What is Ecology? A word often used, yet rarely defined. What does it mean and why is it important?
Mainly used and explained in the context of environmental science, I am interested in sharing how this powerful concept intersects with individuals and groups in…
“Ecology is the study of the environment, and helps us understand how organisms live with each other in unique physical environments”. –National Geographic
In science, ecology is the study of individual organisms, a group of organisms, their surrounding environment, and the entire ecosystem. It looks at how these individuals, groups, and the environment interact with one another. Specifically, by examining their functions and, if functioning were to cease, what would happen. While studying a lack of functioning, scientists closely spectate disease, change of environmental factors, and the level of human activity. Watching how it impacts the individual organisms, the group, the external environment, and if there is any impact on the entirety of a larger ecosystem.
Shifting into ecology from a human science perspective, there are also four levels.
So, that means when we speak in ecology, there are four levels to consider. Is this in ecology with myself? Is this in ecology with the people I am directly communicating with? Is this in ecology with my society/community/country/tribe? Is this in ecology with the world population and environment?
What you’re really asking yourself in the context of communication is, does what I am saying have the highest intention for myself, this person, the community, and the planet? Does what I am saying contaminate the highest intention of myself, this person, the community, and the planet?
Ecology prevents contamination of the system and the environment at every level.–Yager Training Company
Whenever you are considering consequences, outcomes, goals, you are actually thinking about ecology. You are thinking about your impact on yourself and a larger system as a whole.
How do you know when you’re acting in ecology?
- When harmony is present
- Supports the outside environment
- Supports the internal environment
- Outcome is a win-win for all parties
- Outcome is a win-win for the larger system (community, group)
- Outcome is a win-win for the environment
- There is no manipulation involved
Ecology in the context of coaching
I cannot stress enough the importance of ecology in coaching.
It starts first with the sales call and actually deciding to work with a client. If the price, longevity, or any other factor is not in ecology for a client, I find there is no need to continue along the process. We need to ask ourselves as coaches if our coaching is in ecology for the client, integrity in this is absolutely vital for successful coaching.
Then, as we move into coaching with a client there are a few important times when ecology comes into play.
When we are working with the unconscious mind, uncovering root causes, trauma, PTSD, it is key to keep ecology in mind. We are working with a human ecosystem. The unconscious and conscious mind work in tandem with each other and we are using powerful tools to get results. As we utilize these powerful tools, we need to ask ourselves if the changes we are making are in ecology with the client’s unconscious and conscious mind. Many times, the client does not have the conscious competence and understanding of the tools/modalities that we use as coaches. This means that our clients are placing trust in us as coaches and mentors in their lives.
Every time I use a programming technique, any modality, or belief deletion tool, I ask myself and the client if the change is in ecology.
–Yager Training Company
Ecology is the study of the effects of individual actions on the larger system. In an individual, the study of the effects of individual components of coaching on the bigger picture of the whole individual.
In closing, make sure to check for ecology and stay true to the presuppositions of your specific coaching practice.