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An Analysis of Integral Coaching Canada Across Eight Zones and Five Methodologies
Lisa L. Frost
This article provides an in‐depth analysis of Integral Coaching Canada’s coaching model using Integral Methodological Pluralism. The author uses five primary methodologies, and the perspectives available through eight zones, to evaluate what makes this model unique in the field of coaching. This article is based on the findings of a first‐, second‐, and third‐person approach to research, and an original study that evaluated over twenty coaching models.
As Integral Theory moves from the hands of theorists, to the hands of those who seek to practically apply its principles, we begin to see many fields emerging that are naturally suited for such application. Coaching is one of those fields. Yet, how can Integral Theory be applied to coaching such that it not only informs the field itself, but also provides methodological guidelines through which coaching models and coaches may be evaluated? What follows is an analysis of one such elegant application.
Coaching is in the unique position to aid individuals and groups in development. As a practice, coaching involves inhabiting other perspectives. At the very least, the coach must be able to take the client’s perspective, and the client is invited to take a new perspective as well and build related capacities to support this new view. It can be said that development, or growth, is dependent upon and begins with widening one’s perspective. It is important then to understand how the use of perspective taking can help coaching models to increase the efficacy of coaches in enabling the development of their clients.
This article is an adaptation of a study that includes the formal evaluation of three coaching schools and the models they teach, with an informal evaluation of over twenty other coaching models. 1 The following analysis provides an AQAL (all quadrants, levels, lines, states, and types) perspective through which coaching models can be evaluated.
The Integral approach simply points out that these dimensions of reality are present in all cultures, and therefore any truly comprehensive or integral approach would want to touch bases with all of those important dimensions, because they are in fact operating in people in any event, and if we do not include them in our analysis, we will have a partial, fragmented, and broken approach to any proposed solution. 2
Indeed, as all quadrants, levels, lines, states, and types are operating within each person, there is much value to be gained by taking them into consideration in the field of coaching. As such, the value of this analysis is in its contribution toward a greater understanding of how any coaching model can become more Integral from an AQAL standpoint. Of the three schools that I analyzed in detail, one stood out as being truly AQAL across every dimension of their method, process, and training architecture: Integral Coaching Canada. This article will provide insight into how this coaching school applies Integral principles.
In the original study, an integral research methodology was used, and multiple levels of perspective taking were employed that measured the degree to which coaching models actually address the perspectives of the coach, client, and relationship, as well as incorporating AQAL principles. The findings of the study inform the coaching models where they meet, or fall short
of meeting, a variety of perspectives based on the eight major zones (Figure 1) of Integral Methodological Pluralism (IMP) 3 which are covered in more depth under the specific zone headings. These data can also be used by prospective coaches to better understand how Integral Theory can be applied to the practice of coaching and meet the needs of individual and organizational coaching.
Figure 1. The Eight Zones 4
The analysis of Integral Coaching Canada, and its corresponding coaching model, represents the first of its kind in the field of coaching, as it uses the eight major zones of IMP and consists of data from first-, second-, and third-person approaches to research, thus allowing for a three dimensional picture of coaching within an Integral context to emerge, and leading to a richer understanding of the model and its methodology. While the analysis uses IMP, as the vehicle through which Integral Coaching Canada is investigated, the analysis also seeks to understand how Integral Coaching Canada is situated within the context of AQAL Theory. The study is in the unique position of providing an applied AQAL analysis to the coaching school that, based on the findings of the original study, came closest to using AQAL principles today.
each of these perspectives was assigned a corresponding question that guided the direction of the research. thirty-two perspectives surface for the analysis. second-. by way of investigating my own interiority through 4 . and finally the method or model that informs how the coaching proceeds. I have gained a deeper understanding of the zones and this paper reflects that understanding. By applying the eight major zones to these four subjects.Coaching consists of at least four distinct subjects that can be evaluated: the client. The evaluation questions represented one interpretation of those perspectives and how data was analyzed. The purpose of the concurrent mixed methods study was to better understand a research problem by converging both qualitative and quantitative data through the use of first-. Since the completion of the study. The main concern of the study was to practically apply IMP to the field of coaching. In other words. and structuralism. Two modes of first-person inquiry were used to investigate the coaching models: phenomenology. what does it mean to ask questions from the eight zones? How can those questions enhance our understanding of coaching and further the field? How can data be obtained to support the answers given? For such an undertaking it was necessary to participate in a variety of methodologies to gather data. Kennedy University. the intersubjective experience or relationship out of which coaching arises. the coach. The research study spanned an eight-month period of January 2007 to September 2007. and third-person methods. In the original study. by way of my personal participation with a coach. The research was carried out at a Master’s level of education within the Integral Psychology program of John F.
Research sources included any texts pertaining specifically to the school/model. 5 . and the many coaching sessions I have observed. In an effort to abide by that principle. completed the Integral Coaching® Certification Program. Second-person research occurred via hermeneutic inquiry via a post-coaching interview with my coach. I selected to further my professional coach training by enrolling in Integral Coaching Canada’s Integral Coaching® Certification Program (ICCP) consisting of two Modules: Foundation & Apprenticeship Module and Embodiment & Certification Module. By going through this process. participated as coaching client. and ethnomethodology as I both participated in and observed coaching sessions. and data derived from conducting open-ended interviews with experts in the model. I now have a deeper understanding of the model. I became a Certified Integral Coach in November 2008. Since the completion of the original study and the writing of my Master’s Thesis. One primary principle of Integral Coaching Canada’s model is that the coach is called to bring her whole self forward in the coaching relationship. Third-person inquiry was done by way of empirical research into the model. journaling about each of the sessions from both points of view. and evaluated across eight zones for Integral Coaching Canada. The following analysis is based on data gained via five research methodologies. as well as personal experience as an Integral Coach.exterior testing and outside verification in terms of developmental levels. which has given me the additional perspective of the clients I have coached. During my coaching program I held the dual role of participant of the coaching and observer of the relationship. and become a Certified Integral Coach. I bring the fullness of my experience forward as someone who has researched twentyfive coaching models.
Both Divine and Hunt have taught in the field of coaching. who have a combined fifty years of experience in the corporate and private sectors. (ICC) was founded and developed by Master Certified Coaches Joanne Hunt and Laura Divine. leadership. “Integral Coaching® is a discipline that enables a client to become more aware of their current approach to situations. methodology. developmental models. Given ICC’s advanced application of Integral Theory. Integral Coaching Canada Inc. states.Brief Overview: Integral Coaching Canada Inc. to see new possibilities and then build sustainable new competencies to achieve outcomes that deeply matter to them. and management development programs using a wide range of coaching approaches. coaching method. By the end of the first Module. and work with what they have come to know 6 .” 5 This is done through a direct application of Integral Theory. lines. apprentice coaches are also able to identify. According to ICC. in his extensive review of their work. and directly applies two Integral lenses (quadrants and lines) to begin to define a client’s unique AQAL Constellation which is the unique lens through which an individual looks at the world and is based on quadrants. their model is the first to be awarded AQAL Approval by Ken Wilber’s Integral Institute and is cited as the “most sophisticated application of Integral [Theory]” by Sean Esbjörn-Hargens PhD. the five-month Module 1 – Foundation & Apprenticeship covers coaching competencies. and adult learning modalities. ICC’s training includes two modules. and training pedagogy grounded in Integral Theory. Their frustration with the partial approaches that they had experienced led to them constructing a new coaching model. levels. and types (covered more extensively in Zone 2). accept.
Feedback occurs from a variety of sources including mentors. Integral Coaching® is now a registered trademark. lines. based on his or her own development. The ICC training program is one of the few that meets the International Coach Federation (ICF) training hour requirement for a Master Certified Coach. and participate in coaching both clients and peers. and completes written assignments. and their program is accredited by the ICF at this level. states. clients. which is 200+ hours of training. This directly ties into the coach’s knowledge of the types of clients he or she is able to work with. Each coach receives coaching from course instructors. Module 2 – Embodiment & Certification is nine months long during which Apprentice Coaches receive deeper training and feedback in short intervals on their ability to apply the full set of AQAL lenses (quadrants. is responsible for participating in one’s own unique personal development program and Integral Life Practices. levels. ICF is the primary international governing and accreditation body in the field of coaching. Regardless of whether coaches proceed on to the next module. by Integral Coaching Canada Inc. and types). and he or she knows when it appropriate to refer someone to a certified Integral Coach. they are considered practicing Apprentice Coaches at the end of Module 1. At this point the coach is also clear about the limits of his or her development as a coach. course instructors. and self-assessment. The first module is designed to enable students to work with clients using a full subject-object method 6 (covered in Zone 2). Many people who work inside organizations who want to become more skillful in developing and working with teams find this module to be of great assistance. owned in Canada. given that he or she has had only five months training.as their own AQAL Constellations. peers. 7 .
it is useful to ask: What is the phenomenological experience of coach and client. thoughts. Zone 1 Zone 1 speaks to the phenomenological experience of individuals. My coach kept taking me deeper. and my hand. In this case. and how does the ICC model support that experience? While each client will have a unique experience of being coached under the ICC model. Each client is increasingly invited to look more deeply at his or her behaviors. This often results in a feeling of diving deeply into oneself. like someone was holding a flashlight.Analysis: Integral Coaching Canada. and the way he or she makes meaning. 7 8 . in the process of Integral Coaching. For this zone. though never too fast or too far for me to adjust. the coach and client both have a direct experience of the coaching. there are some elements of that experience that seem to be common to most clients. as I kept uncovering more of myself and bringing it to the surface to show to us both. if not all. I came away from the experience feeling like I had been met in the place of my darkest interior. emotions. I will provide examples throughout this paper of my own experience through the capture of my journal entries during the research process: I felt like I was inquiring into my own heart and what I found most meaningful to me in my life. He or she is invited toward new awareness of his or her way of being in the world and in relation to his or her topic. Inc.
desires and vision 9 . 8 Looking As is entering the world of the client. The focus of any client’s coaching work is rooted in what deeply matters to him or her at this point in his or her life. Because coaching is a dialectical experience and the ICC model has particular ways of fostering that process (covered in Zone 3). This encompasses understanding the client’s longings. the client’s feedback and participation are crucial. It is a conceptual resonance. The first is ‘Looking At’ the client.The above quote illustrates another common experience for clients: a feeling of ownership of the process. but it is a resonance with any type of prehension that you find in a person’s interior. and a transemotional awareness. and it’s a transcendental awareness perspective if that’s what the client has available in their phenomenological field. These terms are covered more fully in the other articles in this issue. which attends to assessments made by the coach. Looking as the client… is largely an emotional resonance. which is a resonance that the coach experiences with the interior of the client. The second is called ‘Looking As’ the client. As is implied. not just their feelings of the world. The model provides two functions for attending to the interiority of the client. resonating with their understanding of the world. through the client’s eyes. and is covered under Zone 2. It’s basically resonating with whatever interiors are available in the client. Looking As the client is a first-person experience of another’s first-person experience.
and felt seen in a way that was beyond what I expected. 11 10 . and available he or she is in any given moment. flexible. For the coach. ICC describes this process as ‘becoming like soft clay’ 10 allowing the client to leave his or her impression in the mind-body-heart of the coach and to do this without unhealthily merging with the client. at this particular juncture in their life. pains. and reactivity associated with their coaching topic. sometimes for the first time in his or her life. I felt an immediate connection to her as her tone and manner were incredibly inviting and authentic. I felt a profound connection to my coach. body sensations. The client has the opportunity to feel fully met by someone. The coach stays aware of his or her own emotions. Each coach is taught to monitor his or her own interiority by feeling into how open. heard. and thoughts while also attending to the reactions of the client. clients often feel profoundly seen. with this particular way of being and topic. The result is often a feeling of being deeply present to one’s direct experience while simultaneously being deeply present to the direct experience of another. frustrations. a high degree of vulnerability and presence must be brought forth. This is done through a process of redirecting attention away from assessing the client and sensing what it actually feels like to be living as this client. I always felt like she was on my side. I found myself completely non-defensive and curious about her insights. felt. vulnerable. As this is reflected back to the client. and most importantly. 9 The coach is not just asked to feel into the arising opportunities in a client’s life but also to feel into the pain that the client is bringing forth as he or she wrestles with his or her coaching topic.along with hearing and feeling into the client’s disappointments. This is a profound experience for both coach and client.
Parts of this seeing can be both liberating and disturbing. the metaphors. The client works with the metaphors over the duration of the coaching relationship. Filling out the metaphors. is via the use of metaphors. seeing your own self-organizing system is critical in the developmental path. and as that information surfaces. the coach is able to increasingly enter the client’s world. and sometimes humor.The client is asked what he or she is feeling. as story. and to increasingly see as the client. behavior and response. perceptions. and sensing during this process. by their very nature. and also to describe a New Way of Being (NWOB) in the topic which represents shifts across language. vulnerability. The metaphors can be seen as a story that continues to be told through the duration of the coaching relationship. are told by both the coach and client. This is also more fully explored in the Coaching Conversations article in this issue. limited to serving as summarization of a client’s Way of Being. behavior and response to stimuli. as a relational process. and there is often an emotional response to the metaphors that are initially presented by the coach. Often the client’s reaction to the CWOB metaphor is a feeling of pain. Metaphors are used to describe the client’s Current Way of Being (CWOB) in the topic. Another way that ICC coaches feel into the direct experience of clients. sadness. including language. thinking. perceptions. The pain is 11 . is covered in Zone 3. Moreover. and reflect that back to the client. While metaphors are. According to ICC. Metaphors have the capacity to evoke emotion. Integral Coaches are skilled at continually shifting the base metaphor to encapsulate more of what is arising for the client.
associated with the client seeing the limits of one’s CWOB. or boundaries. without us. 12 When I first started working with my Current Way metaphor. What can you do but laugh? 13 Working with the CWOB metaphor can be disorienting and uncomfortable. and there’s something in that that’s very powerful for the client. being deeply seen and honored by his or her coach.” 14 There is also an opening and letting go that occurs as the client begins to shift from her CWOB toward a NWOB in the topic. and more humor. usually within the context of one’s topic. as the client gains some distance from that Way of Being and begins moving toward the NWOB metaphor. I remember feeling a sense of sadness and frustration that this was how I was living my life. The joy can be related to many aspects including acknowledging that the client has gotten to this point because of the skills and capacities of his or her CWOB.” This includes seeing the inherent limits. But I also had a sense of relief at finally feeling understood and seeing how this Way of Being was creating the problems I was having in my topic. honoring the history of the CWOB is an important step in working with it fully “This coaching method also honors history. in one’s Current Way of manifesting has actually helped bring about the coaching topic. yet. Over time the CWOB will evoke less pain. Over time I began to simply laugh as I saw my Current Way come up over and over. just fine. honors who you have been that has gotten you to this point. and feeling more freedom because he or she can now see his or her “way. 12 . and relative to one’s deeper intention.
the client sometimes experiences a sense of wonder at how easily the topic seems to resolve. The horizontal and vertical developmental structures. inherent in an Integral or a fully AQAL model. excitement. Eventually the client’s shifts. The coach’s Way of Being a coach can profoundly impact the client. 15 13 .The NWOB metaphor represents the greater possibility longed for by the client. It also enables the coach to interact with a client in a way that fully meets them (body. as moving from CWOB to NWOB reaches a critical mass. As this happens. The Integral backbone allows for both profound connection and skilful navigation of the territory. provide a map to ICC coaches that allow more capacity for compassion to grow as they comprehend and sit in the wider Integral frame. This sense of ease is directly related to perspectival shifts that the client has undergone while moving from CWOB to NWOB (covered more extensively in Zone 2). and mind) as the coach arrives from a place of regard. As the client begins to embody aspects of the NWOB. and appreciation. heart. This is one of the reasons each coach is taught how to monitor his or her own phenomenological experience even while feeling into another’s first-person experience. there are often feelings of relief. and as the client begins the journey that the coach has also experienced. love. in his or her Way of Being in the topic. and a greater sense of personal meaning and fulfillment. Coaches often experience a high degree of compassion and empathy for their clients as they feel into the client’s world. The coach also has a direct experience of working with his or her own Way of Being.
of both the coach and client. experiences. 16 The AQAL Constellation is part of ICC’s applied AQAL methodology and is comprised of information derived from six different lenses based on quadrants. the guiding question is: How are the structures of development. coaches are provided with an Integral understanding of the client’s worldview. some individuals will naturally approach his or her 14 . it is an exploration of how an individual’s interpretive structures and meaning making contribute to that individual’s interior experience. For Zone 2. as well as how each quadrant views. and behaves when orienting from each quadrant. ICC has comprehensively defined the way an individual sees.’ an assessment is made of the quadrant an individual generally orients from. By Looking At the client. 17 For example. and types. Each coach undergoes extensive training in assessing the AQAL Constellation of individuals (including his or her own) in the Looking At function. Zone 2 Zone 2 is an outside look at an individual’s interior experience. In this case. and interacts with the other quadrants. and how the coaching topic is viewed within the wider framework of that worldview. This sense of vulnerability is akin to the vulnerability felt by the client as he or she allows more of him or herself to be seen by the coach.In ICC’s training. Using the ‘quadrants lens. attended to in the ICC model and coaching relationship? The model provides two major tenets that speak to attending to these structures: applied AQAL methodology and subject/object theory. or applying the six lenses. lines. states. the coach becomes accustomed to the vulnerability of offering insights as his or her own response to what the client has shared. speaks. levels.
This is covered extensively in the Quadrants article in this issue. 15 . what is valued. The cycles or phases of development include identification with the level. and then disidentifying with the level as it becomes too restrictive for further growth or possibilities. ICC has mapped each level in terms of client language. For ICC this movement is identified as ‘wobbly’ (early identification with the level).topic from the space of the LL quadrant and would therefore generally filter everything through the lens of shared meaning. reasoning. and inclusion. current capabilities. where the previous stage is not simply transcended. belonging. Lines of development are used to help assess the client’s Way of Being. The lines assessed in the ICC model occur in the UL quadrant and include Cognitive. ‘solid’ (stabilization within the level and development of competencies). 18 In this way. and what the individual comes to discover as he or she transitions from one level to the next (vertical transformation). and how the client defines him or herself and seeks fulfillment. The ‘lines of development lens’ addresses an individual’s growth across six lines. how meaning is made. and ‘disintegrating’ (disidentification and integration). behaviors. The quadrants lens is also used to assess capabilities across lenses (Looking At). In keeping with Integral Theory. there are particular criteria that the coach looks for when making an assessment. rather aspects are included in the next stage of development. perspectives available. and challenges. developing competency in the level. developmental growth is seen as occurring holarchically. The ‘levels of consciousness lens’ addresses a clients center of gravity. An individual orienting from the LL quadrant would look at the UL quadrant and inquire into what is personally important through the lens of the larger vision of the community or group. This involves being able to Look As the client and see through their eyes.
they can hold important clues about types. or mind/body awareness. fearful. post-conventional). Coaches assess clients based on what states the client generally inhabits. These more extraordinary ‘state 16 . ICC generally uses three levels to determine line development which include low (egocentric. orienting quadrants. and general Way of Being. anxious) and low energy unresourceful states (depressed. medium (ethnocentric. 19 Lines are crucial in terms of the client’s coaching topic and are always assessed with the topic in mind. 20 States are generally impermanent and are not indicative of a client’s center of gravity. the quadrant he or she orients from. Spiritual. which is awareness of how one relates to others. There are specific criteria that match these designations. low energy resourceful states (relaxed. Somatic.or the awareness of what is. confident. conventional). and high (world centric. and Emotional. peaceful. which refers to awareness of what to do. and the type structures he or she is most affiliated with or defined by. This is because the client will interpret any state experience based on his or her overall level of consciousness. making them a more objective evaluation. serene). Moral. Interpersonal. ICC uses states as a further way of calibrating the overall CWOB of the client. joyful). coaches are also aware of and utilize other state experiences to enable clients to feel into wider parts of themselves. high energy unresourceful states (angry. The ‘states of consciousness lens’ follows the states an individual has access to through daily life. exhausted. apathetic) as these states have direct impact on the coaching work at hand. pre-conventional). or being able to access and healthily work with the full spectrum of human emotions. such as high energy resourceful states (invigorated. however. and to refer to the experience the client may be having across any of the quadrants. However. or awareness of connection to something greater than oneself.
The two functions of Looking As and Looking At 17 . This is not necessary aligned with sex type (UR: male or female). underlying issues. such as meditative and contemplative states. ICC uses two ‘type structure lenses’: Enneagram Lens and Gender Lens. ICC has developed rigorous material using the Enneagram lens developmentally in coaching work. While it is true that each individual has access to both masculine and feminine qualities.experiences’. coping strategies. 21 This type structure lens is used to gain a better understanding of preferences for behaving. The ‘gender type lens’ 22 speaks to ways of being aware and ways of perceiving along masculine or feminine styles. orientation to past. The Enneagram provides useful information about personality structures and overall tendencies of behavior/response. and what happens when those types integrate to healthy and more self-actualized behaviors due to conscious choice. present or future. the AQAL Constellation is a comprehensive map that promotes both Looking As the client (looking out to the world through the client’s eyes). and lost essential qualities. compensating beliefs. As covered in Zone 1. ICC teaches coaches how to assess what gender type a client orients from and what competencies are available to that client through the gender lens. and also Looking At the client (as traditional assessment tools do). individuals generally operate from and develop in a preferred gender type. are also part of the training process for Integral Coaches. It also yields information on what happens when individual personality types disintegrate into unhealthy or neurotic behaviors due to increased stress.
takes action (behavior and speech). a client can work with that CWOB as object. and checking’ that have served the client in his or her CWOB.are intricately entwined. Because ICC is helping the client to move from identification with his or her CWOB. ICC uniquely honors the subjective experience as a formal step in the coaching process. ‘Going’ indicates what an individual does and says. which is at first transparent to the client. ‘Checking’ are the results. and checks for results based on that same perception. 25 Seeing. to seeing that CWOB as object. as it is through the assessments that the coach can begin to feel into the client’s Way of Being. Integral Coaching® leverages the past by inquiring into the ways of ‘seeing. oneself and/or his or her topic. outcomes. enable the Integral Coach to work with a client both meaningfully and rigorously. or consequences an individual looks for to find out how he or she is doing. It is simply the way he or she sees the world. part of this 18 . as best as a distinct ‘other’ can do. The CWOB manifests from a client’s AQAL Constellation. ‘Seeing’ refers to the perceptions that result from how an individual thinks and feels. which therefore becomes integrated over time. given this Way of Being in the world. going and checking are the terms ICC uses to describe the primary competencies that have been built over time. feel into and have a sense of the world as the client does (Looking As the client). The assessments form the matrix that holds and supports the process of dropping down into a felt sense of the client’s world. while also being able to objectively see the client (Looking At the client). going. The Integral Coaching® model arises out of subject-object theory and an “include and transcend” developmental approach. 23 The Looking As/At structures. 24 ICC holds that by developing a relationship with a client’s CWOB. This is an important point because ICC holds that coaching will only be as effective as the coach is able to comprehend.
going. The client begins to see how the way he or she has of relating to the topic. a client can take on new perspectives or goals but their way of carrying them out will greatly informed by the strength of the clients’ well-developed and reliable CWOB. including his or her way of seeing. The coach has the role of making sure this tension is kept at a level that is conducive to development for the client. ICC contends that the reason change is often not sustained in traditional new attempts is that the historical construct re-creates what it has always known. The client tends to experience him or herself as gradually awakening to the structure of his or her Way of Being. by leveraging wisdom (integrating the past). As the client starts to see his or her CWOB increasingly as object. he 19 .” 27 This developmental tension is normal and will persist throughout the coaching relationship as the coach helps the client to integrate aspects from his or her CWOB. there exists a tension between the past to present. and to the self within the context of the topic.process lies in recognizing how the CWOB has been advantageous and necessary in the client’s life. and develop capabilities in his or her NWOB through cycles of development (present). even in the face of new insights on the part of the client. actually affects that topic. helping the client to see new possibilities (future). In this way there is a strong emphasis on honoring the client’s historical construct. and the present to future as he or she moves from identification with his or her CWOB to identification with his or her NWOB. and checking. 26 For the client. “There is a developmental tension between the ‘who have I been up until now’ that manifests as my CWOB and ‘the higher possibility I now hold for myself’ which is evidenced by a NWOB. In other words.
The NWOB supports the client’s topic and a healthier development of an expanded AQAL Constellation. thoughts. 28 20 . that are embodied in a wider structural lens. By using a metaphor.or she will see the CWOB arise in actions. and the world at large. others. perhaps for the first time. the client has the opportunity. By working with a CWOB metaphor and moving toward a NWOB metaphor. that truly encapsulates the essence of what the client desires. The NWOB includes healthier aspects of the CWOB and represents a wider view that encompasses new possibilities. and how he or she is relating to self. The client is also working on building a relationship with a NWOB until it becomes subject. The client recognizes that if they were living in this New Way of Being then their coaching topic would be easily manifested. They can also directly see how aspects of their Current Way of Being prevent them from moving forward and sustaining change to support their topic. The metaphors (introduced in Zone 1 and further expanded in Zone 3). to see his or her CWOB from the outside. the coach helps the client to transcend and include the CWOB into a new one that fully supports the client’s coaching topic. and new competencies. that describe the client’s CWOB and NWOB begin to serve as two landmarks that he or she uses to navigate new territory. The metaphor offers the client a tool toward gaining objectivity.
The same structures are applied to the coach. 21 .Over time.” 29 By working directly with the metaphor the NWOB becomes subject and the cycle continues. the coach supports the development of the competencies associated with a NWOB (transcend) while continuing to develop effective ways of working with the CWOB (include). enabled through a uniquely designed coaching program or agreement (covered in Zone 6). This process. they will continue to have an AQAL Constellation. They are trained to become more aware of their own distinct reactions to inputs and distinctions from the environment while remaining grounded in the coaching method. 30 For that reason it is very important that the coach be quite familiar with his or her unique Constellation and Way of Being as a coach. as the methodology provides. “Regardless of the growth and change in a client. yet still all on behalf of what is deeply meaningful to the client. it has simply grown. widened. yet the client will always have an AQAL Constellation. and adapted. is again based in AQAL theory. The coach develops the ability to skillfully be aware of their own ‘pulls’ based on their AQAL Constellation and to experience it as distinct from their client’s so that they stay accurately attuned to the environment. there is also the fact that the coach can only process that information through his or her own lens or AQAL Constellation. Moving toward the NWOB expands a client’s AQAL Constellation over time. While there is a degree of objectivity in assessing a client’s AQAL Constellation.
establishing the coaching agreement. sensing ability. including sense of openness. Another related path involves being coached through various cycles of development during the ICCP.The development of a coach’s Way of Being occurs across many paths throughout their training. active listening. integrity. The coach is expected to attend to his or her subjective experience. The first critical path involves developing and understanding the manifestation of one’s own unique AQAL Constellation. designing actions. he or she is more readily able to help others do the same. and compassion. intuition. Each of these competencies exists across all four quadrants. And. powerful questioning. Upon graduating from the ICCP. creating awareness. developing coaching presence. of course. 31 Because the coach is well versed in how to shift from identification to disidentification. groundedness. the coach has a clear understanding of his or her own AQAL Constellation and how it affects his or her coaching from both a strength and limitation perspective. the key development path is also the process of becoming an Integral Coach including all the related competencies that coaches will need to enter the complex field of professional coaching. 22 . there are ICF regulated competencies that the coach attends to throughout the coaching process. though they have been expanded in the ICC model to reflect an Integral understanding each competency. 32 The competencies are in alignment with ICF standards. honesty. appreciation. establishing trust and intimacy. Assignments are also completed that link the coach’s coaching work with their development as they come to know their unique CWOB as it grows into a NWOB over the term of the ICCP. The ICF core competencies are: adhering to ethical guidelines and professional standards. Additionally. direct communication.
planning and goal setting. to have worked with understanding one’s own Way of Being so as not to confuse self with client. the coach must have developed the capacity for deep silence within the self in order to create space to hear others. and to engage in internal inquiry on behalf of becoming more available to intuition. all of which contribute to the competency of coaching presence. the coach has the responsibility of having a deep awareness of one’s own limitations and strengths. In establishing trust and intimacy with the client. and to develop the ability to listen to the internal voice of the deepest self so as to develop the capability to listening for those deep voices in the client. These competencies will be revisited in Zone 4. In establishing a coaching agreement. and have the ability to pick up somatic cues. Coaches should have the ability to access intuition and to trust one’s inner sense of knowing. which is simply the formal agreement between coach and client that governs the parameters of the relationship. 6. and 8. as well has having developed a deep appreciation for the human struggle. to understand the differences between coaching other support professions. For active listening. ICC coaches are expected to understand the ICF standards of conduct and ethical guidelines. including one’s own sensing body. as they relate to those quadrants. 23 . the coach is expected to have an intimacy and care of the self. From an UL quadrant perspective. let us briefly look at ICF competencies. be open to not knowing. and managing progress and accountability.
There is a way that a coach processes information whether they realize it or not. evaluate and interpret multiple sources of information and to “differentiate between one’s own awareness and awareness in others. and an ability to access first-. 24 .” 33 In designing actions. the ability to sit with both silence and talking. As an Integral Coach.For powerful questioning. the coach should have the ability to deeply question the self and inquire into one’s own life. the coach must be able to determine which types of actions he or she tends to prefer/not prefer or to design/not design. Creating awareness requires the coach to integrate. and to look objectively at those preferences. and have the ability to sit with strong emotions as he or she manages progress and accountability in others. and to build the internal capacity for direct feedback. preferable through being coached. The coach must understand and be aware of one’s own tendencies of planning and goal setting. the coach must be aware of one’s own reaction to feedback and accountability so as to avoid projection of that reaction onto the client. and pushing for results. Direct communication requires that the coach have the ability to name and work with one’s own strong emotions. and the value of other ways. second. be aware of one’s own tendencies toward enforcing accountability.and third-person perspectives in an effort to separate one’s own perspective from those of other. Finally. they need to develop insight into their current patterns while also building the ability to hold the tension of developmental non-equilibrium in themselves and on behalf of their client.
interpretations. as well as an integral understanding of development. he or she does not have access to the perspective that people interpret situations differently. or the ability to step back and review his or her own behavior. and have the overall level of conventional/achievist (orange). Until the coach is at the orange center of gravity. it is only as an individual begins entering post-conventional. moving toward the post-conventional/affiliative individualist level (green) to begin to the embodiment all of the capacities necessary to be an Integral Coach. 25 . 34 Divine and Hunt hold that a certified Integral Coach must. Lines are also addressed for the development of a coach’s Way of Being. This minimum requirement speaks to what is necessary to Look As the client. can be of great service to orange and green clients. A coach who has a center of gravity of green. Yet Looking At the client requires access to a post-conventional/strategist (teal) cognitive capacity. be able to hold a third person perspective. This is important because the function of Looking At requires perspectives on perspectives on perspectives. coaches need to be with the non-equilibrium that the client is experiencing without merging with it and losing his or her distinct perspective. etc. at minimum. in much the same way that development occurs for the client. and the cognitive capacity of teal. 35 From ICC’s perspective. fourthorder consciousness that enough of the Integral Map comes online and can be used to serve the client. standards.To do this healthily. These minimum requirements are linked to the self-reflective abilities that are associated with entering orange. expectations.
and the morals of a coach. the relations of a coach. These are core areas of embodiment in developing the Way of Being of an Integral Coach. and shortcomings to the table. we’ve defined the ways of being associated with the mind of a coach. The coach I worked with from ICC through my research described self inquiry in coaching as “both demanding and difficult. But more than anything. 36 ICC helps coaches identify lines that are noticeably low and requires a certain minimum level of acuity for certification. she has ample opportunity to engage in her own development by looking deeply at both her successes and challenges. 26 . contribute. For every Coaching Conversation. the body of a coach. For the coach. there is a process of self-assessment that requires the coach to refer back to his or her own experience. but also profoundly rewarding in that it changes her Way of Being in the world. and make the impact she desires to make while honoring the entirety of who she is. the spirit of a coach. In her opinion. which seems to provide a place where she can grow. the heart of a coach. the model views the coach as bringing his or her own perspective. talents.When we look at the development of our coaches.” 37 She explained that during the course of coaching. the model contains checks and balances to ensure that he or she is frequently inquiring and assessing his or her own interiority. experience. the coach utilizes states and types lenses to clarify his or her AQAL Constellation and identify the set of competencies needed to embody his or her NWOB as he or she steps into the complex field of Integral Coaching and the coaching relationship. Additionally. ICC’s Integral Coaching® model provides the structure from which she can assess that growth.
and is informed by the experience of the client. sometimes for the first time. as supported by the ICC model? The coaching relationship is a primary vehicle through which the client develops. and emergence. The client has the opportunity to experience. This offers a meaningful sense of connection to another that allows the client to feel comfortable in venturing forth with an ever-widening sense of vulnerability. It is the dynamic between the two that allows the rich coaching terrain to develop. letting go. and difficulties. it is the place where the individual experience of each intersects. At times this terrain may be challenging. or even silent. It is the place clients bring their desires. paradox. In other words. resistance. It is a subjective experience of that space as shared by both individuals participating in the coaching work. feeling. The coach also comes forward with vulnerability which is strengthened by the shared space. humorous. pain. The shared experience between coach and client varies from relationship to relationship given the complex intersubjective space of two AQAL Constellation manifestations. For this zone the guiding question is: What is the nature of the mutual resonance (thinking. the feeling of having someone deeply resonate with his or her unique Way of Being in the world. The relationship is an organic container that is shaped by both the client and coach. powerful. desire. and is therefore true for both. worry. as the coach offers 27 . sensing) between coach and client in regards to the intersubjective container and coaching relationship. opening.Zone 3 Zone 3 addresses the ‘we-space’ between coach and client. It is a coming together of two people on behalf of the client and topic. as he or she progresses in the coaching work. Within that container the client is supported by the coach during periods of discomfort. hopes.
While relative experience and being grounded in a particular methodology will help to shape a coach’s Way of Being. to feel into what it must be like to be this human being (Looking As the client). ultimately the relationship itself will determine the success of the coaching engagement. is felt by the other and just the right amount of tension 28 . Likewise. yet the feeling of compatibility rests within the broader structure of the methodology. Basic compatibility is a must. If the coach is unable to meet the client in this space. which is the deeper territory of the client’s life. but without the ability to view the client objectively (Looking At the client). or to generate compassion for the client. Coaches must be able to enter the client’s perspective. The feeling of compatibility is a resonance which is a manifestation of how the coach and client’s psychological structures. The coach is the guide. to see from the client’s perspective. which is equally influenced by the client. In this way compatibility between coach and client is actually based on numerous aspects. from either party. showing the client how to navigate the descent into the cave. Every pull on the rope. then basic coaching compatibility cannot be met.insights and perspectives that often land with the client. making the process of coaching an intricate give and take relationship. Yet both are connected to the same ropes and carabiners. wherein the topic rests. The coach steps into the shared space and invites the client to do the same. a coach who has an AQAL Constellation that is very similar to a client’s may feel a deep connection and sense of compatibility. meet in the relationship. for both coach and client. not simply the question of “do we like each other?” A useful metaphor for the dynamic between coach and client is caving. or AQAL Constellations. but sometimes do not.
the bond of trust grows and the relationship is given the sustenance to go even deeper. the coach keeps just the right amount of tension in the rope between the past (who the client has been up until now) and the future (who the client is becoming). By gauging the breadth and depth of the conversations and practice design. the client also leads. but as the client becomes more accustomed to navigating this territory as they grow into their NWOB. who has traveled a similar journey. it is through the insights of both coach and client that deepening of the experience develops. the coach guides the client into ever deepening awareness of his or her Way of Being in the world and in the topic. There exists the possibility for a deep sense of intimacy to arise in this give and take. yet the coach is also supported by the client as he or she meets the coach in the unknown. In the relationship. as the client and coach face the unknown together. the relationship 29 . so to speak. As the relationship deepens. it is as though both parties carry flashlights. During this journey the client is held and supported in a non-judgmental container by another. The coach is pressing in with his or her presence. As the client begins to see shifts in the way he or she approaches his or her topic. it is through one’s body weight that the other is supported and held.in the rope is desired. every conversation is a co-creation between the coach and client. In coaching. Insights are not the exclusive domain of the coach. using all of his or her weight. It is through the constant give and take. the play between coach and client. creating an experience of support for the client. Sometimes the coach will lead. The coach is guided in every conversation toward the ultimate intention of the client. and new insights are yielded to both. In caving. that the coaching experience becomes uniquely personal. In the same way. the coach also brings his or her full self forward. In much the same way.
through reshaping what is originally offered by the coach. in that we were to some degree at or near the essence of [the client]. coaching methodology can make the difference between long-term sustained change and shortterm behavioral shifts. and offers a vivid picture with the potential to generate an emotional response. I find that when [the metaphors] are a bit off. In caving. the right equipment can mean the difference between life and death. in this topic. Similarly. which is why telling the story of the metaphors continues across the entire 30 . The process of arriving at the right metaphors. metaphors provide a rich texture of shared language and meaning in which the coach and client can explore the client’s Way of Being and are therefore an important tool in Integral Coaching (covered in depth in Zone 7). and I would characterize the experience…as one of some real intimacy. In much the same way that that the metaphor of caving describes the shared experience of coach and client in Integral Coaching. so to speak. and an aura of cocreated transformation. which shapes how each experiences the other in relationship. I always find that an act of intimacy. This process has a direct effect on the success of the engagement. so that it feels like it’s accurately getting that person. that even creates a greater sense of bond and understanding because we have to work together to shift that. in taking more of the weight of the relationship. intimacy. is a profoundly dialectical process that creates a bond built on trust.also shifts to support the client in becoming more self-generative. 38 Getting to the essence of the client and topic can occur through the co-creation or shifting of the metaphors that are first introduced by the coach.
the metaphor process is both a hallmark and a demonstration of the model’s intelligent. there is a particular way that intimacy is created. Both the coach and client enter into the rest of the program with shared meaning and shared vision for where the client is ultimately headed. The coach facilitates the building of the container. there is a distinct give and take. The coach serves as catalyst and witness to the client’s growth. a co-creation of the relationship that is observable through language. as well as a particular structure that enables the conversation to continue to serve the client. or even silence. There seems to be a dance between coach and client as they negotiate the client’s journey together.coaching relationship. it very much seems to be a container which holds the parties involved and shuts out distractions. As described in Zone 3. body language and shared behavior. which draws the client into the shared field. ICC calls this ‘building the container for coaching. There might be periods of animation. and how is that container cultivated by the ICC model and coaching relationship? From the exterior. It seeks to understand the components that are necessary to build that relationship. supporting and mirroring the client’s journey toward the change he or she seeks. 31 . sensitive. and LL-oriented design. “In sum. For ICC.” 39 Zone 4 Zone 4 looks at the outside of the relationship between coach and client. emotional expression.’ 40 To someone who is observing coaching. coaching often looks like a very intimate conversation. The guiding question for this zone is: What does the intersubjective container look like from an observational stance. productive.
Building the coaching container is dependent upon the same competencies covered in Zone 2. It also includes a physical manifestation of all those qualities in the body of the coach. and outlines the responsibilities of each. showing genuine concern for the client’s welfare. as well as the context of what is being said in relation to the overriding values. ICC coaches maintain ethical guidelines and professional standards by attuning to when the client needs additional resources and by making the client comfortable enough to raise difficult topics. and by respecting the client’s perceptions. The coach establishes trust and intimacy by tuning into what is important to the client. perspective. silence. 32 . which includes the ability to focus completely on the client’s words. but with a focus on the LL quadrant. Additionally. creating a safe environment. open and attentive in the conversations. and anything else that might arise for the client. Presence includes the ability to meet the client exactly where he or she is. Let us briefly examine the other ICF competencies through the lens of the intersubjective space: Another aspect of building the container is the ‘presence’ of the coach. The coaching agreement allows the client and coach to reach a mutual understanding about what is/is not appropriate in the relationship. struggle. the coach must be able to cut through long narratives to get to the essence of what the client is communicating. knowing when to move forward in space and direction. with respect to his or her growth. as well as when to hold back. ICC coaches remain flexible. desires and beliefs of the client. humor. Another competency that must be developed in the coach is active and empathic listing. 41 In terms of ICF competencies. The coach should be able to monitor adherence to the agreement and speak to the agreement when necessary. and sometimes more challenging for coaches to develop. and what capacities are available in any given moment. allowing space for strong emotions.
celebrates successes. and challenges the client with new perspectives. The coach also provides immediate support to the client. allowing wisdom to arise from the client. and facilitating awareness beyond where the client could go on his or her own. speaking to the client’s underlying concerns. helps the client to integrate new ideas and concepts. emotions. understanding the appropriate depth and scale to question a client. thoughts. the container is impacted by the coach’s ability to 33 . In managing progress and accountability. and body to identify factors that contribute to his or her CWOB.Powerful questioning requires the coach to ask questions that ensure understanding of what the client is saying. being respectful and checking out words and meaning with the client. beliefs. identifying strengths and limitations of the CWOB. and promotes self-discovery. the ability to sit with the client’s discomfort. moods. and calibrating communication based upon the coach/client agreement. rather than assumptions on behalf of the coach. rather than assuming insights from the coach are more valuable or the only truth possible. In designing actions. and expressing insights in a way that is both meaningful and useful to the client. perceptions. Direct communication aids the container by promoting continued inquiry. and that the coach is updated when the client experiences any internal changes. Planning and goal setting contribute to the container by allowing the coach to track what is meaningful to the client. actions. Creating awareness includes using inquiry to facilitate greater understanding. the coach brainstorms with the client for practices that stretch beyond the client’s normal range of actions. behaviors. It is also a way to ensure there is shared understanding and shared meaning.
and to determine the most meaningful and effective way to work together. each are expert in crucial ways. According to Divine and Hunt. on the other hand. The coach and client are not mutually disclosing (like friends would be) but they work from the premise that it is a deeply intimate connection to be in development with another human being. and the ability to keep the client on track during sessions. the distance between the coach and client. has a functional expertise in applying better models. communicating directly with the client about which role he or she is assuming in the conversation. yet. 42 The coaching relationship may arise out of other types of relationships such as manager/employee or mentor/mentee and it is vital that the coach is able to move between these relationship types as cleanly as possible. As the relationship progresses. The client is expert in the domain of his or her own life. diminishes as the client gains access to wider perspectives and becomes self-generating. in terms of functional expertise. ICC recognizes that Integral Coaching® is a relationship between equals. understand the roles and responsibilities of both parties. connect to and appreciate the client. listen and speak skillfully. In ICC’s coach training. the ability to acknowledge what the client has learned or become aware of. as well as any particular topic expertise. the ability to stay open to changes of direction as the client progresses. just as a business client is expert in the domain of its field of business. in that coach and client have equal ground. The sum of these competencies contribute to a ‘container’ that allows the coach to discern shared meaning. The coach. or failure to follow through on agreements.acknowledge the client’s follow through. coaches learn to establish clear roles within the coach/client relationship and clear expectations or boundaries at the 34 .
where he or she is in the coaching process. and assessing how he or she is doing as a coach. A useful question for this zone in relation to coaching is: In the ICC model.beginning of the relationship. The very process of this move causes a non-equilibrium state. The container. competencies. which help to set up a context of shared meaning and understanding. to another (NWOB). The relationship serves to support the client’s journey of integrating his or her CWOB as object and developing the competencies necessary for manifesting a NWOB that directly supports his or her coaching topic. The pull of development moves the individual or group from one structure that is identified with (CWOB). how he or she is connecting with the client. the coach remains aware of his or her own experience. Additionally. and coach’s self-monitoring work to cultivate authentic. The methodology provides the structure under which the coach and client contribute to the shared space and relate to one another. Zone 5 Zone 5 addresses self-regulation and self-sustainment. powerful we-spaces between coach and client. what elements create the structure of the coaching relationship. This dual movement occurs in the context of four types of coaching conversations that the coach leads the client 35 . relationship parameters. and yet using the CWOB and NWOB as structural parameters allows the coach and client to continue to find equilibrium at each point in the journey. and what is sustained and reformed over time? Coaching as a system promotes a certain level of non-equilibrium. which also has an impact on the shared space.
through. The intake includes questions that will ultimately lead to an assessment of the client’s AQAL Constellation. During the Intake Conversation. In each of the subsequent conversations the coach revisits the client’s AQAL Constellation to refine it over 36 . At the beginning of each conversation the coach outlines the flow of that particular session. The Intake Conversation is also important because it provides the information the coach will later use to Look As/At the client. across all quadrants. and leaves the first conversation with a sense of completion and anticipation of the next conversation. the coach and client discuss what to expect in the next session. as well as questions that help the coach to enter into the client’s perspective. Briefly. and at the end of each session. uncovering further nuances. what it means to him or her. the first conversation is the Intake Coaching Conversation. to create an accurate profile and to also enter the world of the client. states. The coach actively listens to the client. the specific structure of the coaching conversations allows the relationship to be sustained over time. lines. The coach also begins to take the client deeper into the topic. In the ICC model. The coach asks powerful questions that enable insights and further understanding for the client. 43 The structure acts as a navigational tool. restating what the client has said to establish resonance. the idea being that the structure will allow coach and client to relax more fully into the moment that is arising. and to find out if there is compatibility. levels. and types as possible. The coach also explains what will happen in the next coaching conversation so that the client can relax into the structure that is provided. to get to know one another. Each of four types of conversations has a different flow and purpose. The client is given a chance to talk about his or her topic. The purpose of this conversation is to establish a connection between the coach and client. and why it is important. the objective is to gather as much data.
Through this exchange. 37 . In the intersubjective space of the coach and client. as needed. the client adds to the metaphors with his or her own data. This is further cemented as the coach reflects back to the client the topic. the client takes over ownership of the metaphors and experiences a great degree of freedom as he or she works with a metaphor that accurately represents him or her in the topic. This begins the deeply dialectical process that is the Offer Conversation. These two first steps help re-establish the trust and intimacy of the coaching container. and why it is important to the client. The CWOB is always approached as topic specific. The client is invited to enter into the conversation and cocreate the metaphor with the coach to see if the metaphor is a good fit for his or her CWOB in the topic. and why it is important to the client. the coach offers insights into the client’s CWOB in his or her topic. In this way. the structures of Looking As/At contribute to reforming the relationship over time. perspectives and nuances. The coach offers a metaphor for the client’s CWOB and a few points as to why this metaphor seems to fit. The coach and client meet the second time for the Offer Coaching Conversation. The coach also reviews the flow of the conversation to set expectations with the client.time and to further enter the world of the client. The coach then asks for feedback from the client. even though it may also apply across other aspects of the client’s life. adjusting his or her interpretation of the topic. This conversation begins with a check in that allows the client to talk about any insights he or she has had since the previous conversation. Once the topic and why it is important have been agreed on. and to make the metaphor more specific to the client and topic.
The same process is repeated for this metaphor. and appreciated. to make the program powerful and unique to the client and topic. This is a critical aspect of the coaching process as honoring the CWOB allows the client to be seen.The coach guides the conversation toward what possibilities reside within this CWOB and how this particular Way of Being in the topic has supported the client over time. “With such a strong emphasis for understanding. or the competencies. which represents greater possibilities and client potential and a wider perspective with regards to the topic. releasing resistance and radically accepting what is. the coach offers a second metaphor as a NWOB. and invites the client to expand on this as well. understood. The coach offers a beginning set of practices that are designed to build specific competencies the client over time to shift to a NWOB in the topic.” 44 The client is able to drop the patterns of thought and behavior that demean and devalue the CWOB. the topic of coaching would be resolved as the capacities associated with this NWOB would enable manifestation in the topic being brought forward. The overarching competencies become the coaching developmental objectives. with the coach attending to client feedback and personalization every step of the way. The client is involved intimately with filling out this discourse. Once the metaphor is sufficiently filled out through this dialectical process. The insights the coach offers also address the idea that by shifting to this NWOB. naming and honoring a client’s CWOB. The client is again offered an opportunity to provide feedback and help to shift the practice design. embrace and appreciate the past up to the present. The coach also offers insights into how the CWOB is now limiting the client and preventing him or her from actualizing his or her topic. The dialectical process that 38 . the client is able to rest in.
represents the Offer Conversation continues throughout the coaching relationship. and may take several cycles of development to completely embody. the Completion Coaching Conversation takes place. the client has successfully transcended and included the CWOB and has moved substantially toward the NWOB. and has more influence on the practice design. The third type of conversation is called the Cycle of Development Coaching Conversation. The Completion Conversation acts as a celebration of what the client has accomplished and a review of the coaching work done over the term of their 39 . At this point. When the client becomes more self-generating. and follow the same basic structure each time. as practices and observations are designed one at a time. as he or she moves toward embodiment of the NWOB. Cycles of Development occur every two to three weeks. Once the competencies are fairly developed and the coaching objectives are met. After establishing trust and intimacy. he or she starts to design practices from a NWOB that is beginning to be stabilized. The coach asks questions to develop an understanding of what insights have occurred for the client. enabling his or her coaching topic to be realized. Over time. thus serving as another structure that recreates the relationship over time. The client’s coaching program evolves with the client. the client is given an opportunity to check in with the coach about the practices engaged in since the last conversation. Competencies are generally worked with one at a time. the client becomes more self-generating. and looks for examples of embodiment of competencies. initially by the coach. Cycles of development continue over the course of the coaching relationship until the objectives are met. During each cycle the coach presents a new practice set that is designed for the specific place in the process the client inhabits. thus recreating the container.
within the structure of the coaching relationship in the ICC model? ICC’s work supports both advancing the client’s consciousness. Zone 6 Zone 6 tracks observable behavior. the bond between coach and client is often quite profound and observable to others. Coaches are trained to look across the full AQAL Constellation to identify areas that will need further development. or what it will take to “reach optimum health given a client’s current AQAL Constellation (horizontal health) if that is what they are reaching for at a particular point in time. This expanded frame is built by enabling the CWOB to become object 40 . from a vertical transformation perspective. and checking will become available to the client through this powerful coaching work. The coach is always providing space for the client to come forward with feedback. going. for both coach and client. it is important to understand: What are the elements of observable behavior. and embodiment. for example. in relation to coaching. if that is what is underway for the client. More ways of seeing. Because trust and intimacy have been cultivated over time. as an actual step in the methodology. growth can occur on either the horizontal axis. as well as areas that can be leveraged. provide an additional structure for sustaining and reforming the relationship over time. For Zone 6.agreement. new awareness. or the outside of individuals.” 45 In this way. in the form of developing competencies to enable a healthier expression or it can take place vertically as clients navigate an arising levels shift. The reestablishment of trust and intimacy over the course of every coaching session.
Over time. speech) is linked to all aspects of the AQAL Constellation. a coach is trained to pay attention to his or her own behavior and how it corresponds to his or her AQAL Constellation. For example. 46 Competencies or ‘muscles’ are built through practices. It is only through actively trying something new that new understanding and embodiment can take place. in relation to the topic. ICC holds that one’s primary orienting quadrant does not automatically dictate a high level of competency in that quadrant. As covered in Zone 2. The coaching relationship may also provide the first location where a client has an opportunity to practice a new behavior. begins to work with practices that are designed to build capacities. behavior (body. An ICC coach is trained to pay particular attention to the observable behavior of the client as part of the assessment. which are developed for aspects of the AQAL Constellation that are less developed. behavior shifts along with the capacities being targeted. this new behavior becomes integrated into the individual’s Way of Being. or coach. Likewise. the quadrant a client generally orients from also has specific language and behavior associated with it. especially in the context of the coaching sessions. (Looking At) component of this model. As the client. actions.which the client can effectively work with while building ‘muscles’ or competencies to live and sustain a NWOB. The element of ‘going’ refers to how an individual behaves within the parameters of his or her CWOB. as in the case of a LL oriented client who wishes to improve relationships and already has a high level of 41 . Part of that process might include the coach modeling the behavior for the client. A coach may leverage that behavior. Practices regularly ask the individual to work with a new way of behaving (practices) in particular situations.
she may need to work on developing leg strength in her somatic development (perhaps specific yoga postures) so that she can ‘stand’ with more authority. that client may benefit greatly from upper body weight lifting. She may need to draw on the more receptive qualities of the feminine. the coach may also focus on a competency from another quadrant. Competencies that ICC coaches are required to develop (as introduced in Zone 2) have a direct impact on the coach’s behavior and contain particular UR nuances. a feminine oriented client may need to develop the competency of agency (masculine quality) in order to ask for a raise. 47 The coach is bound by 42 . say. In combination. whereas a client with medium to low development in the spiritual line might be given a mindfulness practice as their first step in a developmental cycle. if this client also has a frail. and self-possession. the coach may create a practice that focuses on one or several lines. a client with medium to low development in the emotional line might practice staying with strong emotions in self and in the company of others. The weight lifting would give that client a greater sense of strength. A masculine oriented client may need to build on connection and relationship building (feminine qualities) in order to bring a team together toward a common goal. For instance. if that is what is called for. a client who has low self-esteem and selfdoubt can often collapse through the shoulders. Using the lines of development. personal power. In a somatic line example. Using the gender type lens. with the above example. such as setting up systems (LR) that will enable better relationships. thin body.competency in relationship building.
as well his or her level of embodiment as a coach. Specific Integral Life Practices are utilized for all coaches in their development through the ICCP. also directly impact the coach’s behavior within the relationship. The coach establishes the coaching agreement. as well as practices that widen the self.). which is one way the tension between past and present 43 . taking into account his or her own capabilities in the method. The coach establishes trust and intimacy by sitting still and staying present to the client bodily. the coach feels the resistance that comes up for clients.ethical guidelines and professional standards of behavior. and what he or she can in fact offer the client. Coaches engage in practices that cultivate bodily presence and to attend to whatever arises for the client. The coach’s developmental practices. Coaches practice direct speech and skillful means in conversations. The coach also engages in body practices that pave the way for action and inaction. outside of the coaching relationship. By engaging in his or her own practices. Coaches practice engaging the senses. and engage in somatic practices that enable one to find words for what one senses. and must behave consistently with those standards. etc. and develop a ‘container’ that can receive as part of building coaching presence. vocal tonalities and other abilities that are suitable for that particular client. sitting still in listening and in meditation. open space and movement. research. and by using appropriate speeds. including studying Integral Models and getting feedback on embodiment of the method. the competency of powerful questioning requires the coach to have a deep ‘questioning practice’ and increasing his or her knowledge so as to have those questions answered either internally (through a journal practice) or externally (through reading. Again in further exploring the ICF competencies through this zone.
with an eye toward self-correction as needed. Generally the practice includes a series of reflection questions designed to support insights and track the expansion of their learning over time. Working with a coach is an important aspect of this competency as it allows the coach to know what if feels like to be a client. The client is also responsible for adhering to the agreement and the parameters of what is appropriate behavior between coach and client. The coach sets his or her own goals for growth and monitors and tracks his or her progress. and in the questions that accompany the practice. A client’s level of participation directly impacts the outcome of the coaching relationship. and asks questions. and is a natural part of the coaching process. 44 . The client reports on successes and challenges. he or she assumes more responsibility for practice design. As the client grows more skilful in carrying out practices and moving toward a NWOB. makes statements of shifting perspective. Another aspect of observable behavior. through active communication. and metaphors. for the coach. Action by both the coach and client is required to meet the objectives in a coaching relationship. within the context of practices and objectives. The client participates in new actions that support new skills and learnings. and demonstrates acquisition of new capabilities. The client co-creates the coaching relationship. Coaches engage in designing practices for self and others and also engage in new actions as part of one’s own developmental path. is that of designing practices. The coach must also monitor his or her own accountability. ICC also stresses the importance of regular exercise and proper diet as part of this quadrant. The entire Constellation is considered in practice design. and manage results.shows up behaviorally.
Part of this balance includes finding language and metaphor for both what is already present. the process of Looking As/At the client enables the coach to determine what language will most lead to shared resonance. lines profile. behavior.Zone 7 In Zone 7. In fact. introducing terms or perspectives through concepts that lead to insights and new awareness. the coach can use language to push the edges of the client’s development. once the coach has determined the client’s AQAL Constellation. language usage is a very important element in Integral Coaching. There is a balance between the rigor of the method and the intuitive dance between coach and client which must be trusted. based on his or her AQAL Constellation. Additionally. The quadrant a client generally orients from has specific language attached to it. and value expression between the coach and client? There are three major types of language that determine shared resonance in the ICC model: the client’s language. the CWOB and NWOB metaphors. Adding the client’s overall center of gravity. how does language usage affect and determine resonance of shared action. In the coaching method. and shared coaching vocabulary. Language is critical for the coach who is listening carefully to the client’s expression of his or her AQAL Constellation. Metaphor plays a large part in the languaging used to help the client move from the CWOB to the NWOB. For this zone it is useful to ask: In the ICC model. state access. and type structures makes for an array of possibilities in terms of the languaging that the client uses to address the topic and the coaching. the focus is on the insides of collective exteriors. it is through adopting the 45 . As shared resonance is crucial for the success of the coaching relationship. and what is emerging.
” 49 In fact. the client may find that. shared vocabulary and concepts actually create the possibility of shared. When speaking to the CWOB and NWOB. By introducing the terms of ‘Current Way of Being’ and ‘New Way of Being’. enables self-generating almost from the very beginning. Metaphorical language offers the benefit of engaging the left and the right side of the brain simultaneously. in order to embrace and embody the NWOB. “What we’ve actually found is that being able to hold your CWOB in your left hand. and your NWOB in your right hand. The NWOB metaphor is a tool that increases the client’s ability to observe how he or she can change his or her language. the concrete and the abstract…metaphor addresses the internal circumstances of being a maker of meaning-structures. 48 Using metaphors this way also enables the client to hold the developmental tension of who the client has been and who the client is longing to become. In Integral Coaching. as the client becomes more able to generate and own insights and integration. collaborative action. drawn to put his hand to reshaping it. among other factors. which has a wider perspective-taking competency inherent in it. The ability to reference the metaphor occurs first in language before moving to thought and action. and allows self-knowing to become stronger and more enabling of development. the coach might 46 . both coach and client have a beginning and ending point to work from. the language he or she uses begins to take on a distinctive flavor of the NWOB.metaphors offered that the first measure of objectification takes place. within the context of the coaching relationship. he is engaged in reshaping the very way he knows. combining the linear and the figurative. the descriptive and participative.
“The language of the [ICC] coaching method allows the coach to see the client in his/her fullness. ‘Developmental objectives’. ‘competencies’. For this zone. ‘going’. ‘Insights’. The idea of practice rather than perfection is inherent in the term ‘practices’. which describes actions the client takes throughout the coaching work to develop new skills and capacities. Finally. as terms.” 50 Zone 8 For Zone 8. it should be mentioned that the term ‘AQAL Constellation’. language. allows the coach to enter the coaching relationship in a particular way that creates the space necessary for the client to show up authentically and be appreciated as a dynamic and multi-dimensional being. and ‘embodiment’. Each of these terms and concepts work to unite the coach and client toward the shared purpose of the client realizing a NWOB in his or her topic. ‘awareness’. are used to describe shifts that occur for the client. the outside of collective exteriors is introduced. and ‘muscles’ are used as terms to describe capacities the client is building and help to align expectations. This includes structures that support dynamics of interaction. it is useful to look at the following: In the ICC model and coaching relationship. and ‘checking’. The metaphors are also described in terms of what is allowed for and what is limiting in this CWOB and these insights serve to simplify the strengths and limitations of particular Ways of Being. what structures attend to shared behavior.introduce the concepts of ‘seeing’. while not shared with the client per se. This further elucidates the metaphors and provides additional shared vocabulary when referring to aspects of the metaphors. systems and processes between the coach and client? 47 .
The coach is responsible for both staying within the framework of the system as well as making the appropriate adjustments that keep that framework fluid for the client. Because the assessment of the client’s AQAL Constellation is fluid rather than fixed, coaches learn to calibrate the coaching work, in terms of language, scale, depth, breadth, and style to the client’s profile over time. In this way, the systemic pattern of the method provides for movement and change in the conversation at every turn. An important point arises when looking at the model. The principles included within the model, as well as the aspects of lenses, process, method, and structure are applied in the same way with each client, regardless of the client’s AQAL Constellation or topic. The coaching program is uniquely designed, but the model remains stable.
Inherent in the model is the necessity to become attuned to and oriented by each client’s unique world view, level of development and focus of development. So, while there is a customization with every client, the essential coaching model remains intact. 51
By remaining intact, the model allows for the unique advantage of one coach being able to seamlessly pick up on a client’s program where another has left off. This is especially important for clients who are transferred to new locations and want to continue their coaching work in person (versus through phone contact). The structure of ICC’s work enables this to occur without disruption for clients.
The coaching Developmental Objectives serve as a shared structure within the formal Coaching Agreement. Both guide the coach and client to the next step in the process. The penultimate
objectives for the coaching program are awareness, embodiment and self-generation within the topic that the client has brought forward.
The client is now bringing forward more insight and is beginning to generate shifts in their world. This progresses until the coaching agreement is complete: where the client has built the awareness needed, has embodied the new competencies and world view needed, and is able to generate continued change and development moving forward on their own. 52
Awareness speaks to the ability of the client to be self-aware, to self-assess and to self-adjust within the frames of their CWOB and NWOB wisdom. Embodiment means developing the new capabilities that will sustain change over time. This includes the ability to draw on talents and capabilities associated with their CWOB (include) and the new embodiment associated with the client’s NWOB (transcend). Self-generation is the ability to carry on without being reliant on the coach. It includes an ability to sense next steps in one’s development and to take action without the need for another to design practices.
There are certain competencies the coach must develop to be effective in this zone. 53 The coach must have the ability to clearly communicate distinctions between coaching and other professions, as well as refer the client to another form of support or resource when appropriate. The coach must be able to speak to difficult topics, as they arise for the client. Clearly communicating relationship logistics (fees, scheduling, etc.) is also part of this zone.
Determining match between coach and client, and discussing options if there is not a fit, is an important capacity for the coach. The coach must consistently demonstrate honesty, sincerity, and integrity in the coaching relationship by keeping promises, being on time, asking permission, and giving the client space as needed. Shifting perspectives, taking risks, experimenting, and being flexible are all important for cultivating coaching presence. Being able to choose the most effective way to work with a client, among several possibilities is also important for the coach.
The coach must attend to the client’s agenda, without bias, criticism, or attachment. The capability of active listening allows for mirroring back and deepening insight as to what the client has said to promote understanding, clarity, reinforcement, and encouragement. The coach also builds on what the client offers in the sessions. By asking open-ended questions, the coach challenges assumptions, creates greater clarity, reveals important information and allows for further discover and insight for the client. Questions can also be directional, designed to move the client toward the NWOB. Coaches choose the best language to have positive impact, provide feedback, illustrate a point, or reframe ideas to illustrate another perspective.
The coach also speaks to objectives, practices, and the flow of each conversation, setting client expectations. The coach facilitates greater understanding by communicating broader perspectives, speaking to disparities, assessing client concerns, and designing practices and a developmental plan that support greater awareness and growth. The coach has the ability to systematically explore client concerns and alternative solutions. The coach speaks to patterns that continue to show up for the client, as well as new possibilities, points of view, and actions.
3) and the formal methodology. This section synthesizes the primary differences that ICC brings to the field of coaching in terms of: 1) the theory of development from which the model arises. specific. self-identity development. This section draws on the findings of the original study and in-depth analysis of three coaching models and a review of over twenty additional models. cognitive development.The coach develops and maintains an effective coaching plan that has realistic. values development. and support the client in keeping on track. ICC is the only model. among the models surveyed. 2) the way the model is used to understand the client. and accountability. 51 . measurable and timely results. 54 ICC takes an Integral approach in their view of human development synthesizing the research of a pool of experts in various areas such as ego development. that utilizes many different theorists across all disciplines of human experience in order to create a model that is grounded in Integral Theory. The coach also maintains the information gleaned from each coaching session and uses that information to adjust the plan. The coach holds and speaks to both the current moment and the wider context of the client’s path toward the future he or she desires. moral development. establishing appropriate measuring. and monitoring the coaching environment. manage progress. and makes adjustments to that plan as the client follows his or her own developmental trajectory. which is based on the aforementioned factors. Conclusion Many differences among coaching models exist. Each of these competencies has the overall effect of developing structures. and levels of consciousness.
or social. 52 . ICC is the only model that offered complex perspective taking understanding and related competencies to support Looking As in their methodology. that a coach can understand the AQAL Constellation that essentially serves as the ground for the client’s CWOB. levels. what center of gravity one inhabits. the model does not favor any particular domain of the client’s experience. and types that can be duplicated with the same set of objective standards by any coach. physiological. and how the client processes the consequences of those actions or checks for results. among the models surveyed. and types and work with subject/object theory in order to transcend and include as one moves into a NWOB as a coach.In terms of Way of Being. ICC also provides rigorous standards by which a coach can self-assess across quadrants. levels. be it emotional. states. from what states one generally orients. states. Because ICC is grounded in AQAL theory. The coach also has an objective structure by which s/he is able to determine the appropriate fit between self and client. cultural. while Looking As is a dropping down into an intuitive space to see and feel the topic as the client sees and feels. what line capacity one demonstrates (across six lines). It is not simply the way a client perceives. and what types one embodies. lines. It is only through understanding from which quadrant the client orients. ICC holds that this is the way the client has of seeing. but rather what actions are taken. Additionally. Looking At includes in-depth measurable assessments across all AQAL domains. lines. and checking. ICC seeks to understand the client via the methods of Looking As/At the client allowing for both an objective and subjective view. ICC has rigorous methods of individually assessing quadrants. going.
that client includes all of the wisdom and useful qualities that the CWOB provided. Rather clients are seen as always existing in the creative tension between who the person has 53 . meaning that the client becomes aware of his/her CWOB and opens to focusing on building a NWOB (whole picture) rather than simply embracing new distinctions. Insights offered to the client are informed by subject/object theory as well.ICC employs subject/object theory as a central means of helping the client develop the competencies that will dissolve his or her topic and alleviate suffering. In other words. help to generate a coherent narrative that supplies the client with a powerful ways to make sense of his or her life. but there is no gap analysis. as many other models do (ie. It is held that this level of honoring is crucial in allowing a client to include and transcend the CWOB and inhabit the NWOB. Not only are individuals not flawed. ICC does not hold that a client seeks coaching because he or she is in the middle of a breakdown. the client is already whole and at the same time needs new competencies to embody a NWOB that will include and transcend the CWOB. Subject-object theory is also the main vehicle through which the concept of transcend/include is developed. that something needs to break before change is truly possible). which points to a distinct difference from most schools of coaching as to how the client is held and understood. Another unique feature of ICC is the honoring of the CWOB. The CWOB and NWOB metaphors serve to provide the markers that define the client’s developmental journey. and transcends that CWOB to embody a NWOB. As a client shifts from a CWOB to a NWOB. and enable the full Integral map to be brought to bear in a coaching application.
There are comprehensive structures in place that determine how to do an intake. occurs over time. how to look at competency levels from an objective view. how to design a program. a coach can easily and effectively work with a client who has transferred from another coach. how to bridge from one step to the next and how to self-assess. There is a particular way a client is worked with in order to give that client the best opportunity for horizontal health or vertical transformation within his or her unique AQAL Constellation. ICC holds that the CWOB and the NWOB are always in place. how to develop lines. The primary goal of 54 . how to do an offer. this is actually a continuum. and signifies a developmental shift. ICC designs programs in a step-by-step process based on the developmental pace of the client. whether vertical or horizontal. From a developmental perspective. using a standardized methodology.been (past) and who that person is becoming (future). Because the structures are objective. and the client may lie at any point along that continuum. ICC uses Integral Theory in model. methodology. With ICC there is a rigorously structured methodology for how the model is used in coaching. In a recent public forum I was asked if Integral Coaching actually serves the client better than other methods of coaching. The focus of the coaching work is on building a stable NWOB that includes healthy aspects of the CWOB. In other words there are two people at play and the creative tension between who we are and who we are becoming is available with or without a breakdown. training. and overall structure. I believe this question is important to answer.
I would like to thank specific people for their contribution to this work. Kennedy University.coaching is to serve the client and his or her topic. Using IMP to evaluate the coaching model is the most effective means to support that end because it allows for a multi-dimensional analysis that does not. Sean Esbjörn-Hargens (John F. It also lends the unique advantage of requiring first-. a coaching method that seeks to include more aspects of the client. to the degree that is possible. rather than simply privileging some. preference one zone over another. it develops a coaching language that includes more perspectives and these perspectives allow their coaching system to include more of the client than other coaching approaches. In conclusion. between interviews and clarifications. Joanne Hunt and Laura Divine (Integral Coaching Canada Inc. They have also become my teachers in this model.” 55 In an effort to raise the standards of the field of coaching. thus allowing the fullness of the model to be appreciated. To me.) graciously supplied countless hours. In my opinion. second-. it is necessary to allow the fullness of each unique human being to be addressed in the field of coaching. Integral Institute) contributed a great deal of 55 . and seeks to have a first person-perspective of that client’s perspective. this paper serves as a contribution based on a first-. by nature. Integral Coaching offers a much broader perspective of the various aspects of human beings and therefore allows for a richer coaching territory in which to play. Currently IMP offers the most diverse lens through which to view a subject. second-. and third-person methodologies to gather data in order to address the zones adequately. “Because ICC adopts an integral model. and third-person inquiry into eight zones as they pertain to Integral Coaching Canada’s coaching model. In an increasingly complex and diverse world. serves that client better.
Jordan Luftig (John F. Clint Fuhs (Integral Institute and Integral Life) proffered extensive feedback on this article. and this article.feedback as my thesis advisor for both the original study. Kennedy University) extended valuable feedback on both the original study. challenging me to take my analysis both wider and deeper. and this article. 56 . and clarification on IMP.
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section 8. 1-19. 2008. Divine. 2004. Integral Coaching Canada. Divine. Hunt. unpublished work.25 Integral Coaching Canada. ICC Coach. 1994. personal communication. personal communication. 2007. 2004. 2007. pp. pp. Module 1: Foundation and apprenticeship. personal communication. section 5. Integral Coaching Canada. personal communication. personal communication. 2007. August 28. Hunt. November 19. Dec 31. February 22. personal communication. 2007. 1-17. unpublished work 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 58 . personal conversation July 11. Divine. Integral Coaching Canada. section 8. 2007. February 22. Hunt. 2007. 2007. August 7. personal communication. 2007. 2007. pp. 2008. 2007. Module 1: Foundation and apprenticeship. 260. Integral Coaching Canada. Integral Coaching Canada. personal communication. Module 1: Foundation and apprenticeship. 2004. personal communication. July 5. 2007. 1-19. 2007. unpublished work. 2007. 12. 1-19. Fuhs. 2007. August 7. Module 1: Foundation and apprenticeship. personal communication. pp. Divine. Integral Coaching Canada. Hunt. Hunt. p. Hunt. personal communication. 2007. unpublished work. 2004. 2007 Integral Coaching Canada. July 5. 2007. February 27. section 8. section 8. Divine and Hunt. personal communication. August 7. 2007. 2004. unpublished work. Williams. August 28. In over our heads: The mental demands of modern life. Integral Coaching Canada. Esbjörn-Hargens. Module 1: Foundation and apprenticeship. 2007. Hunt. personal communication. Hunt. February 22. Kegan. Integral Coaching Canada. Integral Coaching Canada. unpublished work. p. personal communication. August 7. Divine.
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