Archive - September 2023

David Hockney, painting, and coaching

I recently had the opportunity to visit the stunning David Hockney exhibition in London (‘David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away)’. It prompted reflection for me both on what it offers to my conceptualisation of coaching and what I can learn that might enhance my clients’ experience of coaching with me. I found the exhibition nourishing, exciting, inspiring, refreshing, perspective-opening and deeply calming. It stimulated my thinking on how I might raise my awareness and challenge myself to look in more depth, and call on more perspectives and insights, with clients. Is there any sense in which I currently satisfy myself with looking partially, on a relatively small scale, or only in one perspective? Besides widening our perspective, the artist also highlights the rewards of looking in every direction at the same time, all the time. He characterises water as illusive, because all the patterns you see are on the surface. If, as coach, I take those patterns as the only patterns, then I’m only seeing part of the person I’m working with, and only some of the influences they’re subject to.

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