What is Developmental Coaching?

Human beings are self-conscious and social creatures.  We are aware of time (past, present, and future), our own vulnerability and inadequacy, and our deepest desire for meaning, purposeful engagement, connection, and intimacy.  Because of these uniquely human characteristics we experience our lives as a process - a developmentally unfolding process - that is anything but static.  The structure of our experience is like a story (which is why we tell them and love reading/watching them).  We have a sense of 'what is' (who and where we are now, and whether or not how we are currently operating is sufficient) as well as 'what should be' (who and where we want to be, what would be better, ideal, an improvement).  This means that we are simultaneously human 'beings' and 'becomings,' always expressing and 'reflecting on' who we are now while striving to 'develop into' our future selves, or 'live up to' our potential (whatever that is).  Many of our challenges in life, therefore, are fundamentally 'existential' and 'developmental.'  This is where Developmental Coaching comes in.

A coaching dialogue is an exercise in development.  Truly honest and timely coaching conversations can, and should be, transformative.  It isn't just talking.  A Developmental Coach should encourage and facilitate growth in key areas of our lives and awaken us to possibilities that we may never have considered.  But beyond encouraging self-exploration and discovery, coaching is a human communication and change process dedicated to enabling profound and lasting transformations in our self-defined goals.  It encourages and stimulates us to perform at a higher level while accelerating our development and unleashing our latent potential.  Who doesn't want that?

How Our Developmental Coaches Work With YOU

As the quote above (from the book Immunity to Change) illustrates, the change challenge that many of us face is the inability to close the gap between what we genuinely want and what we are able to do.  In other words, it's a learning and development problem, and Developmental Coaching, as described above, is a potential pathway (or praxis) to solution.  Our Developmental Coaches will work with you, your team, and/or your organization to help you "bridge the gaps" that are negatively affecting your personal and professional progress and performance.  It is difficult to specify the "how" of coaching because every change challenge is unique and contextual, just as every individual (the agent of change) is unique and embedded in a particular social, historical, and idiosyncratic context.  However, our Developmental Coaches aspire to facilitate change, growth, development, and your ideal performance by helping you:

  • Understand and refine your personality and align your behaviour and energy with it.
  • Discover and reason about your values, perceptions, virtues, and faults.
  • Envision and articulate a bigger goal, career, or life plan. 
  • Explore new and exciting perspectives and growth opportunities.
  • Hold yourself accountable and take responsibility for your actions.
  • "Sort yourself out" and move past mistakes and failures.
  • Integrate competing elements of your work and life.
  • Control what you can control and choose a growth mindset, optimism, and confidence. 
  • Develop and strengthen your character, resourcefulness, and resilience. 

Self Authoring

Photo by SIphotography/iStock / Getty Images

The Self-Authoring Suite is a self-paced, independent online writing program divided into past, present and future modules designed to help you remember, articulate, and analyze key positive and negative life experiences, understand and rectify your personality faults, understand and develop your personality virtues, and envision a meaningful, healthy and productive future three to five years down the road, and to develop a detailed, implementable plan to make that future a reality.  Read more here.

You can purchase and independently complete The Self-Authoring Suite of writing exercises below or work with one of our Developmental Coaches to enhance the experience.  The Self-Authoring Suite is included in many of our programs and packages.