Helena Clayton Newsletter - View this email in your browser
Leadership Developer • Facilitator • Writer

Welcome to the November 2020 Newsletter

Well, after a pretty intense few months, I might just be coming into a period with some space in it.  That said, you know what they say... if you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.  But I'm serious about making it a time with more space in. I need a winter that has the feel of hibernation about it. Not least so I can dive back into all the books relating to this work that I have piling up.  Oh and yes, lots more walks and time in nature too, for sure :-)

Leading from Love
This month saw the final module of the first Leading from Love programme. With 11 participants from across the public and private sectors, it was a bold and curious group of leaders from a global consulting firm, a housing association, the NHS and the Civil Service, an HR consultancy practice as well as coaches and independent consultants. Together we explored why love matters, what is means in practice, what the role of modern leaders requires of us, and what blocks and enables love in organisations.

I was so pleased with how it went and participants said:

  • a deeply thought-provoking examination of what it means to be a leader and the mission to bring more love (and thus humanity) into the way we lead and organise our teams.
  • I can honestly say that this programme has changed my life! Those few short hours have made me think about topics I have never considered – or never considered in relation to organisations before.
  • a deeply rewarding, challenging, inspirational and soulful programme
  • this is most thought provoking and action oriented course I have ever attended and I can see the impact in my organisation already after just a few short weeks

I have dates for the next cohort, starting on 22 January and bookings are now open. I have a vision for growing this work into a 6 month face to face programme but for now you can experience it online over 6 weeks and details are here. Perhaps you'd like to join me - you'd be so welcome - and I'd certainly appreciate you sending it on to others who might like the look of it too.

Listening.  Really listening.
You might remember that I did some Thinking Partnership training back in the summer, with Meg Peppin,  an approach developed by the wonderful Nancy Kline. The idea is that you as the listener gets right out of someone's way so that they do their own independent thinking - a gift we rarely get.  I said I had found it a very loving way to listen and be with someone, and it chimed with a post I had written sometime before on 'holding space'. Anyway, Nancy Kline has a new book out, all about 'not interrupting' and the power of that.  It arrived the other day, I can't wait to get stuck in - and I'm betting it's got love at its core. And there's a lovely new blog post here on how we can create simple structures for people to speak, feel heard, create connection in the middle of these testing times. 

Artful Knowing
It's said that the gateway emotion to love is joy.
  And so it was with real delight that I joined one of the monthly 'Artful Knowing' webinars from Mayvin as we explored our creativity from the angle of a child and asked about how play and creativity and joy showed up for us at that age.  It came in the same week as a short 'rediscover your midlife mojo' session with my colleague Lee Chalmers, who took that topic as her starting point - what did we love doing as a child and when and why did we stop doing that.  I'll be writing more about the links between love and joy soon myself so do look out for that when it comes. And in the meantime, there's a lovely book here exploring joy in our physical environment - something I notice really matters to me as I intentionally try to find tiny moments of uplift and colour in what could otherwise be a pretty grey winter. 

Wishing you a good month ahead ...

Helena x

Love as care

I prefer to avoid words like care, compassion and empathy when it comes to talking abut love in organisations.  I want to hold fast to using love. I don't want to use alternatives chosen because they are more palatable to us, more acceptable in our workplaces.   I'm fearful that once we use words that are substitutes for love we will end up with substitutes for love when what we really need IS love. And I am, of course, conducting a big experiment here... can we talk about love and see what we can learn by doing that.

Nevertheless, I'm talking about care in this post. Because when I saw a new book exploring how social care work is invisible and yet vital and also in crisis, I thought I might find some parallels with where some of my thinking is going with love and leadership.  

Labours of Love is a powerful and important book and you can buy it here. And if you want an introduction to it and the key themes, you can hear Matthew Taylor of the RSA talking to the author Madeleine Bunting about it here

The blog is here and, as ever, do let me know what you think about what I'm thinking-out-loud about :-)


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Upcoming Events
There's still not much happening in the world of events but in June next year, you might like 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 25th 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.

In the meantime, I'm doing plenty of webinars and the like for organisations, so the interest is there.  And a session I'm running for Network Rail's first Wellbeing event (with thousands of attendees) has several hundred people signed up to hear about love, which is great news.  I'll post the recording next month.
Let's Connect
If the idea of love in organisations interests you (or maybe 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 participants' eyes to new ways of seeing and working. Yes even virtually.  So 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
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