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Systemic Solutions: Case History 1
Martyn Carruthers

Online Coaching, Counseling & Mentorship

PROJECT: Re-organize Senior Management
CLIENT: Vice-President (2600 employees)
CONSULTANT: Martyn Carruthers
BENEFITS: About $250,000 saved and effective communications restored

BACKGROUND: During a management re-organization; the management structure, performance and relationships were examined. The following case history outlines one part of this project.

ISSUE: A senior executive officer was part of the original startup team, and was involved in all core initiatives, but experienced difficulty relating to his CEO, peers and subordinate staff. The management team had worked together intensively for over six years. Although the executive was widely regarded as a genius project manager, the CEO and most senior management avoided and minimized personal contact with him, describing fearsome mood swings. The cost of replacing him was estimated at $250,000; plus months of chaos and a probable major unfair dismissal lawsuit.

SOLUTION: Individual systemic coaching with the executive. The goal direction was to clarify the issues, identify the causes and change the patterns. Background data was collected during interviews with the CEO and staff, including systemic diagnosis of the relationship structure in which the executive worked. Clear goals were identified and mutual expectations established.

SYSTEMIC DIAGNOSIS: The executive was aware that his workplace attitude was problematic - but he was shocked to find the extent. During coaching, he realized that he often communicated to the CEO as if to an equal partner; to senior executives as if to siblings; and to junior managers as if to children.

The executive was stunned to realize that he often used close-family relationship language and non-verbal behavior with employees; and that he experienced and communicated unpleasant emotions if they did not respond with similar close-family behavior. He discovered that he transferred his family relationship needs onto his co-workers. These needs, together with his unpleasant emotions about feeling rejected by his co-workers, motivated him to behave in ways that they preferred to avoid - ways that they called fearsome mood swings.

As the executive focused on effective solutions, he understood how changing his business relationships would benefit himself and his company by maintaining and increasing personal and team productivity. A strategic change plan provided a sequence for the executive to develop his relationship skills. The plan was to create effective and pleasant workplace relationships and end counter-productive behaviors. He implemented the plan over six weeks, with our ongoing feedback and support.

RESULTS: The executive quickly learned how to achieve better results through effective relationship management. He gained insights and skills for making relationship choices that served both him and his organization. He understood how his relationship entanglements inhibited corporate success (and recognized that these entanglements might precipitate early retirement or termination. His newly identified behaviors, reinforced through our coaching, replaced less productive habits.

As the executive clarified his work relationships, he could better focus on strategic issues. Simultaneously, his changed outlook allowed him to empower the junior managers. Relationships with the CEO and peers improved dramatically (and as his relationship communications generalized - he reported better relationships within his real family members).

Within six weeks the executive reported that many of his peers and junior managers who once avoided him were offering friendly co-operation. He reported significantly more energy for his work and his life generally. (And other executives requested our individual coaching.)

NOTES: Most human adults NEED quality relationships in seven categories, and react in predictable ways if their relationship needs are not met. Appropriate reactions include improving friendship and partnership skills. Inappropriate reactions include depression, distractions (obsessions etc), dissociating from co-workers (acting as if unconcerned, unconnected or detached) and relating to co-workers AS IF the co-workers were family members. The latter reaction is common and may produce enormous confusion and chaos in organizational relationships.

Managers often spend more time with their colleagues than with their families. A deep need for belonging (for partnership and parenthood) can motivate managers to inappropriately bond to co-workers. Difficult scenarios occur quickly if other employees have complementary needs and simultaneously create emotional bonds (transference loops).

This results in systemic entanglements - codependent and symbiotic relationships that distort the thinking and limit the actions of employees. Following systemic diagnosis, solutions usually often become more and more obvious and are usually easy to implement. The difficulty is defining the emotional blocks and fixations.

Some organizations use entanglements as a way to control people. Entanglements are a defining feature of compliance in many cults, multi-level marketing, fundamental and military organizations. To help employees leave cults and extremist organizations, see Exit Coaching.

Emotional freedom results when relationships are evaluated and clarified, and relationship skills are learned, practiced and used. Systemic Solutions offers practical relationship management integrated into business coaching.

Case History: Manage Families in Organizations

Case History: Manage Conflict in Organizations

Case History: Entrepreneurial Management in a Bank

Dependent Relationships . Interview with Martyn Carruthers

Systemic Coaching & Training

Do you want systemic coaching or professional training? We coach and train managers, and can resolve their success blocks and relationship challenges.

Our Systemic Coaching Specialties

Control Workplace stress - forever Merging organizational cultures
Manage creativity and creative employees Managing and integrating refugees
Duplicating competence with Expert Modeling On-site coaching in challenging situations
Managing organizational conflicts In-house training for management development
Hiring, firing and inspiring employees Managing difficult employees
Downsizing and productivity Protect against Psychological Operations
Crisis and contingency planning Coaching and training in Central Europe
Corporate and organizational partnerships University, College and Systemic Education

Online Coaching, Counseling & Mentorship

Plagiarism is theft. Martyn Carruthers All rights reserved 2003-2012

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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email