Tim Collings

Professional coach, leader and founder of 4i Leadership

Jeanine Bailey: Hello and welcome. My name is Jeanine Bailey. Welcome to the Empower World Coaching and Leadership podcast. I am calling in from the Warren Country, which is part of the Colleen Nation south of Melbourne in Australia. So, I'm delighted to be here without Marie today, but I am so delighted to have the wonderful Tim Collings, who is joining me today before I hand over to Tim. I'm just so grateful that our paths crossed Tim because it was through really both of our very strong interest, perhaps passionate about climate change and wanting to make a difference to look after our country and the Earth Mother Earth that we crossed paths through the Coaching Climate Alliance probably more than a year ago now. And I remember a number of years ago with the bushfires coming through Australia, I really wanted to do something that supported the climate-on-climate change, and I didn't know what that was, and I wondered how I would do that with such a busy coaching practice, how am I going to make a difference? When I came across this climate coaching alliance and it was sometime later that I met you, Tim, and there was there was something about your energy and the words that you spoke that just together. And so ever since then, we've been looking at collaborating together what we have to again support this beautiful country of ours that we live on. And I know you're quite a few miles away from me, but over to you, Tim. I'd love you to introduce yourself to our listeners today.

Tim Collings: Well, thank you, Jeanine, for that introduction. And those very kind words. I am joining you all listeners and Jeanine today from the Woody Woody country, which has borders the Dahl and Ewen nations on the, south east coast of Australia and southern coast of New South Wales to give a concise an introduction to myself as I can. I am a coach. I am a leader, capability developer and a learning experience designer. Yet the Climate Coaching Alliance has been one of several really supportive communities that's enabled my transition into doing what I consider to be part of my deepest work and most meaningful work, and I'm now doing all I can to do more of that work and to weave that work into our collaborative collective, which is the coaching and leadership development organization that I co-founded and I'm co-CEO of, which is called for leadership.

Jeanine Bailey: Yes. Thank you, Tim. Thank you for that. So that introduction, I think I got my words around the wrong way with the Climate Coaching Alliance. Thank you. I got the thumbs up from Tim and I absolutely loved the work that you do, Tim. I've only known you for a short time, but through many gatherings through the Climate Coaching Alliance, as well as the things that we are working on with a number of other coaches as well to be able to again support organizations teams to again create the transition to a better world. And the feedback is always, always glowing about the work that you do so. So, thank you for allowing me to work with you, but also to be on this podcast. And Tim, I know that you are the way that you came into this work. You know, there's some rich stories that you've shared in the past, and I know we're on a short podcast today, so I'd really love you to be able to share with our listeners how you came together with how you brought these three elements together. Leadership, coaching and climate, which seems to be something that more and more coaches are becoming aware of, but don't know how to do this work. So, I'm wondering how you brought this all together.

Tim Collings: Now, thank you for the question. Thank you for the invitation to reference my own experience and to, yeah, provide whatever reference or frame I may be shining a little light. For anyone listening to this, that has a similar inclination where to begin? So again, trying to keep things super concise for today. I worked with leaders because leaders seem to be the fundamental point of change in most contexts, I think there's a lot to be said for self-agency and ultra, you know, sort of local endeavors, but in my lived experience, being at work, you know, since I was 16 years old. In any organizational context of any scale. A lot of things change depending on the capability and capacity of the leader. So that's why I work with leaders and I hold that true of myself if I'm having a great day. You know that energy can be there if I'm having not such a good day. And then the energy is different and it definitely makes, you know, it makes a difference. On client outcomes and on team outcomes. But I think we can look at the world now. And, you know, we're still counting the months since, you know, the latest global climate gathering COP26. And we can see how there is seemingly this, dissonance between, you know, actions, words, capabilities of leaders and the outcomes that came from that gathering. Just as one example compared to, I'm going to say, the evidence that we have of what is actually popular desire and sort of population level. Ambition for her quite dramatic change and shift, which I'm not saying is universal, but I certainly believe it's there would be more radical change endorsed by the general population than was endorsed at that meeting convened by leaders for leaders to make leadership decisions coaching. I'm going to talk, I'm going to talk today primarily about my experience being coached with a little bit of my experience as a coach because I think that actually speaks to the role of coaches in climate work that, you know, what is it the coaches do? They enable individual and small group level transformation to occur, right, like, you know, in a nutshell. Well, there's lots of ways and means and methodologies, but it tends to be sort of why you're in the room and fundamentally, that's what climate work is all about. And you know, it's three layers of work. It's engaging with this as a massive problem, as an individual. It's then looking at how in whatever group context you choose to then sort of expand that next layer, whether that's family, whether it's local community, whether it's regional, collective community or organizational context. But how are you going to do work within that group setting? And then it's thinking about how that then compounds up into a systems level and whether that system is, you know, region for us states in Australia or its national or its global or its big global corporate or what have you. And again, that's where the role of coaches comes right back to shine, those connecting or to shine a light on those connecting spaces and connective tissues and start to invite questions about where the compound impacts of an individual can be, you know, sort of catalyst for connective systemic change. So, I came into coaching on behalf at request of clients. I very quickly realized that I needed coach, too. So, I've kind of had a coach as long as I have been a coach, and now I have a coaching supervisor too. And I came to climate. Yeah, really, of a somewhat revelatory period of a combination of traumatic experiences, personal lived experience of the very worst of what awaits in regards to climate, and I'm not going expand on that at all here, but if you wish, we can put some links in the show notes to some of the places where that story's been shared. But I think, again, you here's a role for coaches, right, like many, many people have instances of things in their lives which become moments of calling. Yes. Unheard or unrecognized or disassociated from or just not sort of really understood in the moment at the time. And, you know, working with a coach, you know, you can start to stitch these things together or bring them into a more significant place. And the story that I tell. You know, is one of rediscovery and reconnection. And I can absolutely point to work with coaches over years that gave me the tools and capability to do that self-renovation. I'm a great believer in narrative coaching as a methodology. I think that's a particularly powerful tool for coaches around climate because the challenge with climate is so much of it is about the narrative, right, like what is the story that we tell ourselves about our futures and the story that we're living every day defines what that future will actually be. So that's where we need to look at the role of narrative and changing that to change the outcome, hopefully for the better. And then climate itself. I think it's a mixed blessing. But, you know, living in Australia, as I've chosen to do, really the majority of my adult life, having grown up in the UK, you know, this is that this is a country of extremes. You know, this is an environment that has the full breadth of range, except for sort of Arctic and. You can see, even over the 15 years that I've lived here, you can observe the changes as they're happening and you can witness the brutal realities of the extremes. All right. You can see the floods. You can feel the fires. You can taste the smoke. And that's actually not the reality for the majority of people at the moment, fortunately. And so, you know, I think to an extent, we have this kind of wicked advantage that you can actually at times look out the window and know what's happening and other parts of the world. You have to watch it or hear about it and. Of course, that gives us an opportunity, or one could say an obligation to actually then see what's happening and choose to try and do something about it. That's not a particularly concise answer, but I think that's where I'll leave my response to your prompt. For now, I'm back over to you.

Jeanine Bailey: Thank you, Tim, for sharing your story and know that sparked off some things for me. And you know I'm aware of your lived experience, your story, which is very powerful and an incredibly moving. And I know that there's more than one story. And I was starting off the reflection of. Where did my call for climate come from, because, you know, I don't have children that I need to worry about to make a better world, but I know that this passion for climate and looking after the world started quite young. But I think it's just been a gradual drip of various different things until those bushfires occurred and I wasn't impacted by those bushfires. They didn't come near me. They were hundreds of miles away. Yet I could see the smoke and smell the smoke and taste the smoke, as you said, even though these bushfires were hundreds of miles away. And so, it really did instigate this journey into what can I do as a coach to support climate change? What can I do to support leaders to again look at how we can look after our planet, look after our land? And as a consequence, actually of the meetings that we've had, Tim, you're very generous in terms of sharing resources and ideas. And one of those many ideas I took up, which was joining a, uh, a program that's been running the last two weeks and today was another one of the sessions. And, you know, really joining that program has really made it very consciously clear to me that this work is about our first starts with our own inner journey, first and foremost. It really is about our own self-development, our own evolvement. I don't know if that's the word, but it's about our own journey to find out what's important to us, to ourself first and foremost, and to let go of judgment and blame. And but actually look at, you know, how can we connect really to me, it's about connection. Connection to self, connection to others. Connection to the living. So again, I really appreciate your connection to. And as I share that, I'm wondering what might be coming up for you, what might be sparking off for you, if any?

Tim Collings: First of all, I have a very embodied sense of reciprocal gratitude, right? So, I will show that is like, really like a heartfelt sensation right in the middle of my chest. And so, I think there's a number of things. By all systemic change. Work starts inside and if I look at the last probably decade, I think everything that I'm doing now that I would say has any meaning, significance or impact. Has a direct consequence of some origin that is me making a decision to change something about who I am, the way I show up in the world and you know, the story that I tell myself. So fundamentally, it's a shift in being. And. That takes time, needs support. So, you know, I would say. Recognize the need to come into a level of awareness about who you are, how you operate, what you're bringing into the world, what your state of being is. Find lots of different ways to re-establish and then deepen connection. And. There's lots of spaces to do that. You know, I've had incredibly powerful experience in active hope circles for an example, which is a specific practice that's been developed by a marvelous woman called Joanna Macy around engaging with the very powerful sort of disruptive emotion around just even thinking about, you know what the future of a climate change world might look like. So those spaces are incredibly supportive. You know, find networks of professionals who are trying to figure out how to orientate their work life towards this kind of work, of which the CCI has been the primary one for me. But there are others and I think, you know, do pay attention to place. And. Unless you live in a part of the world where climate change isn't real and everyone you speak to not only doesn't want to talk about it, but doesn't believe that it should be spoken about because it's not real unless you live in one of those places. And I do acknowledge that those places are numerous. But you will find someone very near to you right now who is having the exact same internal wrestling match and is asking themselves the same question that might be a faith community. It might be, you know, a local writers circle. It certainly will be the local political office of whichever political party you have the orientated towards tackling this particular challenge. But you know, the conversations that I've had where I have connected most directly to community in this place have been at the school gate. Especially after the bushfires, we had direct impacts for months in this region. And, you know, going to the school gate and talking to people about just simply how they were going, you know, the marvelous Australian colloquialism got a very different response after that event and is activating all kinds of different pathways for people. So those would be my those would be my suggestions for right now.

Jeanine Bailey: Yeah, wonderful time. And you, as you said, I liked what you shared in terms of. I can't remember the words that you shared, exactly, but really be mindful of the place that you're in. And I believe as coaches, you know, we can connect if we can connect with the place that we're in and maybe even ask questions of what is around us. So those wise coaching questions that supports us to create more awareness and identify what's really important is a wonderful practice. I actually my hair's still a little bit wet, I went swimming today and it was such wonderful conditions, I took my snorkeling gear out and so I swam through the seaweed and the conditions were so bright and calm. And there was there were very big fish to be seen and it was just amazing just to be in that environment. And again, it took me back to, you know, what's important here, what's important here for me to be able to do this, to be able to, experience this magic. What's here for me to do? I've got my answers to that. But of course. We can walk in forest. We can walk in parks to just again reconnect with nature and ask Nature. What is there here for me to do? What’s my responsibility? In fact, I was listening to an audio book today, which had a little bit of religion in it, which I'm not a religious person. And such I would call myself spiritual. But it quoted from the Bible that when God made Earth, not Earth, when God put men, man and woman on Earth, we were assigned responsibility to look after everything living looking. Look after that planet. So, it was interesting how I got that message after my swim today, so. Oh, and you mentioned Tim CCA. You mentioned, yes, we've got to wrap up shortly. You mentioned CCA, which is the climate coaching alliance. And so, if you're interested in finding out about the Climate Coaching Alliance to look up that just Google that name, I think it's dot org, any other resources that you can recommend to him before we wrap up, the people look.

Tim Collings: You know, if I may, if for the purposes of podcasts, so anyone who's driving, please wait until you're in a safe parking place. What I'd actually request is if it's all right with you, I'll send you a list that you can include in the show notes. Because there I mean, there is an abundance of information, which is great. There is an amount of information. But having spent a long time in it and shifting it, sorting it, I would say, is what you should be paying attention to as opposed to some of the other information that's out there. But there's also a number of particularly books now and then podcasts and then, you know, sort of specific coach orientated resources that I would say, here's an array. Take your pick. Try a few of these and see what works for you. I've already mentioned active hope circles. I really like the facilitation tools that are provided for free by the All We Can Save organization, which has emerged out of a co-authored book endeavor. I think Outraging Optimism is an amazing podcast platform, and there's a list, so there's a few for right now. If you want more, it's called out.

Jeanine Bailey: Tim, thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate you being here and sharing your story. And again, I'm trusting inspiring people who perhaps feel like I don't know what to do. I don't know. I don't know how to combine that the coaching, the leadership together with climate change. Well, Tim, you're a fantastic role model of bringing that all together. So, thank you for sharing your story. And we look forward to hearing your feedback. Listeners, we hope you enjoyed this podcast and look forward to joining us next time.


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