Friday, 28 November 2008

5 Relationship model

Relationship in organisations


When the psychotherapeutic “Five relationship” model of
Petruska Clarkson is translated into modern business language it will equip you with a better understanding of people, processes and decision-making for your organisations in today's increasingly changing and unstable business conditions

1. The Working alliance – relationship
The basic contract by which people agree to work together within an organisation.The definition of the task:
What, Where, Who…
The working alliance is the most important relationship because it is essential for survival. If there is clarity in definitions of the purpose and objectives in the working alliance, the other relationships can flourish. On the other hand, if the basic working alliance is not solid, everything else will be undermined and there will be no business or organisation to speak of.
Coming together - forming the working alliance
In order for anyone to operate effectively and efficiently, they need to be clear about who they are, what their role is and what they are doing.

2. The Anticipated/ the Unfinished/ the Transference - relationship
Known in some psychological disciplines as 'transference', in an organisational context it is best understood as the human relationship equivalent of ‘unfinished business'.
The interference with the task
Many unresolved past experiences which people take to psychoanalysis and therapy shouldn't be present at work. But they often are. These can become the 'grit in the oyster' which causes unproductive behaviour by interfering with the working alliance through positive or negative distortions based on unhelpful past experiences. The 'unfinished' dimension is sometimes referred to as the 'transferential' or 'projected' relationship because a person can transfer or project elements of their past relationships into current ones. For example, people can bring to their work environment their grieving for a previous job, or difficulties from their relationships at home.
Being aware of what is preventing and obstructing development and progress
We all might say that we want to work together, to build and develop who we are and what we are doing. We work hard, say that we all believe in what we are doing and how we are doing it and still somehow things do not work out as we might have hoped.

3. The Developmental/ the Reparative - relationship
This is where an organisation's human resources are built in an incremental, linear way using conventional training and developmental psychology approaches to learning.
The improvement for the task
In contrast to the unfinished relationship and its need to make up deficiencies in the past, the focus of the developmental relationship is on establishing the adult professional. The aim is to equip people to be empowered, more autonomous and better resourced for the future. This needs to be done while maintaining a sense of excitement by providing sufficient 'stretch' at work to avoid boredom but without leading to burn-out. This is done largely by providing the information, support and challenge which helps individuals to learn in an incremental, linear way through the conventional training and developmental psychology methods traditionally employed by organisations.
How to move forward in a manner that benefits all concerned
Transferences can be seen as factors that distort what is happening between people. It can be described at trying to look at someone through a window that has misted up. In order to see the other person clearly, the mist or transferences need to be cleared away.

4. The (real) personal - relationship
The person-to-person dimensions of human interaction, which are the glue of social interaction in the working community and within an organisation.
The pleasure in the task
This can be fostered in management by the getting together and bonding of people from work. The difference between the developmental and the real personal relationship is that the first is partly conditional, in that it is trying to build better people, better management etc.; the personal relationship is more unconditional. It is being around with other people that you like to listen to, socialise with, whether something comes out from it or not. People are seen asunique individuals in this kind of relationship and would even result in people doing things that they would not originally have wanted, to do, just for the sake of the relationship.
Identifying an ideal way of operating and being together
When the ‘transferences’ have been cleared away and the possibility of moving forward has been identified, it is said that two people have established the basis of a “Real Relationship”. Such a relationship can be seen between state leaders, or between team members in sports, where there is warmth, a sense of human ‘being-ness’. This relationship doesn’t have to be peaceful and loving all the time. There is a significance difference between being friends with somebody and having someone as work colleague. You can have friends as well as friendly colleagues. It is a kind of oil that makes the relationships run more smoothly.

5. The transpersonal relationship
When considering the organisation's wider mission and purpose, unlearning is particularly important because relationships are likely to involve unpredictable 'step changes', rather than a gradual incremental evolution.
The meaning of the task
Human relationships that extend beyond the people that any one individual knows to encompass the organisation as a whole are what I classify as 'transpersonal'. The most tangible form in which this has become acceptable in organisations is the growing preoccupation with organisation cultures, mission statements and corporate visions and values. These are all ways in which connections between people create something more than the sum of their individual selves.
This concern with wholeness makes transpersonal relationships the place where the ideas from the new sciences are most likely to be fruitful. Until recently, dominant theories of organisation and management have concentrated on separation and the subsequent linking of roles, tasks and responsibilities. Our traditional science, philosophy and psychology have emphasised separation. The new sciences are more relevant to key characteristics of transpersonal relationships, such as their focus on holistic approaches, the psychology of meaning, higher connections, unpredicted step changes, complex systems, quantum effects, archetypes, non-local interactions, paradox, and the coexistence of opposites.
Achieving and maintaining an “optimum” state
Once this process is fully understood, it becomes possible to create an “Optimum State” (A state where things are as close to an ideal as you could imagine or wish for) anywhere, anytime, with anyone.
Mind Gliding actively teaches Prof. Petruska Clarkson’s ‘5 element Relationship’ model to people in organisations.

Centred on developing personal and collective awareness The ‘5 element Relationship’ model increases personal and collective response/ability. This approach has successfully created enhanced and sustainable organisational performance.

Being tailor-made and directed towards personal development within the managerial role, Mind Gliding Programmes provide the opportunity for development and growth beyond traditional management development training and learning.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Seven domains of discourse

Developing epistemological consciousness about complexity


The conceptual model of what originally was the seven epistemological levels was developed by Petruska Clarkson to help students who were grappling with the wide variety of models of psychology or orders of human experience so that the similarities, differences and contradictions of the existing models could be clarified and clear communication enhanced.

The model provides a simultaneous implication of different domains of human existence alongside the different modes of discourse used and the different narratives involved.

In thinking and talking about complexity, we are faced with the challenge of perceiving and discoursing upon the different domains of discourse that are involved in the attempt to capture and circumscribe the field in question. Frequently it is observed that misunderstandings are not necessarily due to intrinsic differences, but occur as result of category errors when the different truth values which apply in different domains are used indiscriminately across the various levels of discourse.

Domain 1: The physiological/perceptual

This is the realm of sensory experience, the part of our experienced world which functions in time before language manifests. The sources of knowledge on this level are the objects and events perceived through our senses and also the proprioceptive experience of phenomena within our bodies. It concerns body processes such as sleep arousal, psychophysiology, natural sleep rhythms, physical conditions of disease, the physical manifestation of anxiety and general sensory awareness.

Domain 2: The affective/emotional

This level comprises the feelings that we have in common with infants and animals-fear, pain, joy, anger etc. Emotions and subjective feelings pervade our existence, and even the smallest possible segments of our perceptions carry an ‘emotional colour’. Emotions are the subjective feelings which arise as response to one or another stimulus events.

This domain involves a pre-verbal area of experience and activity. It concerns those psychophysiological states or electro-chemical muscular changes in our bodies we talk about as feelings, affect and/or emotion in psychology. What one person experiences as distress in the vertiginous post-modern condition, another may experience as pleasurable excitement at the unfolding of creative potentials of chaos. It has been convincingly demonstrated and argued that there is always an emotional layer or sub-text to any communication - even if it is the acknowledgement of the other person.

Domain 3: The nominative

This level comprises naming through words, a process which rests on division into classes and categories and precedes complex abstract thinking. (This model is a level three discourse itself.) This is the area of objective nominalism, when objects are placed together on the basis of certain resemblances. Linguistic identity is established through the repetition of a unique sound which supports the development of an objective reality outside the self. Name giving implies reflective shared experience, the basis of human culture. Within any common set of language rules the fact that certain kinds of words are known to stand for certain kinds of objects, can be agreed, debated or disputed.

Domain 4: The normative

The normative level comprises the various aspects of the individual encountering the norms and values of the group, the tribe, the family, the organisation, the culture, the church, the political party etc. This level of discourse tends to deal with facts, knowledge of attributes and practices regarding people as ‘cultural beings’. It deals with values, norms, collective belief systems, stereotypes of gender or race for example and societal or organisational expectations.

Domain 5: The rational, logical:

This is the level of facts, the logical-rational dimension of testable statements, where causal relations can be clearly established. The rational permits clear positivistic principles of verification, it operates with that which can be objectively identified, defined and proved - for that time and that culture. Facts in this realm exist not as subjective feelings, mere words or shared beliefs, but as rational conclusions derived in a repeatable form from a body of well established empirical data. This layer of knowledge and activity includes thinking, making sense of things, examination of cause and effect, working with facts and information of the time and place. It covers science, logic, statistical probabilities, provable facts, verifiability according to Popper, established ‘truth’ statements and consensually observable phenomena.

Domain 6: The theoretical/metaphorical

The theoretical level attends to explanations, metaphors, the stories that are told to show how things have come about, narratives and metaphors. They are the means by which we make sense of the world; they do not establish the ‘Truth’ but remain some of the possible versions that when verified or negated pass from theory to the factual domain (5). Within the sixth domain there are the hypotheses, explanations, metaphors and stories that humans have created in order to explain why things are they way they are and why humans behave in a certain way. Theory that is not underpinned by the rationality of domain 5 tends to rely on the belief structures of level 4.

Domain 7: The transpersonal or currently inexplicable

The transpersonal level attends to the unexplained areas of human interaction and experience. It arises within an inner locus of evaluation and experience which appears to connect with the universal and is distinct from the outer locus of evaluation, which is group norm related. This domain refers to the epistemological area or universe of discourse concerned with people as ‘spiritual beings’, or for those who want to use another nomination - with the soul. It is beyond rationality, facts and theories and concerns the paradoxical, the unpredictable and the inexplicable. It is a region of unknowability, a horizon that has to be left open for the development of future areas of discourse and reference for these currently unknown conditions. In this domain, we could present complexity as those aspects of autopoiesis which are still mysterious, ‘physis’ or the life-force (see Heraclitus and Heidegger) which makes systems and organisms emerge and self-develop out of unpredictable circumstances - autopoetic emergence itself.

In memory of Petruska Clarkson

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Organisational Constellations

The constellation process :
Integration in the 5 ‘Relationship’ model of Petruska Clarkson

1. The Working alliance

When setting up a constellation it is necessary for everyone involved to be willing participants. They need to be prepared to be actively involved in a process that will require experimentation.
This is the working alliance, coming together (The first element of the ‘5 Relationship’ model).

The 5 elements of ‘Relationship’ are at the core of all work undertaken by
Mind Gliding* . Mind Gliding is a relationship catalyst. It is the enzyme that optimises performance in businesses or with individuals. Once the working alliance has been agreed, it provides the secure foundation to explore an issue that has been identified by a group member.

When the constellation is in place, the person who has set up the constellation then steps back, away from being ‘entangled’ in the current dynamic. Observation of the constellation will gain a new perspective and awareness of what is currently happening: the benefit from super-vision.

2. What is obstructing and preventing development and progress.

Once a secure environment has been established, it is the possible to explore and experiment.The exploration involves setting up a living representation of a current issue, including all the emotional entanglements that are part of that set of circumstances.

This highlights the second element of ‘Relationship’ - What is obstructing and preventing development and progress. By creating an externalised, physical representation of what is happening, the challenges become more apparent, opening the way to experiment with creative solutions.

3. Identifying how to move forward in a way that benefits all concerned

The third element of ‘Relationship’ - Identifying how to move forward in a way that benefits all concerned - provides an opportunity for those involved in the constellation to move into creative experimentation with different ways of interacting.The results and outcomes of the experiments will provide an intuitive indication of how to move towards a desired outcome.

4. Identifying an ideal way of operating and being together.

These intuitive indications can be translated into practical everyday useable reality and create an increased awareness of the fourth element of ‘Relationship’ - Identifying an ideal way of operating and being together.

5. How to maintain and sustain an optimum state

Having arrived at this, those involved can take the experiential learning gained from the constellation to move onto the fifth element of ‘Relationship’ - How to maintain and sustain an optimum state- : This optimum state (or optimum balance) of operating that fully embodies the previously identified ideal way of operating and being together. When an optimum configuration is arrived at, the person who set up the original constellation places them self back into the newly configured constellation to experience the resolution. ¶

* Mind Gliding Ltd :
We are Business Psychologists. We deliver Management Development Programmes to key people who carry managerial responsibility within businesses and organisations. These programmes provide an innovative approach to management training as it is linked to personal development within the managerial role.