willingness to collaborate, curiosity and openness to enquiry, engagement with ‘not-knowing’ and investment of organisational resources in people and process.
“Susan worked with us to support collaborative working across three ‘pillar’ local culture stakeholder organisations. The context of culture and arts development, is one of tremendous change, conflicting pressures, the requirement to be continually responsive to multiple, complex needs, overlaid by ongoing high-level demands in day-to-day service delivery. Effectively navigating this while ensuring strategic direction is an incredible challenge. It is not easy to stop in the midst, take stock and try to maximise potential. The possibilities are not always easily tangible or clear. Susan created a facilitated space that enabled sharing and reflection to happen in ways that felt natural and organic to us. She brought significant skills that supported us to develop professionally and to better appreciate our expertise and the positive outcomes of our work. She challenged us where needed and enabled a way forward that offered greater clarity, assurance and shared direction.”
My style of facilitation is developmental. I provide facilitation for events and gatherings where facilitation is part of a process rather than an isolated one-off event. Traditionally the role of facilitator is understood as ‘making things easy’ (from French word ‘facile’). Developmental facilitation extends further, catalysing ways for groups and gatherings to maximise their capacity to work well together and achieve their purpose.
I do this by holding the task, the relationships, the process and the context in sight at all times.
Some examples of events I facilitate are…
- Team development or planning sessions
- Board away-days
- Staff engagement
- Peer learning
- Cross-sectoral or cross-departmental consultation
- Idea generation, exploring new possibilities
- Creating new networks or communities of practice
As an external developmental facilitator working in partnership with you, I help you create a gathering that becomes more than the sum of its parts.
- I harness the event as an opportunity to identify, lead and model desired changes in culture, purpose, and leadership
- I co-design and hold your event in ways that maximise its value from investment
In addition to achieving your event’s specific outcomes, further organisational benefits include…
- Less resistance and greater openness towards change
- Healthier collegial relationships, improved connection and sense of belonging
- Leadership support in context
- Deeper understanding of organisations and change
- Language for and modelling of desired culture shifts
- Positive experience of action learning approach positively influencing other aspects of organisational leadership and learning
In this way, ongoing cost-effective relationships with organisations with limited resources for supported change and development become possible over the longer term
Contact me here to have a chat with me about facilitating an event for you.
What is Coaching?
I believe in the transformative power of coaching and see it as a vital component towards shifting mindsets and evolving consciousness in today’s world. The international Coaching Federation defines coaching as: “Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.”
What’s My Coaching Approach?
My coaching approach is relational and holistic. Whether leader, entrepreneur or practitioner, I focus on you as a whole person, supporting you to maximise your energy, creativity and aliveness. I build warm and trusting relationships that help uncover what is true for you. I listen deeply, and ask open questions that support you to find your own answers from within. When coaching leaders, I also bring a strategic focus and can be your ally, critical friend, and champion.
I offer the enneagram as a valuable additional support to coaching. It is a powerful resource for deepening self-awareness and understanding of self in relationship with others that will support your development long after the coaching process has ended. I offer one-to-one coaching in person and online, either as a stand-alone intervention or as part of a broader change initiative or learning programme. I also provide team coaching and, in collaboration with others, courses in introductory coaching skills training.
The benefits of coaching are immense. Through it we can…
- Grow in self-awareness and confidence.
- Become more aware of your own thinking and behavioural patterns
- Recognise and value strengths and learn what energises and sabotages you
- Create a safe space in which to learn and experiment with new behaviours and ways of being
We start with an introductory session of 75 or 90 mins duration where we get to know each other, discover your intention, your desired outcomes, and how we are going to work together. This becomes our working agreement and contract which I email to you.
Initially I recommend committing to a sequence of four to six sessions. Follow-on sessions are usually 75 or 90 mins and spaced 3-4 weeks apart.
Once contracted I will send you a link and you can make your own appointment directly into my diary. You can pay easily and directly in advance or within 2 weeks of your session, using a link I provide. I have some clients that book occasional sessions every few months on an ‘as needed’ basis. This can work well when we already have an established coaching relationship.
Cost varies according to length and number of sessions, whether the coaching is as an individual, as an employee or as part of a broader initiative. An indicative cost is €150 per hour for individuals, artists and arts sector clients and more for others.
“Susan’s coaching, her in-depth knowledge and application of the Enneagram, alongside her mixture of helpful challenge and encouragement, have supported me to be an effective change leader.”
Dermot O’Callaghan, CEO, Sing Ireland
“Susan is an empathetic person who knows how to listen and give constructive feedback. I felt supported and encouraged. The notes, exercises, and enneagram were helpful, and now I apply what I’ve learned to my daily practice. I recommend coaching.” Elis Taves, Artist
“Thoughtful, kind, full of life” – David
“Your depth and integrity is contagious” – Anna Maria
“I really appreciated your warmth, openness and wisdom” – Emma
Peer Networking & Communities Of Practice
To pause and reflect in community is one of the most powerful changes we can make at this time. In a world increasingly suffering from a reflection deficit, a peer network or community of practice offers a vital resourcing space and a scheduled and planned reflection point.
I can help you develop a new network or peer learning community or provide facilitation and coordination for an existing group.
Benefits of peer networks…
They are a valuable means of information sharing across diversity, providing reassurance and building confidence and supporting collaboration . Other benefits include…
- Means of information sharing amongst diverse practitioners
- Engage vulnerably and honestly fostering heightened collegiality
- Member feel heard, nourished and supported and grow in confidence
- Make progress with complex practice dilemmas
- Grow individual and collective resilience
- Deepen courage for action in uncertainty
- Help to join the dots and inform policy and practice development issues from the ground up
I have a particular focus and strength in supporting practitioner learning communities in the context of intentional transformative change.
Communities of practices I have supported:
I have facilitated and developed the emergence of new networks and peer communities for Arts leaders through Upsource, Rethink Ireland’s Arts to Impact awardees, Family Support Workers in the disability sector, an interdisciplinary panel of artists to inform design and development of the Arts Service in Co Wicklow, Staff Development Facilitator Nurses in a hospital environment and the Senior Children’s Nurse Network
Action Learning Training
This is an introductory action learning taster course (half-day session in person or online) providing you with a direct experience of Action Learning as this is the best way to discover its many benefits.
- Principles and origins of Action Learning
- Benefits and applications
- Core skills: listening and asking open questions
- The steps and process of Action Learning
- Practical experience of an action learning ‘round’