Since 2009, I have written more than sixty series (180 separate posts) addressing what I believe are some of the issues, challenges, opportunities, pitfalls, rewards, motivations, and responsibilities associated with being a seasoned change practitioner. This blog serves as a compilation of observations, lessons learned, and information I’ve gathered during my four decades of advising leaders, guiding organizations, and coaching change agents through transformational change. (Use the Series Archive in the sidebar to explore the various topics on this site.) Most of this writing has been centered on what we do—the technical, conceptual aspects of our profession.
From the beginning, it was my intention to first lay down a solid ”what we do” foundation that could serve as the bedrock for what I consider the more important and more demanding part of a practitioner’s work—who we are (how we show up when we engage in what we do). A few months ago, I felt there was enough of a “what we do” underpinning to allow me to focus the writing less on issues related to interacting with clients (contracting, leveraging resistance, fostering commitment, being a trusted advisor, etc.) and more on how we come forward as human beings when practicing our craft.
I marked this shift in emphasis with the release of two core series—Character and Presence and Cultivating Your Character—that I consider the center of gravity for the “who we are” perspective. With these two series serving as the core, I then began writing about some of the hurdles and validations associated with this aspect of being a serious practitioner:
- What are you up to? (A Serious Question for Serious Practitioners)
These are just examples of the kinds of themes that can be explored when “who we are” is the frame of reference, instead of methodology-related topics. The what we do viewpoint concerns itself with how best to address the client; a who we are orientation converges on how best to face ourselves.
Going forward, I’ll explore a wide range of who we are issues, including topics such as:
- Refamiliarizing ourselves with our innate character
- Becoming aware of the presence we project to others
- Aligning the presence we convey to our true nature, our character
- Matching our character and presence to clients who recognize and value who we really are and the unique qualities we bring to their change endeavors
I’ll continue to offer my perceptions and learnings but I’ll also invite guest contributors to write and speak about their own experiences related to balancing what they do with who they are. Occasionally, I’ll loop back to certain previous postings or entire series that can be seen in a different light when viewed through the Character/Presence lens. If you have observations, impressions, insights, etc. you are willing to share about how you show up when serving as professional change facilitators, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the next post, I’ll share a recording of a conversation I had with four seasoned practitioners, during which we explored implications of how Character and Presence relates to being a professional change agent.