How to Become a Teal Mentor: IEC Workshop Report

By Andy Paice for Enlivening Edge

20160504_140255-1Day On the shores of Lake Balaton, Hungary, George Pór and Jackie Thoms are about to lead us through a workshop inquiry into what is needed to become a Teal Mentor (see the preview article here.)

We’re sitting in a large circle with people from all over Europe and North America and as everyone introduces themselves and their interest in this topic, an excited sense of anticipation fills the room. Facilitator George Pór shares with us a vision of  how a global community of Teal mentors support the evolutionary wave into a better  future.

20160504_140417Jackie Thoms, co-facilitating with George, speaks of her previous frustration in her role as a coach and how too often she has seen individual progress hampered by systemic obstacles. She expresses a conviction that the Teal movement isn’t a passing fad but instead a durable and authentic response to those obstacles.

The workshop shifts into gear as George and Jackie guide us through aspects of the core Teal capabilities:

Allowing the emergence of wholeness in an organization means creating spaces where the many aspects of being human can safely show up and flourish. A guided meditation by Anna Betz invites us to embrace various parts of who we are, holding the body and mind in our consciousness at the same time. I’m enjoying the peaceful atmosphere, and I’m also wondering what future organisations might look like where all the myriad qualities of humanity are allowed out to play!

Moving on, the group contemplates an audio recording of Thomas Hübl, who speaks of the need to be so present to what is happening in our lives as we move beyond the ‘ceiling’ below which consciousness is habitually confined. In pairs, we discuss our understandings of what we need to  in order to act from the place Thomas was describing. My resolution is to push against my edge and take opportunities to speak my truth.

Another aspect of the Teal capabilities involves having an evolutionary purpose. Of key importance here is the understanding that evolution is something which moves through us rather than just happening to us. George comments on how a number of his clients ask “But what exactly do you mean by “evolutionary purpose?” His response is that our future exists in the present, as potential, so it requires looking deeply into what’s happening now for us, which can be the seed of our depest gift to the world.e

20160504_153113Moving into Q&A’s we investigate what in fact is new about Teal mentoring. The initial description offered is that it’s a combination of the best tools that have already existed, and something more. “Yes, George, but what’s really new about Teal?” enquires an energized participant. “It’s being capable of sensing, thinking, and acting from beyond ego, with increasing frequency.” I feel satisfied and intrigued with this reply.

Further discussion focuses on what can be done in an organization where the CEO is not sympathetic to a Teal-style reinvention of the organization. George speaks of bold managers who can implement changes in their field of responsibility by holding up what he humorously calls the “shit umbrella” protecting staff from criticism whilst experimenting with something new.

The end of the session is approaching and Jackie leads us through a journaling exercise recalling moments in our lives when we felt totally energized. We then imagined these moments to be seeds that would grow into a healthy tree providing abundant fruit.

I’m struck by the profundity of the exercise that follows as we get into triads to embody and speak from the experience of being that tree we had imagined, and receive reflections from our co-participants. Through doing this, I get a sense of my calling, and of what wants to manifest through me in my work.

As we move into the closing circle, everyone shares some final remarks and feedback:

“I feel peaceful”

“I’m overloaded!”

“I’m leaving with curiosity”

“I’m leaving with lots of questions”

“Expertly facilitated”

I personally leave having very much enjoyed the participatory aspects of the workshop and feeling that the energy in the room was particularly vibrant during the exercises and discussions.

This workshop really needs a whole day to do it justice. The explanations have been useful but what we’ve received could potentially act as a preliminary session leading on to a more co-creative space where the participants work on refining and making more explicit the diverse elements needed for becoming a Teal Mentor. For me, the collective wisdom in the room would have been more than capable of doing this work. This is certainly a workshop which has its own evolutionary purpose to unfold!

Andy colourAndy Paice is a London based Coach, Facilitator, Mindfulness Trainer and Community Builder.
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