Developmental Coaching


The Coaching Psychology Evidence Based Research Conference in Sydney this month was an ideas lolly shop for those of us who are committed to professional coaching.  Most argue that coaching is not a profession,  and I have heard it described as cottage industry.  This is largely because anyone can hang out a shingle with the word ‘Coach’ on it and they’re in business.  However, there are professional coaches, and about 200 of us enjoyed a stimulating two days at Sydney University learning about cutting edge research, listening  to practice stories and networking with each other.

Coach Works, Sydney (which is just me at the moment – a proud solo professional) has a focus on career and developmental coaching.  Career coaching is self explanatory – find the right career and succeed in it.  Developmental coaching is a little more subjective.  Essentially, developmental coaching is about learning more about oneself, and for Coach Works this specifically relates to the world of work.

Taking multiple perspectives

Being mindful and remain calm                                Making positive emotional space

Having a clear purpose


The Developmental Pyramid

The developmental pyramid is one approach to coaching, and you and your coach would collaboratively work on each of these four segments.  This is my take on Campbell Macbean’s conference presentation on developmental coaching.  Called the four-factor model, it was developed by Grant et al at Sydney University.

Perspective taking is the ability to read your environment with all its complexities, and make it understandable.  This means being aware of your own filters or mental models, empathising with how other people see things, and making sense of  all important factors in the system, not just as they stand alone, but also how they interact.

Mindfulness is about managing your own thought processes, and turning the spaces between them into oases of pause and peace.  It derives from the eastern traditions of meditation, but does not necessarily involve the serious practice of meditation.  Mindfulness is about how you capitalize on the nano-seconds between thought and action.

Having a clear purpose precedes goal setting.  It is as much about what your values are and what shapes your goals as it is about specifying actions for the future. 

Making positive emotional space is about how you build relationships with other people which respect their perspectives and qualities.

Development continues throughout life.  Your brain continues to develop fresh synaptic channels right up until you hit your nineties.  I wouldn’t be surprised if some lucky souls don’t continue their brain growth for their whole life.

Please let me know if you found this useful.  My next blog will bring you more on developmental coaching.

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