Coaching: What can I learn?
Question: What is Developmental Coaching?

Developmental Coaching increases your capacity for making sense of your experiences. At the same time it drives your continued adaptation to those experiences as they change. A Developmental Coach simultaneously helps you address your here-and-now circumstances with more perspectives, while ensuring that the decisions and actions you make based on those perspectives lead you toward the adaptive, expanded, next expression of yourself. If the moves you make now only solve for now, you’ll always be playing catch up. If the moves you make now take into consideration what you might need for the future, then they are useful now, they are equipping you for later, and saving you adaptation energy as you grow.

Practice: What can I try?
Exercise : Now and When

You’re doing it right Now. Can you hear yourself? You’re engaged in a complicated, internal process of quietly explaining to yourself what’s happening to you, and what it all means. Thisinternal explanation and commentary directly influences your decision-making and behavior.But what about the quality of your commentary? Has it changed significantly over time? What happens Whensomething or someone challenges you in a way you haven’t experienced before? What happens Whensomething triggers you again? Likely, you attempt to use whatever level of sense-making worked for you before, either to deal with the challenge or to avoid the trigger Whenit presents itself. But the challenge may be new, the circumstances may be different, and if you’ve been busy growing, then the sense-making you used before isn’t sufficient to meet these challenges coming at you. Your sense-making Nowisn’t enough for your sense-making When you’ve grown, been challenged, or triggered. That doesn’t let you off the hook, commit to seeing your sense-making, the role you play in interpreting the world as you experience it. Practice asking yourself in everyday, non-challenging situations alike,

“Is my thinking considering only the context and requirements for dealing with things right Now, or is this an opportunity to test and grow my ability to multiply my perspectives for When I’ll need to consider more complicated contexts and more demanding requirements?”

Shortened to a practice question: “Is my thinking only just enough for Now, or is it growing me for When…?”

Push your internal thoughts further past, “What should I do, Now?” on toward, “What more could I consider Now, in order to be ready for what might come When…?”

This question will never be adequately answered, of course. It is a question of intentional pursuit, not of arrival, true to developmental form. At least you’re in good company!

About Dr. Cara Miller

Cara Miller supports leaders and organizations who are on the edge of becoming something new as a professor, speaker, organizational designer, developmental coach, and change consultant. Dr. Miller encourages people to stay curious about their own leadership development, empowers their personal and professional growth, and encourages them to move past their limits. By asking better questions, the individuals and organizations she works with develop greater capacity and increase results beyond those they set out for themselves.

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