Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Integral Coaching Model: Prototype


My partner, Kira, is working on a Life Coach certification. In a recent class, they talked about Wilber's quadrants and how to use them to work with clients. Kira knows a fair bit about integral theory, so she was pleased that it was part of the curriculum.

This evening we talked about how to go beyond the quadrants in a way that really expands the map a coach can use, yet still is useful in working with clients. We added a simple stage element: egocentric, ethnocentric, and worldcentric (could also be pre-personal, personal, post-personal, and so on).

So in each quadrant the coach has each of the three stages, giving a total of 12 different ways into the client's issue(s).

From there we talked about a model she likes to use in which you meet the person where s/he is (the personal level most times). From there, one approach is to move into the pre-personal to look at how that developmental level persists and shapes self-perception and values. When that information is brought forth and can be operated on, the post-personal is accessed (when possible) to look at the newly "unearthed" material in a way that circumvents the interior monologue and its story of "how the world is."

This is where we started trying to create a framework to make sense of the model in a way that renders it useful.

Looking at the egocentric level, we came up with these areas of inquiry:
I: body feeling, intuition
WE: family values, cultural programming
IT: sensations
ITS: how environment shape self-sense

The personal level is the easiest to work with because that is where the client is:
I: ego, persona
WE: current values system (based on peer-group/cultural ties)
IT: health and behavior
ITS: how society shapes self-sense/options

Looking at the worldcentric level, we came up with these areas of inquiry
I: observer self/witness
WE: worldcentric values systems
IT: right action (how you do "it")--example: volunteering
ITS: what you do "it" for--example: a grassroots political campaign

We saw that we could make things even more challenging by adding in a few developmental lines within each quadrant, but that tends more toward a therapy model, which is off-limits in coaching.

Part of the training in Kira's program is peer coaching to get some practice, so I suspect Kira will be trying to use this model with someone to see how manageable it is, or isn't.

We are open to any thoughts readers of this site might have on how to improve this--or where we can look at people doing similar work. I'm sure Wilber has talked about this somewhere, but I haven't the time to dig through his books to find it.

As Kira tries this with some people, I will ask her to write a guest post talking about its usefulness or lack thereof. I suspect we will want to refine it as she works with it--and perhaps as I try to use it in a watered-down way with my training clients.

The next stage, as implied by the image, is to move from the simple three-stage model into a more comprehensive Spiral Dynamics model.
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