The vulnerability to teach

We speak often of the power differentials between teachers and students, and the effect this may have on students. What we do not talk about often is the vulnerability it takes to teach.

When you teach at our level of professional and personal development it requires mutuality: truth, honesty and intimacy on both sides. And truthfully for 28 years I have been entering class rooms, and not only shared my knowledge and skills, but also my heart and soul. Teaching has been my calling since I was 6, and in all these years I have had little cause to regret my calling.

Until last week.

As most of you know for the past 1,5 years I have been researching team coaching. In this time I have developed a particular model, which in my enthusiasm I shared with my advanced students last month under agreement of copyright and confidentiality.

However, last week I learned that students had immediately shared with their clients.

Of course, next to the verbal agreement, we have rules about this at Intact. Each trainee signs a learning contract which amongst other rights and privileges, states that you need written permission to share any of the materials with others. And when people have asked I have gladly shared.

But that is not the point.

The point is that I am sad.

I am sad for me, because this influences my generosity. But more so I am sad for us. Because I have realized that when a country deteriorates it is not the politicians who are to blame. It is ordinary citizens adopting a culture of survival and scarcity, and treating each other badly.

And I am sad because if we as coaches, consultants and leaders can not maintain a practice of ethics, standards and love, who can?

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