Thursday, October 27, 2005

Don Beck: I Don't Know How to "Grow" People

I must sheepishly admit that I came to the SDi Personal Emergence confab with the thought that I might learn some tools or techniques for helping people progress along the Spiral. After completing the Level I certification, I have been completely disabused of that notion.

I know that "global" change is rare and difficult to attain, but I had hoped that I could learn to promote growth within specific developmental lines (such as self-worth, emotional intelligence, or kinesthetic intelligence).

Don Beck is adamant in his belief that it is not his role to "grow" people. At best, he tries to create a "habitat" in which the life conditions are such that growth becomes possible. This is a hugely valuable lesson for me.

As a trainer, I spend most of my time working with people in the upper right quadrant of their lives (exterior-individual), focusing on nutrition, exercise, and behavior. While I also pay attention to the upper left quadrant (interior-individual), focusing on emotional blocks or self-talk that defeats efforts in the upper right, neither of these areas really creates a habitat that can promote change -- of any kind.

There are some ways that I do promote that habitat -- structure, accountability, safety, encouragement -- but I think I can do more to help create the life conditions that can promote change. I'm not looking for global change anymore, or even movement up the Spiral -- I simply want to create the conditions in which my clients can achieve first-order change (adjustments in lifestyle, habits, or beliefs).

I will be exploring this idea in more depth when I am back in the world -- look for an SDi-based update to The Integral Fitness Solution, coming soon.
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