Previously, on Coaching...

In 1st Generation Coaching (1990-1999), the main focus is on performance management, compelling others to change and being used to dealing with ‘difficult’ employees. It is a more command and control apporach, Coaching to specific rankings/ratings as per accepted guides.

In 2nd Generation Coaching (2000 – 2010), the main focus was on changing others and driving change whilst maintaining authority and hierarchy. It was generally done using standardised 1-2-1 conversations to attain specific predetermined goals. This was a more prescriptive ‘how to coach’ model. Change was seen as linear, and to be controlled.

In this generation, we saw the introduction of highly jargonised training material, using propriety coaching language for each version of a new framework, clearly aimed at differentiating from the others. A more Intellectual Property-driven idea for the coaching journey.

Then came 3rd Generation Coaching, led by Reinhard Stetler (2014) whose main focus was attraction not coercion, modelling change behaviours in order to shift individual and organisational mindsets. 3rd Gen focused on putting principles into practice to ensure change in both individual and system thinking.

3rd Gen shows how organisations over the years have shifted their attention from managing performance, to building the skills and talents of their employees by creating a culture of quality conversations where employees are coached to balance work and life challenges. This would be in everyone’s best interest.

This approach also argues for simplicity. It provides coaching that is supported by evidence based research, and in line with the client’s values, language and cultural narratives.

So we must ask ourselves: what comes next after 3rd Generation Coaching? 4th Gen? No! How about a completely new way of coaching clients regardless of their organisational status?

Coaching 2.0 is Developmentally Different

From the perspective of Constructed Development Theory by Dr Stevens, we know that a client’s world is a product of their unconscious construction. His research showed that individuals are not aware that they can construct their world (environment, culture and so on). Third Generation coaching suggests the best we can do is to allow the things we hear our clients say, or the things they do influence the way we think. However, Constructed Develompental Coaching shows that this is not possible. In fact, it is the wrong angle of approach entirely when observing the coaching relationship from a develompental perspective.

Coaching 2.0 has an ethical foundation built in by virtue of it’s MCO requirement.

It uses a more ‘technical’ approach in line with previous psychometric approaches, however, it takes that to the next level by being able to:

  • measure and track overall self-awareness (over time)
  • identify the key coaching targets in the form of Cognitive Intentions in order to develop the client
  • avoid the need for lengthy discussions to uncover value and belief systems (both of which are an abstraction).

This is why this new approach has been called Coaching 2.0!

The CD Coach listens for how the client constructs their thinking in the moment in order to offer this construction in feedback. If the coach is focused on the dialogue, then the relationship is not developmental for the client, as this suggests that the coach and the client are at the same AQ Level.

In Constructed Development Theory, we know that empathy is a low level mode of connecting, and as such, no one grows when empathy is in the frame. Standard coaching becomes problematic when it suggests: “each tries to understand the dialogue partner on his or her own terms”. This not possible for the person at a lower AQ level.

In Coaching 2.0, the Coach understands that all the problems the client turns up with are problems of construction. There is some limited perspective, or habituated pattern of construction that is holding the client’s Awareness and Choice back. It is the CD Coach’s role to uncover the limitation, not to fix their problem. This is a major differentiator between Coaching 2.0 and other generations of Coaching.

The CD Coach supports the client in uncovering and experiencing what is within Awareness in the present moment as an ever-deepening and unfolding embodiment of the fifty Cognitive Intentions. It is all based on the four pillars of: Intention, Awareness, Choice and Response. As this occurs, clients uncover their innate AQ level, they become more resourceful (Choice), and they express more creativity (Response) in skillfully navigating the complexities they encounter.

As new Choices arise from increased Awareness, the CD Coach helps the client relate to them in a way in which they unfold their new greater depth.

The key differentiator for Constructed Developmental Coaching is the impact of the four pillars of CDT: Intention, Awareness, Choice and Response™. You can find a definition here. However, for now it is important to remember that no other coaching system uses this framework.

The problem we are trying to solve is: how is the client’s habitual thinking style impacting their perception of and ability to solve their problem?

The question we have to ask ourselves as Coaches is: what are we listening for?

We are listening for the client’s unconscious Intention, level of Awareness, resultant limited Choices and finally how they habitually Respond.