Integral Coaching Canada – Module 1

by Sheila on August 29, 2010

For the past 5 months, I have been immersed in integral coaching training with Integral Coaching Canada.  It has been truly enlightening.

I have been trained now  in 3 so-called models of coaching.  The first one almost immediately sent me to look for more, which I found. I thought I had found the holy grail in this second approach, yet when I was really honest with myself, I knew there was something and something big missing.  Was it just missing for me or for the coaching profession in general?

Motivated by this question, I went on yet another quest for what I was looking for even though I didn’t quite know what it was.  In fact, I had NO idea.

The first thing I did was to revisit my academic work in the field of psychology.  I have a BS and  Masters in Clinical Psychology.  Coaching is NOT therapy but it most certainly is psychology.

From a developmental perspective, no coaching program actually showed developmental progression as is examined in psychology by varied theorists – Piaget, Kohlberg, Vygotsky, Maslow, Bandura, among many others.  I discovered I was looking for a true “model.”  I found that most coaching schools only focus on one or two “elements” of coaching and they are, in fact, not models at all. This was the light bulb for me.  This illuminated what I had felt lacking in all of my training – which was quite extensive.

Just when I knew what “it” was, is  just when it showed up!  I stumbled (if one wants to say it was mere coincidence) on Integral Coaching Canada.  As I read through their website and all of the many free articles available, I felt energized in such a way that if  I could ever say I experienced Kundalini,” it was now!

I am near completing Module 1 and will be considered an Apprentice Integral Coach.  Module 2 is a 10 month program.  One has to be invited to participate and I have been recommended.  I hope to continue with this in the near future.

Integral means all inclusive – whole – complete.  So, at the root of integral coaching is a complete and integrative developmental model.  ICC combines adult learning theory with integral theory (as commonly put forth by Ken Wilber) for the most elegant model I have ever experienced.

Through the training, I had the most wonderful support from my own integral coach to help guide me in this new process.  She was invaluable.

What  I find truly unique about integral coaching is the practice of really getting to a non-judgmental mindset / heart that is so critical in the coaching profession.  Most other schools put forth this idea, but never really provide a means or method for getting to this. In fact, I found many confess that they don’t really buy into this idea, nor do they want to.

The “this” place is really one of genuine compassion for another human being regardless of the “behavior.”  It is only through compassion that one might ever transcend the judgment.  And, we will never be able to always do this.  It is in our desire to do so that we find our way.

My coach recommended an exquisite book that helped me in this endeavor and practice of compassion.  In The Places That Scare Us, Pema Chodron sweetly and sometimes hilariously illuminates the practice of compassion.  And, it is a practice – it must be done to be developed!

I now know this.  When one sees the truth of something, there is no going back.  I now have a strong foundation for my coaching that is truly a developmental model.  The training I previously had included only partial truths.  I can include and transcend what I learned then with what I know now.  And, this process will obviously continue as there are no “absolute” truths.

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