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What is Spiral Dynamics Coaching, and why haven’t we heard of it???

Posted by Angela Goodeve

Spiral Dynamics CoachingGuest post by Coach, Angela Goodeve, CCC. Angela is a member of School of Coaching Mastery's Ultimate Coach Training Program. Visit Angela's blog here. Angela is a contestant in the Best Coaching Blogs 2012 Contest.

Ok, Spiral Dynamics Coaching is a little complex, so if you are in a light mood, or it starts giving you a headache, you may want to bookmark this post until later!!!


When I first started leaning about Spiral Dynamics at School of Coaching Mastery, my first reaction, like many others, was “huh??”; My second reaction was “hmm, this is interesting…”; my next was “wow, this is REALLY interesting”; and my next was “Why haven’t we heard of this before???”.

I have a four-year degree in Psychology, have attended many educational conferences, and have been into personal development for a very long time, but not once have I heard of Spiral Dynamics until studying it at School of Coaching Mastery, at least not in a meaningful and detailed way!

 

This is what I have learned so far about Spiral Dynamics:

  • Spiral Dynamics has been used with individuals; governments; and in marketing, and has been beneficial in all of these settings;
  • This psycho-social-spiritual theory was first proposed by psychology professor, Clare Graves, PhD, in the 1950’s, and has been referred to as the “The Theory that Explains Everything” by MacLean’s magazine.  It was later clarified by Dr. Don E. Beck and Dr. Christopher Cowan in their seminal book, Spiral Dynamics, Mastering Values Leadership and Change; and
  • The theory combines biology, psychology, and sociology in trying to describe differences in human thinking and behavior.


So, what IS Spiral Dynamics???

Spiral Dynamics describes human thinking in terms of an evolution of individual and societal value systems.  According to the theory, each individual, culture, and society follows a succession in levels of thinking, that are characterized at each stage as a different value system that guides not only the person’s thinking, but their behavior, and their interaction with others, and the world around them.

Each stage, for simplicity, has been organized into a color system that describes different value systems and ways of thinking. 

 

The key things to remember when learning about these value systems and stages are:

  • There is no “right” or “wrong” way of thinking;
  • That the world needs people who think at different levels along the “spiral” to survive;
  • When we move on to the next “stage” we integrate the values of the previous “stages” so that we can utilize them if needed;
  • A person, culture, or society can “spiral” back to a previous stage in certain circumstances, and may become “stuck” at an earlier way of thinking;
  • Lower levels are not aware of the existence of the higher levels;
  • Individuals and Societies are best served by leaders, including coaches, who are thinking at the higher levels, who can recognize others at different stages along the “continuum”, and use this knowledge to help solve issues according to the applicable ways of thinking, or value systems.


The “stages” are as follows (they will be described in terms of the individual for simplicity):  

  • Beige – At this stage, the individual’s mainly thinking of survival, much like an infant ‘s physical concerns and biological needs;
  • Purple - The individual sees the benefits of a Family/Tribe, and safety and security in numbers.  Much like a toddler they are influenced by ritual, and believe in the “guidance” of their “Chief”, or Parents.
  • Red - This stage is very egocentric, and adheres to the principles of:  dominance, power, and control, much like teenagers typically assert themselves;
  • Blue - Sees the world, and interacts with it, according to rules and authority that they believe brings stability, order, and meaning;
  • Orange - Evolves in their values and thinking towards achievement, competition, and success.  They thrive on opportunities, and are driven to a “better way of living”.
  • Green - Is concerned with humanity, love, harmony, and purpose (think 60’s hippy!!)
  • Yellow - Places high value on flexibility, independence, and a certain knowing about themselves.  They care less about what others think, and more about doing what one chooses, an existential way of being.
  • Turquoise - Is a more holistic way of thinking, in terms of consciousness, life force, and the “global community”.


So, what does this all mean to coaches, and how is learning about this going to benefit us in terms of our interactions with, and understanding of others?

For one, it reminds us that we are all individuals, with different value systems, ways of thinking, and different ways of interacting with the world.  It therefore follows that we cannot assume that any individual does, or should think the same way we do.

Knowledge of this theory can also help us in coaching and communicating with others, whether it is on an individual level; through professional coaching, via marketing; or in a more global sense.  If we can understand where another person is coming from in term of their values and thinking, then we can tailor our communications to that person, audience, or community to foster a stronger connection.

As Coaches, if we can understand where our Clients are coming from in terms of their values and thinking, we can help them find solutions that are appropriate for them, and that will resonate with them much better!

Since this is a pre-pre-101 to Spiral Dynamics blog article, you may want to visit some other sites to read more about it:  I found this one helpful in deepening my understanding.

You can also take the Introduction to Spiral Dynamics for Coaches at School of Coaching Mastery.

If you have heard about Spiral Dynamics, I would love to hear your comments!  Let’s get the discussion going!

Peace and Love,

Ang :)

School of Coaching Mastery teaches a Spiral Dynamics course tailored to the needs of business and life coaches. It's part of the Ultimate Coach Training Program:

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Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, School of Coaching Mastery, Coaches, coaching clients, Business Coaches, Life Coaches, clarifying, Spiral Dynamics, Don Beck, Dr. Clare Graves

Confused About Becoming a Business or Life Coach?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Confused Business or Life Coach

 

Confusion about your business or life coach career could be destroying your chances.

Why? Confused people don’t act.

The longer you tolerate your confusion and/or your inaction the more you destroy what could be.

Here’s the funny part. If you’re not taking action, it’s probably because you’re waiting until you’re sure what to do. That’s backwards.

Having clarity before you act is a comforting ideal, but sometimes you can’t get clarity until you act. As the preacher said, God can’t steer a parked car...

How can you step out of your confusion and into inspired action that leads you to your goals? Ask yourself some questions.

And as soon as you have the answers, take massive action immediately!

You probably won’t have enough clarity to be certain until you start acting. It’s as simple as that.

I wrote seven questions to help folks like you get clarity about their next steps toward becoming business or life coaches.

Those seven questions are on a page that offers the Ultimate Coach Training Membership Program at a special price. There is a time limit on the special price and only six spots are left.

But I’d rather you asked yourself those questions and decided to do something else than join our ultimate training, than stand around like the guy above, scratching your head and wasting your life. Because if you really are meant to be a master coach, millions of people could use your coaching.

Go here to gBecome a Business or Life Coachet 7 questions to banish your confusion about becoming a business or life coach.

And if you’re serious about business or life coaching, take massive action. Join us while you can save!

Topics: Career, become a life coach, become a coach, become a business coach, master coach, clarifying, coach training program, how to become a coach

Dear Coach: What if the Law of Attraction DOESN'T Work?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Law of AttractionI don't want to ruffle your feathers, but if you teach the Law of Attraction, don't you ever doubt whether it really works?

I'm not against the Law of Attraction. It's a great way to draw people's attention to the subtle ways that events seem to line for us when we are sure of what we want. Most importantly, it offers a good excuse for practicing faith.

For example: Recently a relative of mine told me she had a job offer that she really wanted to take, but it was a 9-month teaching position that paid about 1/4 less than her current job. I said, "If you really want it, there's probably a way that you can do it. So the question to ask is not, 'Should I do it?', but 'How could I do it?'". She knew there were lots of part-time temporary positions for her skill set, so she took the job on faith and within a month, her new employer offered her a summer teaching position that made up the lost pay. You could say she attracted the outcome she wanted. You could also say she realistically assessed the situation. Both explanations accurately describe her outcome.

My problem with the Law of Attraction is that tends to confuse people. And no matter how you explain it, confusion stops people from getting what they want. Most people who grew up in the 20th Century (I bet that includes you) were taught that hard work, strategy, education, research, expert advice and goal setting would help them get what they want. Then they hear that the Law of Attraction says all they have to do is think about what they want and they will get it. Does that mean they can throw out hard work, strategy, education, research, expert advice and goal setting? No. All those things include thinking about what it is you want, so keep doing them if they work for you.

Another example: Several months ago, I was musing that perhaps it was time to find a new coach. I'm fortunate to have some of the best coaches in the world as friends who will coach me, as needed, so quality of coaching wasn't an issue, but I fantasized that perhaps it was time for someone who was a spiritual teacher, whose training was different from mine (so they could surprise me now and then) and maybe someone who owns a coaching school, so they could relate to some of the challenges I'm working with; all of that would be nice. A week or two later, Lama Tantrapa called me up out of the blue and suggested we start coaching each other. When stuff like that happens, I've learned to just say, "Yes."

Sometimes things seem to happen like magic, but that doesn't mean that all we ever have to do is set our intentions. As Lama says, "The road to hell is paved with intentions." It turns out he found me via LinkedIn. Was it the Law of Attraction or a good social media strategy that brought him to me? Yes.

I belong to the local Science of Mind church. It's pretty much ground zero for the Law of Attraction. But even they say that LOA doesn't work for everybody. Children who grow up in the church seem to create more of what they want just by thinking about it, perhaps because they don't have competing beliefs that confuse them.

Third example: The other day, I ran into the pastor of my church at the Post Office. She told me how she broke her toe by slipping in the bathroom. She said she had broken another toe on the same foot so many time that it was crooked and she had been considering having it broken by a doctor to straighten it back out. In other words, she had been thinking about breaking a toe and she then broke one. Be careful what you think about! Was it LOA or a freak accident? Whatever story you tell about it, she still has a broken toe.

It's hard to prove causation. Scientists tend to point to correlations and avoid making up stories about causation. When we observe events like thinking about something and then experience what we thought about, we're observing correlation. But humans are story-making machines and we love stories about causation. Correlation feels  confusing.

Choose the stories that work for you. And let coaching clients do the same. Confusing them with the Law of Attraction may stop them from getting what they want, even if it works for you.

I'm here to say that the Law of Attraction is nothing but faith. 

Or maybe it's just correlated with faith. But faith is huge. And at the opposite end of the scale is doubt. All healthy humans have both.

Imagine faith and doubt connected by a line. Faith pulls us forward and doubt pulls us back. However, there is often hidden wisdom underneath doubt, so explore it, rather than try to eliminate it.

Confusion on the other hand, erases the line. Doubt carries wisdom and connects to faith. Confusion is full of missed connections and blurred vision, kind of like the words in the image, above.

Whether you have faith in science, Jesus Christ, hard work, the Law of Attraction or all of the above, that faith will help to pull you forward. Uncover what's behind your doubts and erase your confusion if you can (by creating clarity) and you'll be pulled forward with less effort. It's not a guarantee of outcome, but rather something that correlates with success. 

"No one should spend their time trying to think positive thoughts. We've all got better things to do." - Thomas Leonard  

Some of the most successful and honest thought leaders out there, like Bill Harris, who appeared in The Secret, and Thomas Leonard, who 'founded' the coaching profession, don't ascribe to the Law of Attraction. Thomas actually developed a very different approach to attracting what you want called, The Principles of Attraction. Coaching is about getting what you want and there are many ways to do it. 

Here's a secret: In my experience the Principles of Attraction, combined with the Law of Attraction is even more attractive. Consider trying both together.

What are your thoughts on Attraction? Feel free to share them in the comments section, below.

Want to learn about the Principles of Attraction for free?

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Topics: Coaching, coach, Thomas Leonard, Law of Attraction, Attraction Principles, clarifying, clients, LinkedIn, Center for Spiritual Living, Bill Harris

Coaching: Why It's So Effective

Posted by Julia Stewart

business coachPeople often ask me what makes coaching different from other professions, such as consulting and the like.

There are a number of things that set coaching apart from other professions, but one of the major skills that a coach has, that many other professionals lack, is that a coach knows how to talk with a client in a way that not only leads to successful solutions and strategies, but also leads to the client actually taking action and succeeding with those solutions.

That might sound like a big "Duh" to you, but if you are a professional expert in any field, then you've probably had the following frustrating experience... 

Whether you're a doctor, lawyer, indian chief, financial planner, personal trainer, dental hygienist (or parent); you've probably had client conversations where you:

1. Understood the client's problem perfectly

2. Came up with the best possible solution

3. Instructed the client in how to implement the solution effectively

4. The client agreed that your solution was the answer to their problem

5. The client promised to implement the solution as per your instructions, but...

The client never does what you tell them to do.

Clients can be so frustrating, right? Why do they pay you, if they're not going to follow your directions? Are they just lousy clients? Do they have a secret desire to fail? Are they here to just drive you crazy??

Actually no. The client isn't the problem here.

You are.

Good coaching is so extraordinarily effective, because a good coach knows how to have a conversation with a client that not only leads to the best solution, but - more importantly - leads to the client actually taking action and creating effective solutions in their own life. The majority of professional advisors out there have no idea how to do this.

It's is a genuine art, which other professionals would do well to copy. For now, though, it is essentially the terrain of the professional coach.The tools employed to create these amazing game-changing conversations include, but aren't limited to:

Curiosity, silence, acknowedgement, truth telling, planting seeds, connecting to values, challenging beliefs, being provocative, keeping it light, honing in on what the client really wants (not just what they say they want), clarifying, championing and more.

The right tool at the right moment makes all the difference between an expensive service that doesn't make a difference and a service that is so transformative that clients don't care what it costs. 

Which would you rather pay for?

Whether you want to become a coach, or you're a professional in another field who wants to have game-changing conversations with your clients, we have a program that will give you all the basics in just four weeks, called Coaching Groundwork. We're probably not charging  enough for it, but for now, you can join it for $325.

If you want to know more, visit our Coaching Groundwork page.

Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2009 

Topics: business coach, Coaching, coach training, become a coach, Coaches, Life Coaches, clarifying, personal coaching

Upcoming Coaching Classes

Posted by Julia Stewart

 


I just finished the Coaching Guide for tomorrow's class on Distinctions, part of the Clarifying Module. During the beta-launch, I'm working over time just to keep up! It'll put me ahead of the game in the Fall, though, when the full program launches. The feedback has been wonderful.

I'll be scheduling several more classes over the next few days, including Modules 1: Establishing & Maintaining a Relationship of Trust and 2: Perceiving and Affirming the Client's Potential. Those will be fun! I may also schedule an evening section of Clarifying Module, if enough people want to do it. These Modules will come up in July and August.

Just finished running a survey of the SCM Ad Hoc Advisors on what I should call the upcoming free introductory classes, "Become a Masterful Coach" or "Become a Certified Coach"?

"Become a Masterful Coach" won, 2 to 1!

No surprise, most coaches "get" that certification is a byproduct of mastery. So a class on how to become a masterful coach is automatically a bigger and more inspiring game, because it gets to the heart of why coaches coach. Namely: To generate success for themselves and their clients. Certification is just a measurement of the coach's ability to do this. And of course, a class on mastery can naturally include information on how to get certified in the process of becoming masterful.

The very first "Become a Masterful Coach" eClass will be offered to Ad Hoc Advisors only, later this month. If you'd like to be invited, be sure to join the AHA's (it's free, of course), by clicking the link below.

And if you want updates on the school and upcoming classes, as well as articles and interviews and ~ a bit of humor ~ be sure to subscribe to the Coaching Mastery News, below.

Join Ad Hoc Advisors here

Topics: Become a Masterful Coach, coaching classes, clarifying

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