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

Welcome to the March 2021 Newsletter

Hello everyone, and especially new subscribers to this Newsletter. I hope you like what you find here.

I don't know about you but January lasted 703 days, then February went by in a flash. Plus I lost a few days to a migraine which made the month even shorter!  

An exciting month of work, all told, with some highlights: 

  • Diagnostic interviews and write-up with a new top team I'll be supporting.  Always fascinating to hear how a team sees and experiences itself ... and to note that even doing the 1:1s has changed some some things about the way they are together and they are already having some different conversations.  
  • Reconnected with group I studied with last year - with Prof Jem Bendell and his pioneering work with Deep Adaptation, exploring leadership in the climate crisis.  I'd lost touch with this work but I'm putting together a workshop on 'hope' with a colleague and so the timing felt spot-on. 
  • started some new coaching supervision which was fantastic.  It's been a while since I worked with a supervisor and it was a joy. I'm doing it in a pair, with another colleague/friend, and that was a new approach for me, and it was powerful.  Enough airtime for me, and also learning from the depths of the issue she brought.

Thanks for reading and for being here. And please do send this Newsletter on to anyone you think might like to subscribe. You can find the 'share' buttons just below.  

I'll get the next Newsletter ready to send out just after the Easter break, so I'll see you then ...

Helena x
Things I've loved this month

An extraordinary film in 6 parts by Adam Curtis exploring the relationship between individual and collective psychology over recent decades.  If you have any interest in social and political history power and politics, then is a must-watch.  Fascinating stuff. 

I'm a huge fan of Michael Meade's work and his podcast Mosaic Voices draws on myth and legend, poetry and song to draw parallels with our lives today and how we might navigate them.  I often walk the streets of Horsham in the early morning with his voice playing through my Bose headphones. 

When I talk about my work with love, people often mention the work of Roger Harrison. He died some time ago, otherwise I would be emailing him to see if I could apprentice myself to him.  He says what I want to say but so much better :-)  Here's a taste...

You know I recommended How To Do Nothing the other month?  A book about how we needed to reclaim our attention as a radical act of self preservation?  Work Won't Love You Back is along similar lines.  Work wasn't set up for us to find fulfilment and meaning in it, Sarah Jaffe argues.  We need to look elsewhere for that.  

And when I want an hour in bed with a box set, I've come very late to the party and am watching Last Tango in Halifax.  What a joy.  I could watch Anne Reid all day!

Leading from Love  - update
The March Leading from Love programme.is now full, but I'm happy to start a wait list if needed - just drop me a line.  This starts on Friday 19 March and runs for 6 sessions. Dates are Friday 19 and 26 March. Then a week off for Easter. And back for 4 more weeks Friday 9, 16, 23 and 30 April. Full details are here

I'm thrilled to say that I will be running the first in-house version of this programme soon - for an NHS Trust whose organisational 
 strategy and OD strategy for the next few years will focus on 'renewal and regeneration'.  We'll be exploring how a lens of love might make a direct or indirect contribution to that. 

And I'm starting the first of a series of 'conversations about love at work' next week.  I'm talking with six people from a range of backgrounds including leaders.  I'm excited to have the conversations and also a bit nervous as I'm going to record them and see whether I can set them up like a podcast, a new experiment for me :-)  

And talking of podcasts, here's one I was a guest on the other month - a relaxed and wide-ranging conversation with Liz Howard.  You can listen to more from her podcast series here

The case against love 
Because I advocate strongly for love in organisations, it seems only right that I should be able to argue the other side - that love has no place in our workplaces, and why it feels so problematic, almost taboo... so difficult, so easy to turn away from. It's all part of the picture and an important one. 

This piece explores some of those reasons.  There's a lot more to say and I'm due to update this and add to it, to reflect what we talk about in my workshops and Leading from Love programme.  And I will do at some point soon. But in the meantime, this piece gives you a flavour for why love might have gone underground...
New blog - Love as allyship 
I wrote this blog in preparation for a piece of client work on allyship, and also for a group called Deeper Leaders who were exploring themes of gender balance for International Women's Day, but it was one I was planning to write under the banner of love and leadership anyway.

Many people talk about practical love or concrete love and I like that angle.  Because it's true, sometime love feels bit hard to pin down.  But considering allyship as a form of love feels spot on, to me.  You'll have heard me talk about love as anger, arguing that love often starts from a clear sense of 'and that's not ok'.  

And one of the things that isn't ok is the lack of women in senior roles in our organisations.  What's not ok is that women still assume by far the majority of the caring work in organisations and at home.  What's not ok are the damaging assumptions that we still carry around about men and women.  

And so allyship - and in the month of International Women's Day I'm talking about being a male ally for women - is a form or practical love that we can cultivate right now. 

Here it is
Working in and with nature
When I work with teams, helping them develop into the best version of themselves, I am often searching for ways to take them out of the familiar and into a fresh context.  For me, 'bringing the outside in' is a core philosophy of mine when I design programmes and one way to encourage that is to get people away form their office - and then out into nature.

That's always taken a bit of thinking through.  And obviously more tricky this last year!  But I wanted to tell you about two people who are doing really interesting and innovative things with teams, using the outdoors and a connection with nature as the focus. 

Liz Dawes is someone I met when I was doing my Hoffman Process teacher training.  A lawyer by training, she now works as a forest therapy bathing guide from the beautiful Broughton Hall in Yorkshire. And if you can't get there, she brings virtual forest bathing it to you virtually.  Take a look.

And you should also know about Lucy Kidd, a coach and leadership developer, who runs 
Talk the Walk, a series of remote coaching walks designed for leaders and teams looking for a way to connect and grow together, recharge energy and nourish their mental and emotional wellbeing.  I've only recently met Lucy and there may be a Rishikesh trip in us yet to come :-)
Upcoming Events
As I mention above, I have new dates for the next Cohort of Leading from Love, starting in March.  Full details are here.  Previous participants said it was inspirational and soulful and 'a deeply thought-provoking examination of what it means to bring more love and humanity into the way we lead'.  Take a look for yourself or for someone else you know who might be interested...
There's still not much happening in the world of events but in June this 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 relationships.  Please note the date has been  moved from June to 14 October 2021.  Do add the date to your diary - and I hope to see some of you there.

And do you already know The House of Beautiful Business?  Take a look - they do some wonderful things.  Their next big conference in the Autumn - both live and streamed - is on the theme of Concrete Love and you can read founder Tim Leberecht's take on that here.  It's full of lots of other great links to 'love in action'  so definitely worth a read. And maybe you might like the look of a conference place too?
Let's Connect
Typically, my work involves:
  • designing and running leadership development programmes sometime for big multinationals brands and other times for a small UK Housing Association. 
  • helping teams take a good look at how they're working together 
  • coaching and holding a safe space for conversations and deep exploration that there's no time and space for otherwise
  • and of course, my on-going work with love - researching, running workshops and programmes that explore the role that love could/should have in organisational life. 
If you think a conversation about how I might support you in any of those areas might be useful, please do get in touch.  You know where I am 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
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.