Eclectic is the best word to describe Sam’s personal and professional history. Something of a photographer, a poet, a philosopher, a coach, a coach supervisor – Sam has made a living of experiencing life firsthand and using stories and images to support leaders and coaches in their own journeys.
At Boeing, he was referred to once as a healer – listening deeply to the concerns of leaders and accompanying them as they forged their futures. As a conflict consultant, he has worked with churches, hospitals, mental health services, public health, and community groups. As a coach educator, he has supported growth in emerging coaches and organization development practitioners by offering experiential education with a profoundly humanistic flavor.
Now in the late phase of his work life, he works with leadership coaches around the world in their search for understanding the complexities of their work with clients. This work, Coaching Supervision, was new to North America when he brought it here from Europe and the UK. He is seen as a pioneer and senior voice. He will retire from his leadership roles at the end of 2021.
Sam continues to venture into the world through kayaking, hiking, and skiing as well as capturing the essence of his vision through photography.
In this first of a four-part conversation, Sam describes what he calls the poetics of coaching. He sees the coaching encounter as a living experience that shares many of the properties of what occurs when we encounter a painting, a work of art, or the symbolic images that emerge from a poem.
In this second of a four-part interview, we explore the value of conversation and its Latin roots in Conversare, which means to turn together.
In this third of a four-part interview, we explore what it means to become embroiled in a client’s story and what we can learn from the painter George Seurat about creating distance in our professional relationships.
In this last of the four-part interview, we explore how coaches can use their native story intelligence to enhance their work and how this knowledge can help them to flexibly change perspectives in order to gain deeper insight.