This is an extract from my book “Developmental Coaching”

Carl Roger in On becoming a person.:

“If I can create a relationship characterised on my part:

by a genuineness and transparency, in which I am my real feelings;

by a warm accepting of and prizing of the other person as a separate individual;

by a sensitive ability to see his world and himself as he sees them;

Then the other individual in the relationship:

will experience and understand aspects of himself which previously he repressed;

will find himself becoming better integrated, more able to function effectively;

will become more similar to the person he would like to be;

will be more self-directing and self-confident;

will become more of a person, more unique and more self-expressive;

will be more understanding and accepting of others;

will be able to cope with the problems of life more adequately and comfortably.

I believe that this statement holds whether I am speaking with a client, with a group of students or staff member, with my family or children.”

It seems as though this statement can be extended into the coaching relationship. It is the essence of Developmental Coaching as well.

Recommended reading

Ken Wilber: ‘A Theory of Everything’; ‘Integral Psychology’, ‘Brief History of Everything’, ‘Integral Spirituality’.

When people ask where to begin with Ken Wilber’s work, it is tempting to suggest a similar path to the one I have been following. If one starts at the beginning and works through to the present, the reader will enjoy the evolution of Ken Wilber’s own work. As he expresses himself, there is a movement from the early models, eg Wilber I, that he adopted to ones that have gone beyond them, ie Wilber IV, often adjusting previous views as he himself develops. Many may find his later work (included in the books above) most relevant within the contexts included within this book. It will depend on time (which is really used as an excuse when we mean ‘priority’), emerging passion (which is a sense that it is worthwhile) and, most of all, points of application available, as to how much of Wilber’s work you take on board. I would encourage conversations around and about the texts as this truly helps to embody in actuality the meaning of the words that are written.


Robert Kegan: ‘The Evolving Self’; ‘In over our heads’

To sum up these two books, you have to comment on Robert Kegan himself. The content relating to holding environment and developmental progressions is excellent but you are also left with a sense that Robert Kegan is a kind man.

These books are an asset alongside other texts, such as Wilber, as they truly help the application of many developmental principles. As reader, you are drawn in to many people’s lives as he explains how they express the joys and pains of developing, and not developing. It is especially useful in getting to grips with the intricacies of each stage and what is indicative of, for example, the movement between ‘what if?’ and ‘full what if?’ stages of development.


Carl Rogers: ‘On becoming a person’

Carl Rogers also comes across as a kind man. Working for many years as a therapist, he has been the midwife to new personalities and this book is a testament to his patience and high level of concern for others. For the reader it will help them to appreciate their role as a coach and how to relate in the best manner for the optimum experience of the coachee. I recommend it highly.


Beck and Cowan: ‘Spiral Dynamics’

Don Beck and Chris Cowan have done a wonderful thing. This book shows the movement through the levels of consciousness and the associated ‘values’ (similar to the moral line of development) that are indicative at each stage. The colour coding is soon picked up and becomes a useful language explaining, for instance, how the Integral individual at a ‘yellow+’ stage of development can relate to the whole spiral of other colours. The penetration of this model in the world has been astonishing and it is essential reading for any coach. While Ken Wilber gives overviews in his later books, the original text helps to further the reader’s understanding by enjoyable and frequently very modern examples of people, countries and companies that are operating at the various stages of development.


George Vaillant: ‘Adaptation to Life’

This book is probably best read after a framework has been built through reading Wilber and Kegan. It helps the reader find in themselves the adaptations they tend to employ through reading how people on the Grant Study have grown and developed through life. This book is truly a remarkable read unlike anything else, but a word of caution – it may be something not to share with others (particularly loved ones) as it will reveal to you enormous amounts about the ways we hold ourselves together. I would recommend seeing it as a mirror to your own soul for quite some time before turning the illumination towards others.


David Kolb: ‘Experiential Learning’

This is a foundational book on how we learn through experience. It is superbly written and the reader is left with a deeper understanding into the meaning of ‘integral’ and ‘integrated’ which will help in coaching and in one’s own development.


Sternberg and Kolligian: ‘Competence Considered’

As a collection of essays on competence, the reader gathers a picture of the role of mind, body and behaviour, culture and social system in relation to competence. It is not a book focused on training certain skills, but more a book on the fundamental thinking required when it comes to skill transfer and attainment.


Howard Gardner: ‘Multiple Intelligences’ ‘Frames of mind’

Gardner has opened up the view of ‘intelligence’ through his work. Highly acclaimed, these books increase one’s own understanding of developmental lines and capabilities which will aid an integral approach.


Daniel Goleman: ‘Meditative mind’

In the realm of human development, meditation has been under-explored as one of the key mechanisms for accelerating movements through the levels of consciousness. This book gives an overview of the processes to engage in personal practice. Even though meditation in ‘mainstream’ culture remains relatively small, it is through the clarity and demystification of the processes that people will see its direct and tangible benefits. For the integral self, it is a recommended practice that can be grounded in everyday living.


Michael Basseches: ‘Dialectical thinking and adult development’

For the reader who has grasped much of the other material, this book gives an overview of the cognitive abilities of someone at the ‘what what if?’ stage (dialectical). It runs through twenty-four ‘patterned movements in thought’ that are characteristic of this level of thinking and being. It is quite technical in nature, beautifully written and a text to be referred to time and time again. Each time it seems to take on new meaning.


Roger Whitmore: ‘Coaching for Performance’

This is an asset for all coaches looking to pull on an expert coach’s experience. John Whitmore is an inspiration in this field. This book includes coaching techniques that are easy to apply in all areas of life and as it is written in a friendly style and with a clear layout, it is an excellent reference for any coach.


John Seymour and Joseph O’Connor: ‘Introducing NLP’

This remains a wonderful introduction to NLP. Highly recommended for anyone looking to learn more about communication and self-mastery skills. I worked with John for ten years and he remains one of the best trainers in the world as well, so check out his courses too.


Tatiana Bachkirova: ‘Developmental Coaching: working with the self’

This is a great book with a similar view of human development to my own. I haven’t tried to integrate the principles as I would suggest you simply compare and contrast for yourself. The author has an excellent academic pedigree and utilises research to support the principles.


Otto E. Laske, PhD PsyD M.Ed: ‘An Integrated Model of Developmental Coaching™: Researching New Ways of Coaching and Coach Education’

This is a brief online paper that is well worth reading! It utilises Kegan’s work (and others) in a very solid, research based fashion.  


Paul Ekman: ‘Emotions Revealed’ and ‘Telling lies’

These are both excellent books on micro-expressions and how we “leak” our inner world outwards. Alongside skills for utilising what you see, this is a lovely resource to understand how to communicate even more effectively.