Integral Coaching makes its U.S. debut
The Chesapeake Bay Organization Development Network (CBODN) coaching SIG (Special Interest Group) hosted a session with Leslie Williams from Integral Coaching Canada this past week. The first U.S. based training will be held in the Washington DC area this year.
Being a 8-year student of Ken Wilber‘s Integral framework, AQAL and certified coach, I certainly was curious. I came to coaching after I began learning integral theory, so for me, it was an opportunity to look integral theory this time, after coming to coaching.
I loved my coaching training. CTI, the Coaching Training Institute, has in my opinion, one of the best intuitively integrally (as defined in Wilber’s work) designed training programs around using a Coactive Model of coaching. Integral Coaching Canada, uses integral theory as it’s model, and since I only experienced a one hour introduction, I can’t speak for their training design.
The thing about integral coaching, and Leslie said this straight away, is there is a voluminous amount of pure content to digest first, before you can truly engage the coaching side. Which is not true at all about CTI, Henry House, Karen Kimsey-House and Laura Whitworth manage to teach content through an innovative and brilliant design template they call The Coactive Way, which includes a stop in the “magic” shop. Now, can you do the same thing with an integral frame? Probably, but my guess is it would still include a fair amount of cognitive learning elements as well.
Having said that, my impression of Integral Coaching Canada is positive, aside from a few technicalities and the ubiquitous mis-characterization of Spiral Dynamics with the AQAL lens. What I was most impressed with is their ability to find a simple way start within a complex model, without losing too much of the elegance of the complexity. The content of creating “sustainable change” using an AQAL lens is one of the models main benefits and then staying with a context of a coaching relationship, two people, made it easy to grasp the idea of 4 perspective of a whole. Of course, once you get past the 4 quadrants/perspective of the AQAL, it gets a whole lot more complex fast, and we didn’t dive into that. In fact, the use of another non AQAL perception model, took over Leslie’s presentation after that, abandoning the level, lines, types and states components of the AQAL model.
But hey, we only had an hour -and I’m 8 years into an intensive study of the theory and it’s application; a study that has taken me beyond the AQAL frame as definition of integral anyway! For me it’s about “progressive engagement.”
Most memorable statement: Paraphrasing: ‘This model calls me, as a coach, forth into my own development, because I not only help my client from a more complete picture, my skill set and competency, or lack there of, rise to the surface as well.’