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Istanbul-based Buyce Tarhan is a facilitator, coach and consultant with over 20 years’ experience working in the organisational, leadership, management and talent development fields. Following her roles within multinationals as an HR professional, she established her own consultancy and coaching practice abt consulting in 2009. She very kindly talked to us about her time on the Resilience Accreditation Programme.
What is your professional background and what made you decide to sign up for the AoEC’s Resilience Accreditation programme?
I am a human resources consultant, coach and facilitator. I have been working in this field for over 20 years and have a couple of diplomas and certificates in coaching and personal development. My experience with clients, both individual and organisational, has given me the opportunity to observe and reflect on how personal or organisational resilience was making a difference in the quality of the outcomes, as well as the sustainability.
The concept of resilience was almost like a buzz word for the last decade. I was sure of its importance but, was not satisfied with the way it was being defined. This dissatisfaction I refer to was not only coming from my client relationships, but also from my own personal experience.
It is safe to say that at the time I came across with this Resilience Accreditation programme I was very keen in attempting to define the concept in more detail. Hence, I signed up to the programme with the desire to learn and explore the topic more.
What did you find were the most beneficial learning experiences on the programme?
The programme is designed in a way to guide you through your own resilience journey – you are asked to reflect on yours in relation to your clients’ which helps you demystify what resilience is.
It helped me clarify my own understanding of what resilience is and what it is not, and how it is connected with other sets of thoughts I had developed over the years. Rather than giving straightforward answers, it encourages or perhaps, challenges you at times to come up with responses by connecting with your own resilience.
And then, using the Resilience Dynamic® as a tool, is a great way to make everything tangible.
What does your coaching model look like and how has this evolved since completing the Resilience programme?
I follow the relational coaching model predominantly in my work where I pay most care in constant contracting with the client. I realised this works very well when the topic brought by the client was about resilience, too.
The experience I got through the programme also helped me to feel more confident about the way I work – to be present with the client and hold a platform where the work of the client and the coach takes place safely and effectively and to forget about worrying what the result should be. It helped me to further acknowledge the power of letting go and trusting the client, the relationship and the power of being present. It emphasised again that as a coach I don’t need to know it all and be certain of things, but instead be present and welcome whatever is happening at the time.
Tell us about your work. How have you built resilience coaching into your practice?
As a coach and facilitator working on my own and often partnering with colleagues, the programme gave me a further understanding of acknowledging different levels of resilience people can have and demonstrate at different times – I am referring to the Resilience Dynamic® model and that it is best to approach by using different tools again described in the Resilience Engine® to respond to these differences.
So, rather than asking or even expecting people I work with to show one type of resilience, it gave me the conviction of being flexible to these differences. In other words, I no longer try to make sense of resilience as a concept of being strong and fixed all the time, but rather being able to move up and down on the “whoosh” - enabling me and others to use their full capacity of learning/unlearning to let things emerge naturally.
What typically are the challenges or opportunities you have been asked to help people with?
People – my clients or colleagues often struggle between honouring their priorities and the so-called responsibilities. I for one, had suffered between being torn of what needs to be done, versus what I believe I was meant to be doing.
The way I see the Resilience Engine® is that it helps me reconnect with my values and my inner qualities at the service of a purpose that I hold on to. It does not promise that the path will be all green or rosy, but it helps me to understand that acceptance of who I am and what I can do as well as I cannot do, fuels me to stay on that path.
So, I am kind of bringing this to the attention of my colleagues and clients during our coaching sessions, or when we collaborate so that they can decide for themselves how to deal with the challenges and opportunities they are facing.
What are the most common challenges you face in your work as a coach?
Taking care of my own resilience while listening and holding a platform for my clients’ cases. I find it very important, therefore and necessary to have regular supervision and always stay connected with my own resilience.
What have the results been of using resilience coaching?
Paying attention to resilience whether it is individual, team or organisational level, is a key enabler for sustainability.
Companies talk a lot about efficiency, performance, productivity and sustainability knowing that we have limited resources to unlimited issues in the form of ambiguity and volatility. So, being ready and feeling confident to face these and willing to co-create the future is possible through the work of building resilience.
What has your work as a coach taught you personally?
Letting go is not quitting and acceptance is different than settling down for less…
But rather, letting go takes courage to welcome what can and will emerge and acceptance is a way of honouring our true potential and make it realise itself.
What do you find most rewarding about your work as a coach?
Witnessing someone managing to emerge above the challenges and create what is possible for him/her is the most fulfilling feeling I can ask for. It is a divine, yet humbling experience.
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