Always Seeking to Uncover New Information

There are many concepts that arise in different ways and places in my work, and when I come across the same idea in various forms during a short space of time, it always gets my blogger brainwaves flowing.

Regular readers recognize my penchant for wordplay, including the use of words that might fall outside our everyday vocabulary.

I’m judicious with my word choices when speaking with most people, and I freely use the most accurate word to describe my thoughts, assuming I’ll be best understood that way.

Such is the case with a recent discussion I had on a coaching call I had with my long-time coach, Melissa.

I noted that I had some upcoming events ahead, that would make the next couple of weeks very “revelatory”.

Coaches Revel in Revelations

As coaches, we both understand full well the value we can bring, and she didn’t miss a beat.

She chimed in that a big part of what we do is to help our clients reveal who they are to themselves.

In turn, those clients can also focus on revealing who they are to others, but doing that internal work first is more helpful than you may realize, until you do it.


While that certainly applies to coaching, there’s also a big tie-in to working with client families in a facilitation capacity.

I’ve written about a particular aspect of this here before in Revealing a System to Itself.

Taking It Up a Level

Where coaching is often more of a One-on-One endeavour, facilitation involves groups of people, and one way that good facilitators can think of their role is to concentrate on revealing the system to itself.

What applies to individuals and the concept of helping them each discover who they are “as a person”, also applies to groups of connected people.

A connected group of people acts as an interdependent system, and facilitating such a system is all about helping them discover things about themselves and their relationships that used to he hidden to them. 

This can help unlock many areas, including new ways of relating to each other, which can lead to great progress.

It isn’t necessarily always easy, and sometimes what’s learned can be surprising and tough to digest, but seeing things more realistically is always useful to any group.

Another Example of Seeking Revelatory Info

I was recently contacted by someone who was referred to me by a business school professor at a University that has a family business program.

The young man was already running a successful and growing small business, and was entertaining the idea of having his brother join him in the business.

As I embarked on a couple of exploratory calls with each of them to see if and how I might be a resource to them, a couple of things became apparent.

As usual in any new situation I learn about, I have no idea or pre-conceived notion of where things might lead and how best to proceed; there’s a lot of figuring it out as we go, and that’s perfectly fine.

In speaking with them both separately, it became clear that the issue of compensation would be potentially thorny for them to resolve.

Why Don’t You Start There?

This is where I surprised even myself. I’m typically a fan of starting slow, and working on banking some small wins early on in any process, to provide useful momentum.

But in this case, since they were trying to decide on a “go/no go” of whether the second brother would quit his job to join the firm, I suggested they “Zag”, instead of “Zig”.

My suggestion to them was to see if they could come up with a satisfactory compensation arrangement they could both agree to, and to tackle that issue as their first major step.

My thinking is that the process of negotiating this area would be quite revelatory to the way the rest of their working relationship would go.

If they get through this obstacle, future challenges will seem easy in comparison.

It’s Not What Happens That’s Important….

There’s a saying that it’s not what happens that’s important, it’s what you do about it afterwards that counts.

Revelatory family situations tee up some of the best opportunities to respond in new and better ways.

Alternatively, they can also highlight some important “no go” decisions too. Either way, they lead to progress.