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proflections

with decision-makers

 

To go leap into the unknown.

This picture describes my work as a psychologist and coach. In conversation, we, client and I, explore together the fields of action that are no longer entirely present and not yet wholly future. In front of us is a world in the fog. Possible details and structures hint and fade again. Only the decision to step forward, tracks are coming into existence, waymarks can be built. fields of action open up.

My preferred client-group
are CEOs and managing directors.  For them, I am a conversation partner when it comes to testing and developing plans and thoughts. Together we go into the unknown, into the fog that lies between the now and the future. I call this forward-looking process proflection. If reflection is primarily about the intellectual penetration of the known and the existing,  proflection is about getting the unthought into view, the not yet seen and driving development forward. Progress requires jumping into the unknown.

My theory of the world and humanity
backs the importance that the leap into the unknown has for me. My image of the world and us humans was shaped above all by the client-centred psychology of Carl Rogers and the work of the systemic biologist Humberto Romesin Maturana.

Because we live and work in a complex world
in which everything interacts with everything else, we can only guess what awaits us in the room we are entering. However, we may trust our experiences. However, only if we have compared them with those of others to check whether they are correct and up-to-date. The leap into the unknown is only possible together and in conversation.

As biological systems
we humans are only conceivable in connection with an environment, in connection with fellow-humans. If we lose this connection, we no longer exist. Only in interactions are both partners completely them. Ubuntu is the South African equivalent to this idea. Only in exchange with a “you” will I fully develop my possibilities and will have the strength to go into the unknown.

The question remains, which change theory is

the base on the proflections. The idea of methods or tools which ta coach applies is too mechanistic for me. I feel more comfortable when I describe my work as a collaboration as an equal search. For me, consulting work is relationship work in which we change jointly, coevolutionary, broaden our horizons. All those involved contribute their experience, their values and their quirks to the process. My central values are:

Friendliness and loving interaction with my counterpart and his ideas and questions,

Appreciation for the people as they have become up to now,

Inquisitiveness about the question at hand,

Perseverance, the absolute intention to know where and how the breakthrough is.

In the confrontation with experiences, values, attitudes and quirks of the partners, we all change and thereby expand our field of vision. The perception of the still unknown becomes clearer. The fog may even lift entirely, and a new area lies clearly structured in front of us.

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Proflection
describes for me quite well what happens in coaching. I found the nearly identical term, Proflexion at Johannes Groß’s Akademie des Werden  (Academy of Development).

To leap into the unknown 
I found this metaphor and this of the fog that lies between the known and the unknown in a TED-talk by Uri Alon, an Israeli Systemic Biologist, whose ideas I do find inspiring.