What is a Constellation?
A pattern emerges. A pattern which is an external expression of the hidden, internal dynamics in the system being explored. This initial map of ‘what is’ is illuminated to identify the dynamics that are blocking or causing conflict or other difficulties and, as the constellation develops, missing conversations are completed, whats been excluded is re-membered and fresh resources located. Through a combination of facilitation informed by a knowledge of the dynamics which sustain and limit systems and the phenomena of representative perception the constellation shows what is needed for change. A new pattern emerges that creates fresh insight and then resources and resolves, bringing balance to the whole system.
Representative perception is the somatic phenomenon that delivers such value in constellations, surfacing what has not been fully seen, said or considered. The tacit, embodied information that is held in every relationship system. Representatives and representative perception should not be confused with acting or role-play or mythodrama. There is no ‘story-telling’ or acting, only perception. Unlike role play a constellation is facilitated, not directed, and can be relied on every time to deliver new insights and information beyond the stories, ideas and judgements that can distract and misdirect leaders and organisations.
Each constellation includes time for checking and sense-making as well as a review of actions and responsibilities to take away.
How do systemic issues arise?
It is the attempts to ignore or side step these underlying forces which cause imbalances and entanglements in the system. Once out of balance the system tries to right itself and calls individuals or groups of people into service of the need to correct and find balance and the natural order again.
A constellation will surface the unseen dynamics and then reveal new paths to enduring resolution, bringing fresh vitality to the whole system.
What informs this way of working?
All human systems hang like a child’s mobile, in delicate balance. The winds of change can easily disturb one part, which in turn influences and affects every other part. The constellation of relationship dynamics changes and causes an imbalance. The sense of being in the ‘right place’ is lost.
The unspoken awareness in the system demands balance and redress. The system calls people – individuals in family systems, leaders and teams in business systems, into the service of the need to redress the balance. This creates numerous cultural, communication, leadership and motivation issues.
It’s the job of a Constellation to identify – and then point towards a resolution – these complex issues, bringing renewed clarity, fresh resources and energy to the system. So that all can find their place.
Where does this approach to resolution come from and what underpins it?
Hidden loyalties, identifications and entanglements are often revealed in just a few minutes, giving this approach a reputation as an intervention that can quickly get to the underlying dynamics and free up a system, releasing fresh energy that leads to resolution. The principles of acknowledgment and respect for ‘what is’ run through this work and so support people to really look at the truths and honour the past, before trying to move into the future and on into resolution.
Life within an organisation – with founder dynamics, matrix reporting, multiple hidden loyalties and the need for constant change – is often more complex than in a family system. Investors, staff, shareholders, former employees, suppliers and customers make business systems more complex as the interaction with many other systems on a daily basis creates a constant need for re-balance.
An increasing number of professional executive coaches are now training in this methodology and facilitating change at a deep level in individual leaders, teams and whole organisations.
How can I and/or my business access the benefits of Business Constellations?
1. Multi-organisation workshops
Leaders from different businesses and industries gather in a confidential workshop to illuminate pressing issues. Powerful insights about business, leadership dynamics, consulting and organisational health emerge when working on your own issues but also whilst supporting or observing the work of others. These workshops also provide an opportunity to hear about the underlying principles of systemic leadership and organisational health. Available in one or two day workshop modules.
2. Private bespoke workshops
For single businesses that have a number of organisational, leadership or other systemic issues to explore and who have a senior management team who want to explore them as a unit. Available in half and full day workshop modules with or without external neutral representatives.
3. Organisational health and systemic leadership development workshops
These are one or two day off-site workshop programmes, for cross-functional, multi-team members from one commissioning business, exploring issues of organisational health, personal and professional development and systemic leadership through a mix of exercises and whole group constellations illuminating current issues and building system awareness in a group of leaders from the same organisation.
4. One-to-one systemic executive coaching
Constellations and the understanding that underpins them are also very effective in one to one settings where organisational, leadership or other systemic issues can be explored with a senior executive and a systemically trained coach using table top or floor based applications of constellations.
Learning circles and training environments
For coaches and consultants there is a facilitated learning environment, available through this website: coachingconstellations.com as well as other opportunities for training, information about which is available at the workshops or on request.
What about confidentiality?
At the start of the workshop a confidentiality framework specific to that workshop is also agreed by the whole group. This can be reviewed and re-stated at any time if required by the client. In addition it is possible to explore issues with concealed or ‘blind’ constellations, where no information is shared with the group.