Helena Clayton Newsletter - View this email in your browser
Leadership Developer • Facilitator • Writer
 Welcome to the June 2020 Newsletter

I hope this finds you safe and well and that you're managing to pick your way through things with as much ease and grace as you can. 

Some highlights for me this month include an online programme exploring how we can deepen into our purpose and discovering that you can do constellations work really well on Zoom; some deep and powerful coaching sessions that have left me reeling at the pressure and feelings of overwhelm that many people are dealing with right now; working on two big leadership programmes to redesign-for-virtual...and (yay!) my first few sea swims of the year at Ferring, on the South Coast :-) 

I've been reading Anna Burns' Milkman (amazing) as well as (finally - it's been on the shelf for years ) working my way through Sapiens on Audible.

I hope you enjoy what's here this month and if there's anyone you know who might like this Newsletter, please do pass it on. 

With love
Helena x

Featured this Month:
  • My first piece of writing asks if we know what might have shaped the way that we love - and what we think love is. If 'we lead out of who we are' then it makes sense that we should know something about our personal history with love, starting from our earliest years, and consider how that might have shaped us and our leadership. If we want to put love at the heart of our leadership, this personal exploration has to be part of it, I'd argue.
  • I'd been planning to write a long second piece on anger as a form of love because feels so essential right now - and because it's an interesting angle on love that some people find provocative but many find useful - and then the events of the last week in the US have thrown me somewhat and I find I can't finish it.  And so, while I'm doing that, I'm just offering an extraordinary TED Talk that is a must-watch for our times.
For more information please see below or visit my website. If you have any questions please do get in touch.
How did you learn about love?
Each of us defines love differently, and we all translate that love into different actions and behaviours.  What shapes that?  How did we each come to know love?   Who taught us about love - whether explicitly or through absortption? And why does it matter to our leadership?

I've been doing some work with stories, and in particular, thinking about the stories we tell ourseleves about our childhood or upbringing - the story of how we've become who we are today. We can construct and tell that story in so many ways, and sometimes we might choose a different version for a particular reason.  But most of us tell the story in the same way time and time again.  I know I tend to.  Which got me wondering about what it would be like to tell a version of my story through a lens of love. Which led to this post about exploring how our personal social history shapes our take on love...
Anger as a form of love
Largely, we're an anger-averse society.  It's generally not considered acceptable for us  - men and women - to express our anger and so we have come to also think it's not ok to feel it. This isn't good at any level, not least because anger is really useful.

Anger is a way that we know that an injustice has been done, that something has been taken away from us or that someone has deprived us of something that matters. It’s an alarm, an early warning system, and it’s telling us that something is wrong.  It’s telling us that our heart has been hurt, that we have been wronged, that a core value has been breached or that justice has been denied. It shows us what really matters to us. It shows us what we love.
It’s entirely fitting and appropriate that we would feel angry when we contemplate (say) how minority groups are treated, when someone is disparaging or insulting, when someone’s actions harm others, when a policy or procedure discriminates, when someone whose job it is to protect us hurts us instead.  Not ok. Not ok. Not ok.
So we may need to connect with our righteous anger – intentionally – because it’s a powerful fuel for getting us to act.  It’s a catalyst and it wakes us up.  Anger in the face of abuse is a healthy, regenerative and healing response. And so we may need to rage and cry and scream and enable others to do the same. And yes, we need to chose how we want to express that anger.  But first we need to feel it.  And know it's ok to do that.

Anger is a connection to love.  A form of love.  A form of love that means we stands up for others and for ourselves, we shout loudly that things are not ok, we protect others, we take a stand, and we fight for what's right.    

It's a form of love.  And it belongs in leadership.

It's said that all revolutions have love at their core.  And so when I think of anger and I think of love and I think of 'right action' I think of Valarie Kaur, whose TED Talk you can see here.
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Upcoming Events
For full details on any event, probably online and all other upcoming events, please visit my website by clicking here...

The 6th Relational Coaching Conference on 'Love over Fear' at Ashridge, exploring how we create the conditions for love to emerge in a coaching relationship has now found a new home on 25 June 2021.  That should be safe enough, we hope!  Do add the date to your diary - and I hope to see some of you there.

No other events to tell you about.  Other than, I'm still (slowly!) developing two online offerings based around an exploration of love in leadership and I'll be back in touch once I'm ready to go live with those.
Let's Connect
If the idea of love in organisations interests you (or more interestingly if you think that love doesn't have a place in organisations...) come and explore it with me. You could hold a Learning Lunch session for your team on the role love might play in leadership - or run my 'Leading from Love' survey in your organisation. You might welcome a 1:1 session to explore your own relationship with love. Or take part in one of my Action Inquiry groups, exploring love in the workplace. Whatever, please do get in touch as I'd welcome the chance to explore this with you further.

Beyond that my leadership development work is all about conversations and relationships and building programmes that really open partcipants eyes to new ways of seeing and working. Whether you're interested in finding out more about that, want some good books recommendations, or can share your own experiences of developing leadership, it would be good to hear from you.

I'm social too so you can follow me on
Twitter and LinkedIn or connect via Email. Or call me of course, whichever suits. 

Helena x

Email: helena@helenaclayton.co.uk
Call: 07771 358 881
Join me on social media
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