OXFORD REVIEW RESEARCH BRIEFING
The GOALPosts Coaching Model is a highly effective approach that enables individuals to achieve their goals with remarkable success. This model, rooted in the principles of coaching and personal development, empowers individuals to clarify their objectives, overcome obstacles, and take purposeful actions toward their desired outcomes.
Transcript – The GOALPosts Coaching Model: Navigating success in the organisation
GOALposts with Keith Hackett
The GOALPosts Coaching Model
[00:00:00] David: Hi, this is the Organizational Success Academy from the Oxford Review, bringing you the very latest research in leadership, management, organizational development, design, transformation, and change. Human resources and human capital, organizational learning, coaching, and work psychology from around the world.
[00:00:20] David: To make you the most UpToDate and knowledgeable person in the room.
[00:00:25] Keith: Welcome
[00:00:26] David: back today, I’ve got Keith Hackett with me. Keith, one of our members. He’s also a consultant and he does a number of other things as well. Welcome, Keith. Thank you, David.
[00:00:37] Keith: Thanks for asking me along. No, it’s a pleasure. Can you just give
[00:00:41] David: us a bit of a flavor of who you are and kind of what you do and.
[00:00:45] David: Add a bit of context to the conversation that we’re going to have around, um, the goalpost
[00:00:49] Keith: model. Yeah. Well, I suppose in essence, I am a serial, uh, not serial killer, but a serial consultant in as much that I do, [00:01:00] um, have done for the last 20 odd years. Interim consulting of one description rather, but mainly organizational developments, organizational change.
[00:01:11] Keith: Project management and program management predominantly within healthcare for both public and private sector. And I’ve done some of that. Most of it’s been in the UK and some of it’s been done in the Middle East. And as part and parcel of my own, I suppose, personal development, own professional development.
[00:01:32] Keith: Some years ago I was trained as a coach in the Grow model at the London School of Coaching. Associated with the University of Strath Clyde. So it was verified and certified by Strath Clyde. And I’ve used coaching as part of my project program and management consultants practice ever since. And that’s really what led me to tour, to be frank with you in terms of that combination of [00:02:00] competence and knowledge and experience.
[00:02:02] Keith: And that’s how I got got to miu. So here we are. Yeah.
[00:02:06] David: Okay. So the goal. Post model. Can you just give us an overview and kind of explain be great?
[00:02:13] Keith: Yeah. As I’m sure any coaches who is looking at this will say, oh, that looks very familiar to me. And it’s very familiar because it is based predominantly upon grow.
[00:02:22] Keith: So some years ago I was asked by a London hospital to do a turnaround on a very delayed project, and I suggested that coaching would be a good idea to try and understand some of the blockers. Hopefully identify some of the enablers and bring people together because they were just, you know, ing in silos and hated each other.
[00:02:45] Keith: However, the clinical lead or that particular piece of work basically said, coaching is just black box Bs and you can be off to which my response to him was, that’s lovely. However, I am the fourth project manager. In [00:03:00] six months, you’ve managed to chew up and the route to spit out. And if we don’t deliver on this, the problem’s gonna hang on your shoulders and not mine.
[00:03:07] Keith: I suggest we look at this and perhaps use coaching as a way of better understanding why some of the things aren’t happening in the team and across the team, and hopefully, you know, start to make some, get some trash and get something moving. And his response was, well, I still think it’s Bs, BS, BS. It demonstrates to me that you can measure it and that we have tick box and we can audit stuff, and then I might consider it and go away, come back tomorrow and if you still can’t do it, I’m gonna chew you up and spit you out too.
[00:03:44] Keith: I left and pondered and basically I took grow, put it through thesaurus as it were to see what different words came up. Sort of took it apart in terms of grow, in terms of goal reality. Options and sort [00:04:00] of wrap up or wind up or whatever it might be. Will. Yes. Yeah. What will you do? Will, yeah. Yes. What you do, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:04:07] Keith: And different words came out of that, and then some of those words resonated with me in terms of other things that I was doing. For example, in terms of print two, project management processing, and also solutions focus, which I’d recently been trained in from the industrial society. And just start to play with it and put things together.
[00:04:30] Keith: And goalposts came outta that. That sort of playing around with words to see and see whether or not some kind of process that came out of that could demonstrate a way of saying we can use coaching, but also use some measurement along the, some solid measurement along the way. And so goalpost came out and so just to say what sort of goalpost is, whether what goalpost was, was it has changed in the last few years.
[00:04:56] Keith: So goal is obvious. The P stands for [00:05:00] position in terms of where you are now O in terms of your options. The first S at the bottom of the curve was originally strategy and then it was tasks and in the middle where the middle S was, that was a survey in the middle. So goal, position where you are options, what you have outta those options, a strategy might be formed outta that strategy.
[00:05:24] Keith: You can drill down and create tasks, but survey is the bit in the middle where you stand back and say, okay, what are, let’s just take a breath, let’s take a breather. Are we doing what we’re supposed to be doing? And I took that back to this particular professor, the clinical professor, and said to him, Hey, look, we can use this as a coaching framework.
[00:05:45] Keith: Oh, and by the way, we can measure the tasks and we can also measure the survey, Owen and the strategy. We can actually, we can phrase that in such a way to say this is our start point. This is the end point. Have we delivered Owen? And by the way, [00:06:00] goalposts, I’m in the nhs, as you know, professor, the goalposts are always changing.
[00:06:04] Keith: Uh, which one? I thought he was gonna tell me to bug her off and he didn’t. He just said it clearly. Nosily, that changed all the time, Keith. And that’s all I knew I had it, and it started from there. So that was 20 odd years ago. Come forward a number of years and through ups and downs of personal life, et cetera, et cetera, I’m one of those people who now is able to hold their hand up with pride and say, I’m a person with lived experience of mental health.
[00:06:37] Keith: And a few years ago you couldn’t do that cause of covid and whatnot. It’s now seems to be reasonably. It’s great actually. They begin, do that, frankly, but wanna continue or is this too much detail to begin with? No, no, continue. Yeah,
[00:06:53] David: because it’s part of this story and it’s important and you in that context, you’re using it in a mental health [00:07:00] context within health organizations.
[00:07:03] Keith: Yeah, it is. Because what happened to me personally was that I found it particularly dark and I was diagnosed with depression years ago. I mean, 2008 or whatever it was. I’ve always been one of those sort of dark insulate kids who sort of know, did his own thing and, and was a bit of an introvert and, oh, is Keith all right?
[00:07:23] Keith: Yes, he’s fine, blah, blah, blah, over the years and whatnot, CREs, what else? And God didn’t win to Blaine. So then, but a few years ago, I had found myself in a very bad place to the point where I wasn’t sectioned, but I was receiving psychiatric care on a weekly outpatient basis. And I had built a very good relationship with a particular psychiatrist.
[00:07:50] Keith: But then one day, one week when I turned up to a session, I was expecting this person to be there. She wasn’t. And instead there were two people there. [00:08:00] Both of them turned out to be her senior managers, and one of them said, well, we’ll use the word Jay. I won’t say her what her name was, but Jay. Has been doing quite well with you, Keith, but from our perspective, your recovery journey, your recovery isn’t on the trajectory that we would expect you to be on at this point in time.
[00:08:24] Keith: And as a consequence of that, we’ve now stepped in to help you recover salic your recovery to which my response was, well, that’s lovely, but my relationship is with Jay, not with you. I trust her. I have no idea who you are. And essentially you are telling me that the progress I’ve made for myself, which I thought is pretty good, actually it’s pretty bad because it’s not on the trajectory that you are expecting me to be on.
[00:08:50] Keith: I’m mean the truth, we didn’t mean that. That’s what it sounds like. So we sort, I’ve got gotten an argument. I taught ’em exactly what I thought of them and walked out. [00:09:00] At which point in time I thought, okay, what do I do? A little voice in my head said, let’s get on with it, Keith. So I did. And it was a sort of a one step at a time, one small goal at a time as it worked.
[00:09:15] Keith: So Jerusalem gave me that sort of, that confidence to start to think for myself as it worked. But then I really did start to think for myself, rather than being necessarily assisted by professionals, and I put professionals in the VER commerce. And over a period of time I found myself getting back to some level of normality.
[00:09:36] Keith: And it wasn’t until I spoke to another, Psychologist, friend of mine in Frank, and I was telling him about what had happened and what I’d gone through and the rest of it. He went, oh God, yeah, I’ve been there four times. I went, sorry. Yeah, yeah. He said, no. Psychiatrists and psychologists were the worst type for this.
[00:09:55] Keith: We’re kind of up to our necks and beyond in it personally, let alone trying to help others. I’m [00:10:00] going, okay, fair enough. Anyway, that’s a side, but he said to me, you ought to write down what’s happened. Because it’ll help you better understand where you’ve, where you were, your journey, where you’ve come from, and try to give yourself some kind of framework in terms of how you’ve managed to do what you’ve done for yourself.
[00:10:20] Keith: And you can then use that going forwards. You can always revert back then and say, oh yeah, that’s what that’s happened. It’s similar for this. And you can just build upon that as you go forward. So thought, Peter, that’s a great idea. That’s a pretty idea. I’ll do that. And so I started writing down what it is that I’d done and how I’d done it.
[00:10:38] Keith: And it wasn’t until I started doing that, I realized that I’d used my own goalpost model on myself. So it was a case of no, what was the goal? You know where I am, what are my options today? I mean, the option could be as simple as, do I stay in bed or do I get out bed as simple as basic as that. Now, do I wash myself today or do I wait for a week?
[00:10:59] Keith: I’m not gonna see anyone. Does it really matter? That kind of sort of development over a period of time. It was, yes, I’m gonna get up every day, I’m gonna shower every day cause it’s horrible otherwise, you know, just for my own personal wellbeing. And it’s what happened. So I then went back to Peter and said, this is what I’ve done, said, and I’ve used this, what do you think?
[00:11:23] Keith: And he went, write it down properly, Keith. Send it to me and I’ll have a proper read. So I did. I just wrote down a couple of sides of a four, send it to him, and he came back to me and said, this is great. Can you expand upon a bit? And I’m gonna share it around the place, if that’s okay with you. I won’t say it’s you personally, but I’ll just, you know, just share what you’ve done, using what you’ve done, using goalpost as it were, as it was then.
[00:11:50] Keith: So remember, it’s strategy insert, and it’s important to just note those twos. I want to emphasize those twos right now. Those two have changed [00:12:00] and he did. He shared what I’d done around his network, as it were, and then I was contacted out of the blue by the Mental Health Recovery College at Lancaster and South Cambri NHS Trust, which is based in Preston.
[00:12:15] Keith: Ironically said. Ironically, that was the site unit I used to go to for outpatients. There’s a sweet irony there, isn’t there? Anyway, it doesn’t matter. So I was contacted by the service lead for the Recovery College based within the trust, and she said a good friend of mine, Peter, has sent me this. I contacted him and he very reluctantly gave me your name, but then he’s done that because he thinks that it’s the right thing to do.
[00:12:41] Keith: And I’d like to talk to you further about this because your model really does reflect very well. Against the whole philosophy of the recovery journey and chime, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I went, what’s one of those? Oh,[00:13:00]
[00:13:01] Keith: you go away and research it, Keith, write something up and send it to me and we’ll have a conversation. I said, okay. Couple of weeks. Yes, right. Two months later is it took me that long to try and figure out what I was doing and what all this meant, and most of it I’d written a paper and I sent it to Susie and.
[00:13:19] Keith: She came back and said, yeah, we need to do something together. Now, that was two years ago, about two and a half years ago now, and at the end of May this year, I will be delivering a course for the college based upon this model in the intervening period, we’ve done some work together, et cetera, et cetera, and the two S’s have changed.
[00:13:44] Keith: Now, I’ll stop there because I think you might want to jump in at that point. Yeah.
[00:13:49] David: Firstly, I just wanna say thank you for sharing your own personal story. It’s very powerful and I suppose I, because you know, you obviously [00:14:00] you, it helped you to develop the model. I suppose there’s another, this kind of an underlying question that I’ve got that’s associated with the model, but not quite over that period.
[00:14:11] David: Looking at it now, And just thinking about the context of coaching and um, what we’re talking about with the model, what did you actually, what was the learning that you took from that period for yourself?
[00:14:24] Keith: I found that the early conversations before I found myself in the place where I was receiving weekly intervention on a three, four month sort of program of activity in terms of psychiatric help.
[00:14:43] Keith: Up until then, I had been wavering, left, right and center, gone to see the gp. The GP then referred me into mental health services and the first person I met, another psychiatrist, essentially said to me, this is waiting three months to see this person, by the way. Okay Keith, we got 15 [00:15:00] minutes. Tell me what’s wrong.
[00:15:02] Keith: I saw this, this, this, and this. Right. Um, do you Sure. To the point of suicidal? Well, actually, yeah, I do. Oh dear. That’s very, that’s a shame. That’s a shame. Um, why do you feel that way? Uh, I don’t know. I’m hoping you can help me figure that one out. Yeah. I’ve got 15 minutes. Keith, here are some leaflets. Why don’t you go away and have a good read of these and there are different sign posting points within these leaflets that hopefully will not.
[00:15:29] Keith: Hopefully, I felt pretty certain your pick up on one one will resonate with you, Keith, and you can pursue that further. Is that all you’re gonna give? I’ve got 15 minutes, Keith. Okay, so the context, what I’m trying to say here is that while was floundering at that point, very badly, I needed something that was, for me anyway, I know it is different for others, but for me, I needed something just because of who I am and my personality, what I’ve done, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
[00:15:58] Keith: Some kind of [00:16:00] framework, some kind of reasonable process of. If you want to do this for yourself, Keith, if you feel able enough to do this for yourself or to help yourself in some way, who are some processes, models, whatever it might be that might work for you, let’s spend a few minutes looking at one or more of these.
[00:16:21] Keith: If, if something resonates, I’ll help you into that and let’s try and let’s try and initially do this for yourself. Mm-hmm. That’s what I wanted. That’s what I didn’t get in any way, shape, or form, essentially was, here’s leaflets, sign, press for yourself. If you are really bad, come back and we’ll look at C B T.
[00:16:42] Keith: I’ve tried C B T in the past, it doesn’t work for me. Or yeah, there’s a whole bunch of antidepressants. I can give you these. Which one do you want, Keith? I know I’m sort of being OT T in that, but that’s essentially it. It’s leaflets, C B T drugs, or if you’re really bad, we’re gonna section you. [00:17:00] So I know I’m oversimplifying that and I do apologize, but that’s essentially how it felt.
[00:17:06] Keith: And I suppose now four or five years later, reflecting on that, what I needed was something I could hang my hat on for myself in those very early stages to say, okay, let’s try and do this for myself. Let’s try and understand where I am for myself and work through this. And goalposts gave me unconsciously, cause I didn’t know it at the time, gave me that framework, that process, model, whatever word you want to use to give me a chance to do it for myself.
[00:17:45] Keith: So the course I’m running with the Mental Health Recovery College, this, it’s taken two years of iteration and conversations of me going backwards and forwards in terms of training and. Ideas and whatnot. I mean, the first training session that I [00:18:00] put forward to the college, which was roughly this time last year, would’ve taken someone three weeks to go through, okay.
[00:18:07] Keith: Here, three weeks. The session I’m doing with them in a month’s time is two and a half hours. Yeah. And it’s patch to go through that. So I’ve done a whole bunch of co-production with students and members of staff at the college to get to this point, say. Actually what I’m, all I’m doing for you is providing you with a tool that can potentially not, there’s no guarantee, potentially provide you with a self-help process of understanding where you are, solve of your options, what you might want to do, how you might want to get there, and bring in your own story.
[00:18:51] Keith: To hold that together. And it’s as simple and straightforward as that. And that’s what I needed five years ago. Mm. [00:19:00] So if
[00:19:01] David: I get this right, what you’re saying here and what you took out of that process, which I think is amazing because these processes that you’ve gone through is, to put it lightly, is, you know, is not an easy process to go through and.
[00:19:19] David: But what you took out of that is a realization that you needed a structure and a process to move me from this place to a desired kind of place. And importantly that you were in control of that and you were the author of that because it was your story. Have I got that right? Yes,
[00:19:40] Keith: exactly that. What it did for me, if you wish, was to help me realize.
[00:19:46] Keith: That each step that I made was good enough for me to build upon, right? And that gave me confidence in doing something else. Now let’s build upon that. So [00:20:00] four and a half years ago, I was essentially suicidal. I’ve just been offered a contract, I won’t say where it’s on a 300 million pound central government program to deliver a.
[00:20:16] Keith: Wicked problem will try to solve a wicked problem over the next five years. Yeah, so I’ve gone from, hey, I want to kill myself to being a functioning reasonably confident, quite resilient, far happier, frankly, far more communicable human being. I’m not saying that goalposts is a great magic wand. All I’m saying that it’s helped me to go from that point there.
[00:20:45] Keith: Where I had absolutely no vision of what my future might be to build upon both successes and failures. But those failures weren’t, um, not failures. They were things that didn’t quite go the way that I want them to [00:21:00] go. But hey, it’s okay. 10 years ago, David, it would’ve been You are So go off. What a, what a float do you want?
[00:21:11] Keith: Oh, your own dialogue. My own dialogue. My own internal dialogue. My own dialogue to a mirror essentially. So this
[00:21:21] David: has helped to change your dialogue?
[00:21:25] Keith: It has. It’s helped to change my dialogue cause it helped to change my story. It’s helped me to change my story because I realized that my story is worthwhile to me.
[00:21:39] Keith: Yeah. And I can use that story. Both the lived experience story every once was about lived experience, but lived experience is important. That lived experience story runs that imagined story of what the next day, next week, next month, next year might be. [00:22:00] Man used those. That storytelling, that internal storytelling to.
[00:22:12] Keith: Potential futures. And then it’s for me to decide which one of those futures I want to head for. How much effort do I want to put into that one over there or this one over here, and how much effort can I do that? How much confidence do I have in myself to do this one now or that one over there? And that’s how the model has evolved.
[00:22:37] Keith: That’s
[00:22:38] David: so powerful because what I was taking from what you’ve just said there is that it put you in control. It gave you the structure and the process, but it helped you to change your story and your dialogue. But what was, I think, really important in that is it’s not being driven by anybody else. Then, therefore, it’s sympathetic [00:23:00] to where you were at any moment in time and worked with that.
[00:23:04] David: To actually move around the process and create your own narrative, I suppose.
[00:23:11] Keith: Yes. And but I think what you need to bear in mind is that for me, this has been a very, this is me, this has been an unconscious process. But at the same time, there is a level of awareness now that I didn’t have previously.
[00:23:26] David: Yeah.
[00:23:27] David: And you wouldn’t have had in those
[00:23:28] Keith: days. Yeah, no, exactly. So if you wish I needed to hit that absolute black wall as it were. Rock bottom, if anything, for the awareness to be to kick start as it were, because without me understanding where I was, what I was doing, where I was gonna do a go to next, and have that sort of awareness in my head as it were iTivity, that there need to be a level of consciousness associated with it because you need to make this conscious choices, those decisions, those [00:24:00] create those stories.
[00:24:01] Keith: I think what’s important to. Say is that as a consequence of working with the college, the two S’s have changed because if you remember, it was goal position, options, strategy tasks, survey in the, just before
[00:24:16] David: you get into that, so I just want to just make a comment really about your experience about that.
[00:24:23] David: As you’ve described it, the black wall is quite common. It’s known as a catabasis. It’s kind of that point at which people get to the lowest point and then they start to build up. Again from that point, but it’s not a, it’s not like a straight trajectory. It’s not well now. Um, but it’s pretty common kind of experience that I’ve, there’s nothing left and then that building.
[00:24:49] David: And I do think that what you’re saying is really important here is that it’s actually be kind of rebuilding a narrative and rebuilding a story about ourselves. [00:25:00] And it was very powerful the way you’ve described this. Because your journey through this process was a kind of an iterative process that as your confidence was growing and developing, and I’m sure, and you haven’t said this, but I’m sure there will have been bumps in the road and it’ll have gone up and then down again.
[00:25:21] David: Yeah. But it enabled the narrative to move with that.
[00:25:28] Keith: Give you a prime example of that bump in the road. As of now in terms of 2023, I recently, I was on a long-term contract with a local authority from mid 2021 until the end of 2022. So I was doing stuff around covid trace vaccination, that, all that kinda stuff. And my contract was due to end March, 2023.
[00:25:57] Keith: But because of local authority cuts and what all the [00:26:00] rest of it, different programs within the cross councils saying, okay, that one’s money heavy. We’ll cancel that and we’ll distribute this money elsewhere. And that’s essentially what happened on the program that I was on. So that was a bit of a pain really.
[00:26:16] Keith: I mean, just for Christmas, you know, you’re told at the end of November, Keith, at the end of December, your contract’s ending. Okay, so you go out to the marketplace and try and look for work and try and get stuff. And of course, nothing’s happening before Christmas. Everyone’s winding down. So I thought, okay, let’s just forget it.
[00:26:30] Keith: And that was a revelation for me because if that had happened previously, I would’ve been missed stress. I mean, totally, totally stressed out. Totally. This is my God is this and it’s that, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And. It’s before Christmas and no one’s gonna do anything before Christmas and then it’s gonna be January.
[00:26:54] Keith: No one’s gonna do anything in January, and what am I gonna do? And blah, blah, blah, blah. But instead, it was a case of, [00:27:00] okay, what it is your position now? Where are you with this now? And where it was that I had 18 months of solid contract, I had Grace nest egg. That’s fine. Okay. What’s that nest egg look like in terms of if you don’t work Keith as a contractor for six months?
[00:27:21] Keith: Does it matter? The answer was no. Okay. So what does that mean in terms of options? Okay. My options are I can either it’s the contract market really hard or I can look back at the last 18 months, two years of contracting here and elsewhere with regards to trying to manage Covid for a region and actually having taken no time off.
[00:27:45] Keith: What do you really want to do, Keith? Well, actually I really wanna sleep. Guess what? What we’re doing? I don’t wanna do anything. I want to sleep. Okay. Keith, can you do that? Well, I can’t. No, no, no. Can you do that, [00:28:00] Keith? Guess I can. Okay, so I didn’t stress about it. I took January off the whole of January.
[00:28:07] Keith: Didn’t do anything except sleep. Go to the gym, have a sauna, chill out. Absolutely nothing for January, 2023. Then eased myself back into the marketplace from February onwards. Yes, there’ve been ups and downs in terms of, had some interesting interviews, met some people, then thinking, I don’t wanna work with you at all.
[00:28:29] Keith: Equally, I’m sure people have said, don’t wanna work with him, et cetera, et cetera, but it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Whereas three or four years ago, it would’ve been. They’re getting rid of you because Yeah. Not because it’s the end of the contract. Well, no it’s not. It’s the end of the contract.
[00:28:53] Keith: The local authority isn’t doing well. They’re gonna take money out of this. They’re gotta put it elsewhere, you know, even though it, that’s the legal thing to do because it was [00:29:00] government money and they’re trying to justify, well, actually it is associated with this program. Actually, it’s not, has nothing to do with our program whatsoever.
[00:29:07] Keith: But that’s beside the point. Want to use it anyway. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But for Keith, in terms of my position, my options, my stand back in terms of take some time, it’s, well, I can do this and do that. I don’t have to worry about that. Um, if I manage my finances well, I could probably, you know, be okay for six or seven months without too much of an issue.
[00:29:33] Keith: Let’s try and hit this for the first three or four and then start to worry if necessary. But don’t do it now. Keep that clarity in terms of where you are. Yeah.
[00:29:45] David: So rather than what would’ve happened before is reaching it to a negative space and it’s a process in the emotion regulation research that’s known as cognitive reappraisal.
[00:29:56] David: This ability to be able to kind of look at the situation, [00:30:00] kind of calm things down and start to examine it from a more. Objective point of view and see the reality of the situation and that has the impact on our emotions and then we’re in a better place to kind of move forward. And it, what it sounds like you’re saying, and you haven’t actually said it in so many words, is again, the, almost the second time in your life, and I’m sure a lot more, you were using goalposts to actually reframe.
[00:30:30] David: Cognitively reappraise your situation and move forward in a positive
[00:30:34] Keith: way. Yes, and to simplify that, which you’ve just said, it is just my story is I’ve done well for two years and give myself time and it’s okay to give myself the time rather than be a stress head and actually do more damage to myself.
[00:30:56] Keith: And potentially to the relationships I’m trying to [00:31:00] create on an interview basis, because it, you know, I’m being interviewed. I mean, that does come through that stress head, Keith Hackett comes through as an interview. Hmm. Whereas Mr. Kool Calm collected Keith Hackett as a consequence of saying, this is my story.
[00:31:18] Keith: Now I have got a good idea of where I want my story to go, and this is how much effort I’m gonna put into it Is. As you said, I’ve got more control over that. I’m more cognitively aware of that in a way that I just wasn’t previously equally found myself having an improved level of resilience for those knock backs because it’s okay, because I know those knock backs are gonna happen as part of my story.
[00:31:52] Keith: It can’t be perfect. It’s absolutely impossible for my future story to be perfect. It is gonna be up and down and [00:32:00] accepting that up and down is, if you like, being in greater control of that down and up. Then not accepting it. Or just ignoring it. Yeah.
[00:32:14] David: Yeah. And that’s that their lives adaptability. That ability to be able to realize that w we’re the authors of our story.
[00:32:23] David: And, uh, going back to the whole thing about the narrative and the story. Okay, Keith, that’s, this is brilliant and really powerful stuff as well. So can you just talk us through then the changes particularly to the two essays that you
[00:32:37] Keith: were talking about? Okay. Just a review, as it were. So just perform, so it was gold positioning options initially, strategy, tasks and survey in the middle.
[00:32:48] Keith: There’s a consequence of the co-production work with the staff and students at the Mental Health and Recovery College. There was a moment, if you wish, about 18, [00:33:00] no less than two years ago, where the bottom s became survey. So the s uh, that one there trying to do a weather person. I dunno how they do it.
[00:33:12] Keith: Hit that one there. Beca change from strategy to survey. Oh, that’s gonna be funny. I’m not gonna even try. But the one in the middle became story or stories, storytelling. So the stories hold everything together, past, present, future. Stories for gold, stories for positional stories, for options, stories for survey, and the survey element.
[00:33:41] Keith: Just for folks, it’s uh, trying to find a word that could say instead of surveying, I’ve shortened it to survey. So surveying one’s environments, surveying the context within which you are operating. That’s what survey stands for. It’s that if you wish the coin of phrase the [00:34:00] mindfulness element of what you are doing.
[00:34:03] Keith: Just being aware, just being understanding and giving yourself the permission to stand back and say, take a breather. What am I doing? How am I doing it? It’s my story evolving in the way that I want to, and maybe it’s not. What do I need to do in order for that to happen? Should I wish to keep that story going or given the options that I’ve already created for my stories?
[00:34:33] Keith: No, which way do I go now? And if my goal changes as a consequence of that, it’s okay because it’s my story. I don’t give a monkeys about anybody else. It’s my story. What the goal is, is my goal. That’s it. Brilliant.
[00:34:50] David: I think the brilliance of that, the f I may say
[00:34:53] Keith: so is I first say it’s not migrant, it’s, it’s one of the students within the college who went.
[00:34:59] Keith: How, [00:35:00] and she’s a teacher who had basically had massive burnout, was in psychiatric care, in, in sort of closed environment and has slowly built her life back. When she first saw this, she went, oh God, that’s brilliant. And I didn’t understand at the, at that time what she meant by it until we started doing the co-production.
[00:35:21] Keith: And this came out and she said, how about we do this? Cause we’re talking about stories and. Strategy. Think, lift did, and she was right. That’s the strategy. It’s okay if you’re using this as a business model for a particular change within an organization. I mean, I’ve used it for that purpose. I mean that someone not, not so long ago, um, said, I really like this.
[00:35:48] Keith: I’m struggling in terms of where my business is going. I, I’m, can I use it? So I worked with her on that basis with strategy and survey in the middle as it were. And. What came out of that was, [00:36:00] interestingly, didn’t recognize at the time, was that it was about her story in as much that the reason she set up her business, she had lost focus on the reason why she slapped her business.
[00:36:15] Keith: Then using Goalposts help her to refocus and say, actually what I’m doing over here doesn’t matter, and I’m getting distracted by this. Um, this is where my focus lies. So in essence, It was her reframing her story, but Nbra recognized it in those terms. And it wasn’t until a couple of, a few years later when I was working with one of the students from the college, a very, you know, very bright, very, very intelligent woman, ex-head teacher.
[00:36:47] Keith: And we started just talking about this. We are talking about stories and we just played around with it and we, yes, let’s go for it. Let’s just put it there. Change it around, see what happens. [00:37:00] And it’s so much better now. It’s so much more powerful as a model now, as a consequence of making that change, and even when I was using it in terms of strategy and surveying, I always felt this is far too process.
[00:37:21] Keith: It’s lacking emotion, putting stories into it. Brings the emotional and it’s the emotion that actually drives it.
[00:37:33] David: Well, the reason that I think the survey part of this is so brilliant and so important that what this does is it allows people that, as you were saying, the way you were describing that was about standing back.
[00:37:50] David: Now, what that does, Is it disassociates you from the now situation. It allows you to kind of stand [00:38:00] back and have a look at what’s going on without you being in the story. At that moment in time, you’re telling the story as an observer, and that becomes really important because you start to see things a lot more objectively.
[00:38:13] David: And what typically happens to people? And its not just things like depression and issues like that, but it’s also business issues. It can be, doesn’t matter what it is, relationship issues is that we become, the boundaries between us and the story that’s unveiling itself at the moment get so enmeshed that we can’t, it’s very difficult to see reality because we’re reacting to the reality at the moment.
[00:38:45] David: And there’s a whole process. So we were talking just before about counseling, training and things. You know, years ago I did a whole load of counseling training, and in fact I thought that’s the direction I was going to be taking, but didn’t quite, were people like that’s, life doesn’t [00:39:00] ended up in this direction.
[00:39:01] David: But what’s interesting about that is that ability to be able to just stand back and start to look at what’s going on in the environment from that perspective. Has a huge impact both cognitively and emotionally in that moment. And some of the, so as you know, as a police officer, so quite a lot of the counseling that we were doing was on other police officers w with kind of a whole range of traumas and things that, kinds of things that police officers have to deal with.
[00:39:33] David: And quite often when we’re reliving an experience, we’re still part of that narrative. We’re still associated. And therefore at the moment that we’re, and it is a reliving, and this is one of the problems with things like P T S D and things like that, is that every time you go back through it, you go, you are reliving all of the emotions, as you were saying.
[00:39:56] David: You’re reliving all of the experiences of those moments. [00:40:00] And it’s hard, as you well know, it’s very difficult to see out when you are in those emotional places. And it’s like a funnel. But what the survey does, as I say, it’s the disassociation and you start to be able to see things more clearly and a little bit more objectively.
[00:40:20] David: And that, that’s why I think that is so brilliant. And I also think that the most personal opinion, that the idea of the story is really powerful. Really powerful. So I think those changes are immense,
[00:40:36] Keith: actually. They are. And it’s, it was, it was just, as I said, it was the pitchy moment. It was this light bulb moment of my God, that’s what this is about.
[00:40:48] Keith: That’s what it was a recognition that Helen stories is so important. And I know many, many years ago, and it’s still the case now, isn’t it, that everyone called talks about corporate stories and all the [00:41:00] rest of it. And when we used the corporate story to help with the marketing and whatever, and to be honest with you, David, and that there were times I looked at that.
[00:41:06] Keith: Trend sometimes it’s the sort of late nineties, early two thousands, wasn’t it? Of business telling stories. Thought it was a bit, that sounds great, but it’s, you know, there’s a bit of marketing puff going on. Oh, going on here, blah, blah, blah. All the rest of it. But we need drill it down to a personal story and then look at stories that are told as part of culture.
[00:41:32] Keith: those historical stories, that verbal experience, that indigenous tribes use to inform the next generation of, actually, no, this is how we came about and this is why it’s so important. And storytelling, and this is where you sit within this story now, but you are now creating this story for us as a tribe I, whatever you might be, they can be immensely powerful.
[00:41:57] Keith: And informing in a way, in terms of [00:42:00] writing for want of a be want of a better word. It’s great that we tell stories. We tell stories to each other all the time. We read stories. No, we write stories. People make lovely livings out of writing and telling stories. Then why not embrace our own personal stories in the same way?
[00:42:17] David: This is one of the things I say to my students quite a lot. The biggest industry on this earth is the storytelling industry, Banon. You know, you think about all the books, the films, the television programs, even the news. The news does not present a series of bullet points about what’s going on. They present a series of stories.
[00:42:35] David: They go to the extent of sending some poor hack out into the darkened rain in order to contextualize the story to it’s part of the story. Now, one of the things, and this may or may not help with the model, and because it’s a living thing and it’s developing, which I like about it. Is one of the things that we used to do with trauma victims with the police [00:43:00] is that we used to get them to tell a story from different perspectives, and one of those perspectives was a benevolent other that was like an angel or something that was sat on top that could see everything.
[00:43:14] David: But it again, it was that disassociation that was so important in that process and then having a look at it from a different angle and a different angle. Enable the person just to kind of remove themselves, particularly in stories of trauma enough to start that process that we were talking about earlier on around cognitive reappraisal.
[00:43:36] David: And that’s really powerful and I think the model’s very powerful as well. I want to kind of keep in touch as it develops.
[00:43:44] Keith: Cool. Yes, it’s buzzy knowing coaching. There is a coaching activity that you can. Used with a person who is stuck within a particular situation to say, okay, let’s pretend that you are your best friend.[00:44:00]
[00:44:01] Keith: What? What would your best friend, if they were looking at this now, how would they describe what’s happening, where you’re going with this, et cetera? And as soon as you say that to someone, I go, oh yeah, well, um, Oh yeah. David will be so pragmatic. He would say this, this, this, and this. And it’s, you know, Keith, why are you even focusing over there?
[00:44:25] Keith: You should be focusing over here. So say, okay, that’s great. So do you trust David? You, he’s your best friend. You trust him? Well, yeah. Okay. So can you trust him now? Oh yeah. And it’s like you could be working with someone. Quite some time. They’re stuck in marketing, really buried in something, and it’s just that stand back different perspective, but a different perspective of someone that they know, that they trust, that they rely upon, they’ve, whatever it might be.[00:45:00]
[00:45:00] Keith: Essentially it’s themselves, but for them it’s not at that moment in time.
[00:45:06] David: Yes. Perspective taking that allows for the disassociation for a different perspective that allows for this idea of cognitive reappraisal. Keith, this has been absolutely brilliant and thank you so much for sharing your story.
[00:45:21] David: That’s a brave thing to do, particularly on a podcast, but also sharing the model because I think the models, you know, I think it’s got. So much to offer people and not, you know, in a range of different circumstances, both in terms of health, mental health, but also organizations and trying to solve problems as well.
[00:45:44] David: This is fantastic. Where can people contact you if they want to know more about goalposts and what you are doing?
[00:45:52] Keith: Well in terms of small members, my details are on my profile within the membership, so just look me up on the. If you [00:46:00] want to and you are able to use qr, the QR code behind, hopefully on the screen that you can see does actually operate, does work.
[00:46:07] Keith: It’ll come up as an unverified site, but it’s okay. It is just because it’s a small microsite. But that will then provide a little bit of detail about what go post is, how it’s been used already, and an info at email address, which comes directly through to me so I can pick it up from there as well.
[00:46:25] Keith: Brilliant. So yeah. Again,
[00:46:27] David: thank you so much. Thank you so much for sharing your story and the model. This has been brilliant. Thank you, Keith. Thanks, David.
[00:46:35] Keith: Thank you so much.
[00:46:37] David: Thank you for listening to the Oxford Review podcast. For free research briefings, audio and video research briefings, research, infographics, and a whole lot more, visit oxford hyphen review.com.
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