Creating the container – Inner Leadership: A book review

I met with David Fish in November 2016 after a few tricky attempts to pin a date in the diary for a coffee.

What I hadn’t anticipated was the ensuing book swap. I was shortly to receive a copy of Inner Leadership – a book written and published by David about his coaching approach.

Only it wasn’t about his coaching approach – or at least not from a conceptual, intellectual perspective with a few snippets of case studies thrown in.

It was his coaching approach as experienced from his clients perspective and richly narrated through story.

A book written very much from the heart and the experience of coaching.

I found it thoroughly engaging and informative, after the first few pages, I felt certain that I wanted David to coach me. And, as the book progressed, I felt that he was coaching me. At least, he was inviting his coachees on a transformational journey and the questions, exercises and responses resonated and were useful both as a reader and recipient of those questions and professionally, when considering my own practice.

Written from the inside out, as it were, Inner Leadership has strengthened my attention to aspects which are easy to push away or discount given pervasive rhetoric.

Not everything has to be bite-sized.

There is space and perhaps a need for careful attention to who we are being and becoming in order to transform and let go of the shadow side of ourselves that can hold us captive unaware. And scope to step into the light side of our strengths and possibilities by experiencing ourselves in a fresh, intimate, yet safe place of discovery.

Such a journey is not bite-sized, but it can be contained and impactful if the container is well designed and the inputs carefully crafted.

If you’re a coach, the book offers generous insights into the world of coaching mastery and a truly integrated practice with hints about the qualities of the alchemy required.

Some questions to reflect on about your coaching practice:

  • What do you do to bring your clients to full awareness and how do you invite them to experience themselves in relationship with others?
  • What are the ingredients to the containers you create with your clients? What’s non negotiable, what’s negotiable, what’s co-created?
  • How do you hold the space for your clients self-discovery?

If you are on a personal leadership journey, Inner Leadership offers great insight into the pathway of personal transformation, whilst providing some frameworks and tools that can be usefully applied to your own experience.

Looking forward to my next cup of coffee with David.