Coaching for Inclusion by Joanne Rule

Coaching for Inclusion

I always enjoy hearing the stories of people who become coaches. What informs our  ‘being coaches’, is surely as much our personal histories, as our training and practice?  We bring all of ourselves and our passions into play.

One of my passions has been working on inclusion and human rights in healthcare. Presenting on this theme to the York Coaching Group was a great reason to think through and share how that experience connects to certain insights or ideas about inclusion and exclusion, as well as more deeply relational ways of being at work, regardless of setting and sector.  We all have experiences of being excluded and we can use these to learn how to include. Many organisations say that they value diversity but they don’t necessarily think about inclusion without which they won’t get that much from greater diversity.

Inclusion is also about getting it right for the person in front of me, the customer, client or patient in front of me – greater personalisation.  This calls for relationship rather than transaction between frontline staff and their clients or customers.  How can we expect those staff to do this, unless they too work in more relational teams?  Intrinsically inclusion is linked to distributed leadership. It can lead to self-managing teams and ways of working which challenge the idea of having quite so many managers!   Something which starts with thinking about inequalities becomes something with huge transformative potential. This then is the full potential of what I describe as ‘radical inclusion.’