I was fortunate to be trained as an integral coach and received my professional coaching certification from New Ventures West, based in San Francisco, California. When I started researching coaching and learning about different coaching approaches, integral coaching made the most sense to me because it considers the whole person as the foundation for a range of coaching modalities.
If someone comes in for career coaching, for example, and they’re not sleeping well, or they are struggling with work-life balance, they’ll have a hard time charting a course for the future. Their lives are out of balance which often makes even the idea of career planning an overwhelming and exhaustive exercise.
In addition to being holistic, integral coaching is outcome-based, and it’s intended to endure over time. The coaching plan is based on the development of a co-defined purpose and set of measurable outcomes, so coaching clients can actually tell if they’re making progress against whatever their presenting issues might be.
I start by coaching individuals within their four major life domains: their inner selves, outer selves, relationships and culture, and environments. The goal is to develop a stronger understanding of the whole person and their current ways of being, and the challenges they face within this broader context.
I then use principles related to somatic development, the identification of emotions, and leader embodiment, helping people to manage with greater ease the uncertainty and loss we all experience in life. I help my clients to build from within their own hearts and inner spirits, and to develop a new way of being, through awareness exercises, mindfulness and somatic practices, and specific, often hands-on, activities.
Integral coaching helps people to embody a different way of being, and to be better leaders. In Leadership Embodiment, Palmer and Crawford day, “The practice of leader embodiment gives us the gift of having a choice to be centered and mindful. When we are centered and mindful, we automatically act with wisdom, compassion, and power.”
This integral coaching methodology, in turn, forms the basis of whatever an individual might like to accomplish: being a better, more effective executive, increasing the chances for business success, moving a career forward, and dealing with difficult relationships.