Corporate Psychoanalytic Observation


Psychoanalytic observation can offer unique insights into your business’s leadership behaviours, by understanding how your leaders function and how their teams work together. The observational data we gather adds to our understanding and self-awareness, and offers an authentic view of your existing practice and behaviour.

We all have blind spots. However hard we work on our development and self-awareness, there are inevitably areas that we struggle to see— behaviours that have become so ingrained that we don’t recognise them. It could be that we have ‘verbal tics’ — responses to ideas that result in phrases that make us sound insincere, fairly or not.

Other observations can tell us something about how teams work together: who is silenced; what subjects are considered; what subjects are dismissed; where there is energy; and when things are flat. Observing working groups can witness dynamics between individual. Teams can then work with that knowledge to improve their function.

One executive began every contribution to the board meeting with an apology of sorts – pre-empting her words with a minimizing expression of their value. Another leader remained still and unresponsive during team meetings – creating unintended anxiety and fear amongst the team who read the lack of responsiveness as disappointment. Both leaders were unaware of these behaviours and improved understanding them helped them develop.

— Dr Susan Kahn, Executive Coach, Mediator and Author

After an initial consultation, we offer a series of 3 1-hour long observations, carried out in pre-agreed settings designed to maximise the pertinence of the observations. The consultant will sit on the boundary of the meeting (or work setting). During that time the consultant will closely observe the interactions, behaviour, body language and dynamics of the leader/team. This builds a detailed picture with insights about executives. We then feedback our findings as part of a detailed report, in which we consider those constructive behaviours, and establish what needs to be adapted and developed.


Dr Susan Kahn

Coach, Mediator & Author