Sunday, 26 April 2015

Q : the origin

Q is for Quelle (German, surprisingly)  - the lost original manuscript, the contemporary record, the evidence, the first book, the first principles which underlie and stand behind all subsequent interpretations and speculations on the subject - say - of the teachings of Jesus.

I came across this term while reading some of the amazing books written by Geza Vermes - "the foremost Jesus scholar of the age" - about "The Changing Faces of Jesus" and "The Authentic Gospel of Jesus".

Q doesn't exist now, if it ever did, but these works are probably as close as we can get these days to Jesus the Galilean and to his ideas and teachings - his actual words, that is, in Aramaic.

This idea of an underlying original pattern or methodology strikes me as more widely applicable in our culture and in our day. It's an idea close to the discernment of an "implicate order" in all things.

An email conversation today with an accountant colleague turned on how he helps start-up clients with business advice, how he often sees gaps and errors and weaknesses which will lead to failure instead of success, and how he guides his clients round to seeing these and working in slightly different ways to move instead towards success. He works instinctively in a way that seems to approach organisational development, and I immediately noticed that something approximating to his way of working is taught and learned in another field - coaching.

Not advising, which is imparting information. Not counselling, which is sitting with the dynamics of the here and now, making conscious by degrees that which is unconscious. But coaching - especially coaching for performance, which is used for professional development but can be adapted highly effectively for personal development. And the difference between these is in the approach.

All coaching starts with the goal - where do you want to be in relation to this in the long-term and in the short-term?
It then does the counselling bit and goes in some depth into the here and now.
It gives a sense of the gap between where you are, and where you need or want to be.
It explores all sorts of options, and invites you to settle on a few firm action points which you will take in the coming weeks. And then review.

My colleague had hit upon his method instinctively, and after a lot of reading and practice in real organisations. His starting point was accountancy, so the results from his work tended to be the right numbers, showing the business was in the right shape. But in coaching, there are behavioural, attitudinal and emotional results, perhaps even intellectual and spiritual results; so here we are, getting to different destinations using the same method and approach.

Q - the approach that works, the method that can be applied to almost any human endeavour, the underlying pattern of human development, individually or in groups.

I feel an article coming on!

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