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The Integral Leadership Coaching Process

The coaching process helps executives cultivate and harvest the wisdom of their mind, body, emotions, and spirit and to do the same with their stakeholders.

The coaching relationship is founded upon mutual respect and trust. The coach sees the leader as an expert in his or her professional life and believes that the leader is creative, resourceful, whole, self-correcting, and generative.

Any learning presents challenges. When moving from familiar known behaviors into unfamiliar territory, it helps to have an explorer's attitude. Entering into a coaching relationship requires the leader's willingness to question familiar habits, explore assumptions and ways of interpreting the world, be challenged about his or her judgments, and risk the outcomes associated with new behaviors.

In each meeting, based on the initial overall goals (established through inquiry and dialogue with the leader), the leader directs the focus of conversation, while the coach listens, inquires, and offers observations. Their dialogue provides on-going opportunities for making distinctions around perceptions and behaviors, reflecting on the leader's guiding assumptions and frames of reference, creating clarity, and identifying practices for exploring new ways of learning and leading.

To engage in and sustain a successful coaching relationship, the leader agrees to:

  • Declare that his or her learning is a top priority during this coaching relationship.
  • Gives permission to be coached.
  • Approaches his or her learning and growth with "the curiosity of a beginner."
  • Agrees to share all relevant information with his or her coach.
  • Is responsible for his or her own learning and growth. Makes specific requests when his or her needs are not being met in the coaching relationship.
  • Is responsible for his or her actions and inactions.
  • Begins the relationship by trusting that the coach has his or her well-being as their primary concern. The leader or coach will initiate a conversation if trust becomes a concern.

The coach will:

  • Create a safe listening environment, in which the leader is comfortable in discussing challenges and developmental opportunities being faced in his or her professional or personal life.
  • Listen for the assumptions and stories held by the leader that explain how they see the world, themselves in the world, and how value is contributed in the world.
  • Support the leader in recognizing distinctions between facts, judgments, feelings, and various important "speech acts."
  • Ask questions that will help the leader to see beyond the boundaries of his or her current perspective, and expand the capacities for observing self and others.
  • Introduce tools and models, as appropriate, to clarify or create a provocative learning situation.
  • Raise awareness and intentionality around the leader's health, balance, and sustainability in the domains of mind, body, emotions, and spirit.
  • Support the leader's growth through mastery and maturity around skills, expertise, and moral judgments.
  • Help strengthen congruence between personal beliefs and values, behaviors, and organizational culture, and alignment with internal & external systems.
  • Raise awareness and intentionality around the leader's stewardship of his or her organization's health, dynamic balance, and sustainability in the domains of organizational intelligence (knowledge creation and management), physical health (expressed, in part, through absenteeism and turn-over rates), morale and esprit de corps.
  • Act collaboratively to engage in purposeful and bold conversations, holding the focus and intention of the coaching relationship & stated goals.
  • Treat the conversations between the coach and leader with care, respect, and strict confidentiality.
  • Provide e-mail and phone consultation, as needed, for the duration of the coaching agreement.
  • Provide support materials such as assessment and evaluation tools, books, articles, etc., as appropriate.
  • Be alert to when and if the leader is no longer benefiting from the coaching relationship and recommend a change.

The coach provides leaders with professional coaching services according to the International Coach Federation guidelines and ethical standards.

The coach and leader have the right to terminate the coaching agreement at any time. The leader recognizes that coaching is not advice, therapy, or counseling and does not expect that it will provide this kind of support.

The leader agrees to call (if it is a phone session) or meet with the coach at the pre-arranged time and place as scheduled, and make any cancellations at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled conversation. Exceptions are made for personal emergencies. Otherwise, the appointment is invoiced for the full amount.


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