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Systemic Management
& Executive Coaching

Online Life Coaching & Mentorship

More CEOs and top managers have a coach or mentor than ever before, and corporations want their managers to coach their employees as well as supervise. A systemic coach can help people learn faster, retain focus, enhance relationships and create sustainable results.

Systemic Coaching: Facilitating change and development in human systems
Systems Theory
: Theories about systems and about human behavior in systems
Executive Coaching: Preparing executives to make effective systemic decisions

Relationship Management

Executives in modern organizations must a constant and rapid flow of information and use that information to effect change in the organizations. Continual paradigm shifts, reorganization and reengineering impact the executive's decisions - and employees' families, friends and communities.

Executive coaching requires quality relationship skills. As an executive coach, you must connect with both your clients and with their organizations. The success of your executive coaching will reflect the quality of your connection with and understanding of human systems.

You can provide safe environments in which executives can explore the consequences of their decisions. After the goals are defined, you can provoke change. You can help executives develop appropriate beliefs and behavior; and later coach them to manage their relationship systems.

You can coach executives to be receptive before they consider change. Their motivation to change often comes from a state of inner alignment, perhaps with a sense of urgency. Our effective coaching minimizes stress and distractions, which can diminish both performance and health.

Executive Coaching

Leaders continually demonstrate their management style, and perhaps age. Old capitalism defined a leader as a commander, while the new capitalism defines a leader as coach, mentor and facilitator.

Executive coaching differs from other forms of coaching. Executive coaching focuses on prompt, measurable results. As an executive coach, you need to work in ways that maximize results and show that they are a result of your coaching.

During systemic diagnosis, you can assess the executive’s systems. You may get more leverage by coaching your client to first change some of their relationships or beliefs that reduce job performance.

You can also offer behaviors or beliefs that were effective in other systems. Or you can help stabilize or a system which impacts other systems. You can compensate for weakness, stress, or defects in one area by coaching change in other areas.

Systemic coaching helps you coach executives to organize and communicate, to track changes and measure results.

Inner & Outer Coaching

The relationships that most profoundly impact executives are internal relationships with the emotional, cognitive self which creates meaning and sustains purpose. If an executive lacks this inner alignment, you can expect stress, distress and inner conflict. Outer coaching must include inner coaching.

Classic Coaching & Systemic Coaching

In classic coaching, people are assumed to be individuals, representing only themselves. In systemic coaching people are assumed to represent their systems; reflecting the choices, emotions, culture, and other systemic factors. If you see a person in isolation, you may ignore important systemic dynamics.

In systems coaching, people are seen as actively interconnected and influencing each other's ability to change. Many people are entangled within their systems, within invisible borders that limit choice.

Awareness of entanglement - not as a linear cause-effect but simultaneously - complicates decisions. Small changes in one part of a system can precipitate significant changes in other parts - although the connections between the two may be not be obvious.

Systemic behavior is complex. Coaching a human system from the outside requires huge knowledge about the factors which influence the members of a system. Coaching a system from the inside requires that you join a system, as a guest, and then recognize and respond to systemic dynamics.

Systemic Coaching & Coaching Models

You are a member of systems within systems within systems, and you are influenced by, and you influence, all those systems. You influence every system you impinge on and every system that that system impinges on and so on. Systemic coaching helps you refine and focus your influence.

Coaching models vary greatly and can be distorted by the coaches who use them. Each coach has different values and beliefs, prefers different techniques and supports different consequences. A coach may rationalize or ignore anything not accounted for within their preferred coaching models.

Coaching models based on systems theories are useful for communicating and influencing descriptions of systemic dynamics. Systems theories help  a coach track and measure changes in systems.

As a systemic executive coach, you help executives achieve their goals by managing their relationships. This requires more than changing isolated behaviors. Conflict is likely if you and your client have different expectations about the role and function of coaching.

Chaos Coaching . Quantum Thinking . Transformation in Chaos

What is a System?

Some simple definitions of a system include, a set of related units and a whole made of interdependent and interacting parts. A system is considered to be greater then the aggregate of its parts as systems (teams, families, businesses) can accomplish what individual parts cannot.

Human systems are defined by what members perceive to be valuable, and how this value is communicated. As system values evolve in predictable ways, executives can predict how the system's goals and the relationships between members of human systems will change over time.

Open & Closed Systems

Open systems exchange energy (or information) with their environments.  Every organism is an open system, striving for homeostasis with its environment. Members of open human systems usually welcome beneficial exchanges of information.

Members of closed systems may limit or prevent this exchange of information. As systemic coaching is an exchange of information, closed human systems challenge coaching relationships. (Consider providing executive coaching to the head of a monastery.) If you and your client want to be flexible and adaptive, you may trespass system boundaries; or limit your options to rigid “either/or” thinking.

No human system is totally closed, although some prisons approach this limit. Rather, people are members of interrelated systems in which a home and workplace are subsystems. As most people are members of open, living systems; individual executive coaching is embedded within systemic coaching.


Feedback occurs when information is received, processed and transmitted. Information from human sense organs, perhaps amplified by equipment, is given meaning and acted upon externally, internally, consciously or unconsciously.

If you were an executive in conflict with a coworker, or if you had to downsize a department by 20%. You may need to coaching around your interpretation and beliefs, e.g. is the event a threat or an opportunity? Is it effective to fight, flight or shutdown? Would it be more effective to dissociate your emotions? Should you take it personally or is it only a function of your role?

Emotional Intelligence

Your ability to manage emotions directly correlates to your success. This is an example of the relationship between your body-mind system and your work system. You can balance yourself by moving your attention from interfering emotions and thoughts into a more creative state by eliciting the feelings such as love or joy. This can help you make better decisions.

Objective feedback about your state can help you self-regulate and balance your life. Systemic coaching can help you improve your emotional intelligence and effectiveness.

Living organisms, as open systems, attempt homeostasis. Living systems follow rules, which are checked using feedback, to maintain system integrity. If we coach you, we assess your situation before coaching starts to understand your system dynamics. We look at current transferences, triangulations and hidden agendas. For what reasons do you or your system not want to change?

Coaching at the Edge of Chaos

The edge of chaos refers to a critical point of a system, a phase change where tiny changes can precipitate abrupt chaos or stability. See Expert Modeling

A system can be described as being in one of three phases. A system in homeostasis may be called solid, if the system is chaotic then it is may be called gaseous. Systems on the edge of chaos have liquid characteristics, and can quickly shift to solid or gaseous..

Are you unable to change (solid) or are you in chaos (gas). Chaos coaching can help you get into balance (liquid) and create a new identity appropriate to a rapidly changing system. You can coach your client to increase an imbalance, which the executive can then purposely bring back into balance.

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Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 2006-2018
All rights reserved.

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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