My opinion: whether coaching is called Partial or Integral

How things have changed!

I like to keep up with what’s happening in coaching and learned about integral coaching.  Ooh, I thought, what’s this?

Sometimes even the idea can seem daunting if you are unaware of the process.Have you been coached, or are you thinking of being coached?  Are you thinking of being coached for a personal or professional goal?  Is it about talking to someone in a difficult context or situation?  Your coaching requirement can be as simple or as complex as this because perspective is everything.

I always support positive professional coaching and those doing it seem to be achieving just that.  I recently heard some coaches who sounded like they had found a new holistic religion. It made me frown and smile, almost at the same time, not good for an already expressive face, it almost turned into a pretzel!  Eek!

The integral coaching converts made some excellent points and do throw in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and other disciplines.

They agreed there are different ways to coach and yes, the way a coach has been trained does affect how they coach clients, obviously.  They said they worried whether the mentality behind the method was enough to address the client as a whole person.  Fair, all systems in all categories can withstand improvement.

At the same time though, Huh?

They mapped out the typical format we understand about goal setting.  After establishing an authentic goal with the client, that’s you, the coach helps the client through a process.  I interpreted it as this:

What are you experiencing and wanting to experience in terms of your goal?

What actions must you take in good time to get the results you from your goal?

How are your relationships affected/changed/improved now/during and after the goal has been reached?

What systems have you got/will change/are adopted to achieve your goal?

The integral coaching people I encountered were saying all of this stuff had to be considered in light of the clients’ entire practical and spiritual life, personality, and relationships.

No problem there, I look at how your goal will affect you and, the people directly affected at work, as well as your nearest and dearest if it’s relevant too, but I am not your confessor, guru, or your shrink.

I will not dismiss the whole person approach, but to describe my style of coaching as partial is a bit unfair.  Your spiritual life is up to you.  I’m not seeking to go there because I am not qualified to meddle in something so precious.  You can talk about it if it gets you to your goal more easily, but please note again:  Me:  Not your guru.

As friendly as I like to be, I am not here to befriend you in an undisciplined manner that would allow you to go unchallenged (not implying the integral style would either) and chat away without keeping you on course (nor would they).  You pay me to help get you from where you are to where you agree you want to be – this takes a certain amount of structured time.

Neither would I expect to get your life story in one session.  I doubt the integral coaching people could get it all down so fast, so their coaching must be partial because it depends on multiple sessions to get the results they vaunt as integral, even with various methodologies employed during sessions. We are all on a journey through this life and subject to influences that may change us and our goals a little or a lot.  Oops, high horse territory.

If you want to have a potentially never ending, all consuming experience that may look into every nook and cranny of your life to get you to your goal, so you can achieve it more ‘skillfully’, please go for the ‘integral’ approach, but it’s likely to be long, in my opinion, although it may be very rewarding.

If you want a more traditional ‘one step at a time’ coach who helps you to establish and reach your goal as quickly and efficiently as possible, while helping you identify and replace self-limiting beliefs with positive ones based on your reality, I’m your woman, so to speak.  It may take a few weeks or months, or if it’s a real biggie, possibly longer.  If you feel you can achieve some goals without checking in with me as your coach that’s great, it’s not like you haven’t done it before, is it? You may come back to get help with another goal afterwards.  All I ask is that you bring yourself and a diary.      🙂


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