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How do you know if Developmental Executive Coaching is for You or Your Staff?

Posted by Jay Hedley


“Self organisation is not a startling new feature of the world. It is the way the world has created itself for billions of years. In all of human activity, self-organisation is how we begin. It is what we do until we interfere with the process and try to control one another”.

Margaret J Wheatley and Myron Kellner-Rogers


Hey, Jay here from The Coaching Room, thanks for checking out this article. Once you have read it, my hope is that you will have more clarity on what Developmental Executive Coaching (and self organisation) is, and is not, and whether it is right for your personal and professional development.


The field of Coaching and where it all began…


This might sound odd, but coaching itself is actually not a new field - in that it has been emerging in alignment with the Human Potential Movement since the late 60’s and early 70’s, through the works of Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers and then later, Timothy Galway, among many others.


But the same


The Human Potential Movement was a counter-cultural rebellion against mainstream remedial psychology of the earlier 20th century. The group (who helped form Esalen in California), broke away to study structure of health and wellbeing. This included the renowned work of Virginia Satir, who actively encouraged therapists to shift their focus to relationship education to help Executives discover "more joy, more reality, more connectedness, more accomplishment and more opportunities for people to grow”.


Developmental Executive Coaching – how it differs from today’s performance-based coaching

It is interesting that around the same time as Esalen was formed, Jean Piaget was studying and developing his stages of cognitive development theory. Today we are still expanding and applying our knowledge as this work is led by numerous thought leaders, such as Ken Wilber (intergral theory), Susan Cook Greuter and Terri O’Fallon.

I bring this up, because in my view, Stages of Ego Development, sits at the heart of Developmental Coaching and differentiates it from Performance Based Coaching, which is more closely aligned to sports coaching and Team Leader level Coaching.

My experience is that the focus of performance coaching is on achieving goals, through changing actions and behaviours to ultimately increase performance outcomes, with a strong focus on accountability and performance agreements.

Developmental Coaching, on the other hand, focuses on an Executives  ‘meaning making’ structures and strategies, that drive and modulate a person’s actions and behaviours toward higher levels of achievement.

Identifying the Executive’s current way of; seeing, going, checking and sharing.

The very first component of our approach to Developmental Coaching is to seek first to understand the Executive, by looking “at” the Executive, their capacities and capabilities, and then looking “as” the Executive (the Executive’s way of orienting), as we get to understand their real coaching topic (the topic behind the topic).


“This approach is successful in developing the competencies necessary for Executives to have the skillful means to effectively manifest and live from and through this expanded self.” Laura Divine, Integral Coaching Institute.


Developmental Coaching is a process of facilitating expanded objective awareness of the Executive’s current way (taking them from the dance floor to the balcony of their awareness), so that the Executive can transcend and include their current way into a different way of being (if they choose to). It enables greater Self-Management.


The idea behind this is to expand the Executives capacity to hold multiple views or perspectives and skillfully navigate in and through them in support of their self-actualization and individual coaching outcomes.


Lenses used in Developmental Coaching


In our developmental Coaching, we use a range of Lenses to help find the Executive’s map of reality (the expectations, beliefs, values, identity, stage structure and therefore their current thinking patterns that drive all perception).


1. The Enneagram – Personality Typology Lens

Through the use of The Enneagram, the Executive has the opportunity to gain objective awareness of how their personality type informs, governs and drives how they lead, in delight and disaster (at their best and at their worst).

It also enables the Executive to read and fully understand other’s motivations, needs and true desires – in order to connect, relate and engage others.

2. Stages of Development

Using Terry O’Fallen’s Stages of Development, Sentence Completion Test (SCTi), the Executive can begin to understand their developmental stage structure and action logics.

This enables them to understand how they make meaning developmentally and what is next for them in maturation, integration at the edge of their comfort zone.

3. Lines of intelligence - originates from the work of Howard Gardeners’ Multiple Intelligences

The Lines of Development lens looks at the Executive’s current level of capacity and competency in each of the following Developmental Intelligence Lines, and aligns each with the Coaching topic and outcomes – therefore identifying developmental blind spots. The key lines used in our Developmental Coaching Programs are:


Cognitive – The capacity to take multiple perspectives at once

Emotional – A deep understanding of cause and direction

Somatic – Connectedness with physiology

Interpersonal – Connectedness in relating with others

Intent/Purpose – Knowing what deeply matters – sense of purpose in actions

Moral – How the Executive knows what to do/say, when with whom?


The Integral Semantic (IS) Leadership Matrix

This model combines Integral Theory, the Integral AQAL model, Semantic and Semiotic models, that elegantly weaves together their unique capacity to facilitate, through their own being and presence; to greater self (and other) awareness, leading to skillful means, action logics, and group dynamics.

The IS Leadership Matrix is a personal, team and organisational engagement model that enables participants to learn how to facilitate high quality Leadership outcomes.

New Leadership - A Different Way of Being 

The creation of holistic, authentic, integrated, unique expression as a Leader – an unoccupied way of being as a Leader.

Integration & Embodiment

This is about the Executive taking the knowing of their understandings, models, ideas and concepts into seeing, going, doing and being their different way, as an Executive and as a Leader.

Response-ability To & For Distinction

As the field of coaching is generative (generating difference) rather than remedial (re-solving past issues), we begin with the premise that the Executive is healthy and is already actualising their potential in their Current Way.

Developmental Coaching as a process is designed to enable you, the Executive to take ownership of this and therefore evolve their selves with volition (at their own pace, and in a way that is ecological for them.

The Developmental Coach is a facilitator of response-ability for an Executive’s 4 key powers; ownership of the Executive’s thinking (cognitive), feeling (emotional), actions (output) and communicating (relating).

This simple distinction sets Developmental Coaching apart from all other styles of coaching and training by empowering the Executive to step into self-organisation and self-management of their developmental growth.

Executive Benefits of Developmental Executive Coaching, as described by our clients

* You and your organisation can expect your Executive in Coaching to gain:

* More self-awareness of personality and behaviours

* A better understanding and knowledge of Leading versus Managing

* To create effective rapport with peers, colleagues, reports and the board of Directors

* To develop growth in terms of worldview (capacity to hold more perspectives)

* To be able to effectively engage and collaborate with the entire Executive Team and Board of Directors

* To lead through the creation of a pioneering and engaging vision

* To lead the organisation’s social systems (learn to lead systemically)

* To become objective to and lead the organisation’s culture

* To create impartial external accountability to team and organisational outcome.


So will we see you in the room?



The Wavelength of life - Accessing your Human Potential