Exploring the creation of holding environments at work through a Business & Executive Coach Training Programme in a university setting in the context of organisational transition, development and change

Gilmore, Evelyn P (2021) Exploring the creation of holding environments at work through a Business & Executive Coach Training Programme in a university setting in the context of organisational transition, development and change. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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Abstract

This action research project lays the groundwork for a living theory of practice related to the creation of holding environments at work in the context of organisational transition, development and change. I understand holding environments at work to be interpersonal or group based relationships that help individuals to manage situations that trigger potentially debilitating anxiety, loss or excitement in the workplace. The action research project was carried out over an eight month period in a university setting. There were two projects co-existing in parallel. There was the project on which I was working within the university, which was a business and executive coach training programme for seven senior leaders, and there was the doctorate thesis action research project which inquired into the creation of holding environments at work. Inquiring in the present tense with triple attentiveness to the outer data of sense, the inner data of consciousness, and the intellectual data of my understanding, I show how I created a holding environment, and how, the seven senior leaders began to learn how to create holding environments for their own organisational clients. The university was going through major organisational change at the time of the project. The results show that seven key elements emerged in relation to the creation of holding environments. These include negotiating with key parental figures within the organisation, creating psychological safety in the group, the use of dreaming and reverie, communicating with group participants including attuning, mirroring and marking, affect regulation and mentalization. In addition, holding environment-in-the-mind also impacted on how holding environments were created in the university setting. The application of this research to a broader context is discussed as well as how this research might be useful for organisational consultants and leaders in attempting to create holding environments at work.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Essex in collaboration with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for the Professional Doctorate in Consultation and the Organisation
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Consultation and the Organisation, D10D
Subjects: Groups & Organisations > Groups/Institutions/Organisations
Groups & Organisations > Occupational Groups
Groups & Organisations > Organisational Development
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Consultation
Department/People: Adult and Forensic Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2520

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