As teams and organizations
want to turn
the lost energy of countercurrent
for a collective flow.
Since 2004 I have supervised more than 1,000 system dynamic constellaions with profound changes at my clients. I wish every person, organization or system to experience this at least once.
Every person, organization or system (partners, team, family) experiences moments of unexpected obstacles and counterflow. It often occurs in the form of repetitive patterns or dynamics. As; difficulty taking your place, being left out, desire to belong, great sense of responsibility, difficulty asking for or receiving help, need for appreciation, feeling of emptiness, lack of support, always standing alone, rejection, not seen – not heard – not understood, not moving forward, etc..
This has a major impact on the health, happiness and peace of people, organizations and systems.
The origin of these dynamics lies in traumatic events in the past (from previous generations). They are hidden powers that you cannot comprehend or cannot solve by talking about, but experience and feel.
With System Dynamic Constellations you create from your inner image a psychological landscape of the aspects that play a role in the pattern you encounter. The hidden forces that cause the dynamics are revealed and broken through, allowing the person, organization or system to heal and transform.
“If you can not put your finger on it!”
An organization can be compared to an Iceberg. The part that protrudes above the water surface represents the formal aspect af the organization, the part that is located below the water surface represents the informal aspects of the organization. Informal factors include: power and influence structures, interaction patterns and group relationships, group norms, indirect role expectations and value systems, expectations, wishes, needs, employee satisfaction with the organization and work. The Iceberg model makes it clear that most of everything that happens in an organization is hidden below the surface.
As organizations have the conviction that employees are their greatest capital, it becomes all the more important to understand what is happening on the other side of the official and visible organizational structure of interpersonal processes, which forces are active here, and how they are more consciously influenced. If they are recognized and better understood as system dynamics. Constellation of work relations systems can contribute to gaining insight into the deep structure of conflicts at work. They help both, those who have their own position, and those who assist as representatives to obtain new insights into their work situation. In this way they open ways for them to free themselves from conflictious entanglement in work relations. Scientific research shows that the constellations in the context of organizations is appropriate to provide insight into central process such as communication and leadership. Constellations also lend themselves well as a method for analyzing and solving work-related conflicts.
What is it?
You can see an organization as a system. Everyone is an (indispensable) cog in the whole. If the balance is disturbed somewhere in the system, then unconsciously a reaction from someone within the organization follows immediately in another place, in order to restore the balance by means of certain behavior and/ or feelings that can not be explained. Basically every human being has the right to recognition of his place, in the right order, where the balance between giving and receiving is important. Everyone is also responsible for his own part. Obstacles to taking your own place may have to do with unconsciously observed patterns from your own family history, the company’s history or the employment history.
Causes of disruptions within an organization include: unjustified dismissal, succession within a (family) company, merger, reorganization, non-recognition of a founder.
This creates paradoxes and behaviors (culture dynamics) of:
– Included and excluded, get the feeling to belong or not to belong to a group
– Accelerate and brake, every time someone wants to take steps forward, someone else stops or steps backwards
– Directed inwards and outwards, one group is only busy with wat’s happening in the system and the other group is orientated on what’s going on outside the system
– Powerful and powerlessness, feeling strong and weak
– Trust and distrust, there is trust and suspicious
– Flexibility and inflexibility, wanting to change and refusing to change
– Division and togetherness, some are alone and others are with a group
– Push and pull, going forward and pulling backward
– Us and them, talking about we and the others
– Dependent and independent, waiting for each other to act together and act without taking notion of the others
– Give space and take space, by giving others the opportunity to act and at the same time taking the opportunity to act
– In contact and out of contact, being connected to each other and not being with each other
– Responsible and irresponsible, taking or getting the responsibility and at the same moment, not taking or getting the responsibility
– Attract and repel, to like and dislike
– Victim and perpetrator, one is suffering while the other causes the suffering
The core of the working method is the constellation of the organization with the help of alternates. An organization constellation starts with a client’s request: this question remains guiding during the constellation. This method uses facts from the organization. First the question of the client is clarified and from there the supervisor chooses who or what is being drawn up. The client then sets up alternates from the group participants for themselves and other elements within the organization. Without thinking and according to a personal inner image, a psychological landscape is created. The special features of this method is that the established substitutes, at the place assigned to them by the client, have access to the same feelings, forces and relationships as those they represent. This reveals the hidden dynamics of the problem. Under guidance, a situation unfolds whereby the constellation starts to move and everyone regains his/her right place within the system. By giving words to the new image, a different experience arises: sometimes acceptance with what it is like grows, often a new entry can be found to bring personal difficulties to a ‘solution.’
For whom and when can constellations work?
On indivual level at:
- Questions about your own powers, responsibilities and future possibilities
- The feeling of not being in the right place
- Obstructing competition between colleagues
- Overall uncertainty and/ or dissatisfaction
- The repetition of conflicts
- Options in career
At organizational level at:
- Ambiquity in leadership
- Absenteeism among employees
- Repeated return of the same problem despite of the replacement of the management
- Insufficient effect of training and training programs
- Struggle between different departments and subgroups within the organization
- The survival of old and other historical obstacles
- lack of clarity about responsibilities
- General need for more decisiveness
What can you achieve with that?
For the participants there are mulitple effects: the elaboration of (part of) the problem within the organization, opens ways to free itself from conflictious entanglements, seeing and experiencing arrangements of fellow groep members is an enriching and far-reaching experience by the expanding insight into the functioning of organizational systems, by acting as a substitute in an attitude, experiences feelings and body sensation from a completely different context, increasing the space for personal feelings and experiences.
Forms of organizational constellations:
Individaully (face to face or online) or with een group.
How did it begin?
Bert Hellinger was born in Germany in 1925. He studied philosophy, theology and pedagogy. He was a priest, headmaster and missionary in South Africa. During the subsequent studies, he discovered that some events continue to work in family relaionship systems for generations. He discovered that importance of order, hidden loyalties and the need for balance between giving and receiving in the family. Bert Hellinger became increasingly clear that important events in the family influence the functioning and well-being of other family members.
This method has also successfully been used for years to clarify hidden dynamics within teams and organizations and to deploy them for new insights and change processes.