What Are You Noticing?

One of our most precious resources is our attention. What do we pay attention to? Attend to? Notice? In a time that often feels like a fragmented blur, it feels even more important to be as conscious as we can about our choices. This shows up in how we coach our clients, connect with those we love, and engage with those around us as we move through our day.

The question then becomes: How can we immerse as fully as possible in whatever we choose to devote our attention to so that it is satisfying and successful? For this post, we asked our founder, Dr David Drake, to reflect on what he is noticing as his practice and the Institute head into the new year.

Here are three of the highlights of that conversation:

The Need to Develop Our Clients, Not Just Ourselves

In a podcast recorded this week with Joel Monk of Coaches Rising, David shared highlights of his latest paper which includes a profoundly new way of assessing and developing coaches. It is based on what researchers consistently find and his experience over the past 25 years: the greatest variable in client outcomes is the client — not the coach or the method!

If that is the case, we need to assess coaches on their capacity, competency, and capability in developing the client — not just their demonstration of their skills. This has huge implications for how we develop ourselves as practitioners as well. We have incorporated David’s latest thinking on this issue in designing our new offers for Narrative Coaching graduates that will start in early 2023.

A Note From David:

The paper I just completed feels like the culmination of over 25 years of curiosity and dedication to understand and contribute to the evolution of coaches and coaching. It also feels like the most ambitious and audacious piece I’ve ever written, calling for a fundamental shift in how we assess and develop coaches — and conceptualize coaching itself. More than any publication of the seventy I have written thus far, the muse was especially alive.

I wrote as much as I could from what I could see at each stage. I would return to the document the next day and notice what it was asking of me, what it needed next. This guided what I wrote that day. This continued for a week until the paper was done. The paper became much more than I had imagined when I began. The next step is to use what it offers to re-imagine how we help our Narrative Coaching graduates to grow, aided by our partnership with Ovida and an integrative approach to deliberate practice.

The Need to Think Beyond Competencies

David’s article featured an Assessment Matrix featuring The Five Maturities. MI faculty are using this to design the Institute’s graduate offers. Each of these maturities relates to a type of maturity, knowledge, and competence, as well as a type of measure.

These five elements are based in David’s iBEAM model drawn from research on the core factors that affect growth and performance. David is presenting on The Five Maturities at the upcoming Coaching Research Conference at EMST in Berlin. We are using this work to enrich our approach to developing the practitioners who are joining us in The ID Way Program in 2023.

The Matrix takes us beyond the traditional focus on competence, which is valid and valuable for beginning- through intermediate-level coaches but is far less useful in supporting the formation of mastery. The Five Maturities provide scaffolding for the journey to mastery.

They include:

  • Personal Maturity and Capacity (who am I).
  • Spiritual Maturity and Connectivity (how I relate).
  • Professional Maturity and Competency (what I do).
  • Social Maturity and Capability (how I do it).
  • Contextual Maturity and Circularity (who I become).

The Need for Small Practices to Create Big Changes

Another important insight from David’s paper is that while clients’ experience in the coaching session is important (often in ways that would surprise us), what they do after the session matters most in terms of whether or not they achieve what they were seeking. This is why Narrative Coaching focuses on meaningful experiments in sessions rather than goals for later. Even further, we create conditions for these experiments that match client readiness and the environment in which the new mindsets and behaviors will be called on.

This is also why we focus on fewer things with clients but go much deeper into them. We are strengthening clients in all five of the measures (the 5Cs) so they will be far better prepared to embody and enact what they are learning once they leave their session. We find that these small yet strategic practices are far more effective than trying to make big changes all at once. The ability to hold these safe and generative spaces in ourselves and with our clients is one of the key outcomes of our Narrative Release Program.

What Do You Notice Now?

The practitioners at The Moment Institute are always exploring new and thoughtful ways of making their work more human, attentive, and liberating. Join the conversations taking place inside The Threshold Lab or join us for one of our programs in 2023 if you want to notice more in your life and your practice. This is a time when there is much to compost so we can curate the best of ourselves and channel that to our clients.