As you consider how you and your clients can make the most of the decade ahead, you know better than to default to the old standby resolutions: get into better shape, be more organized, etc. Yet, how does one make resolutions to strive toward what really matters? Asking powerful questions is at the core of effective coaching. “Who do you want to be?” is among the more powerful ones.
As a coach you are probably asking this question already, – but did you know about a body of research that supports the efficacy of “who do you want to be?” It is the starting point and the backbone of “Intentional Change Theory” (ICT).
The core of Intentional Change Theory is what many of us as coaches know - our vision for ourselves guides us. A real and deep vision emerges from digging down to connect to our deepest values, then rising up to imagine our future selves putting these values into action. Next, we anchor the vision by articulating it clearly to ourselves and others.
Once a vision is grounded, imagined, and clear, there is a shift to understanding the gap between one’s ideal self and current self, asking questions like:
Once you answer the questions above, the next step is to create a learning agenda that specifies how you need to learn and grow if you are to become your ideal self. To successfully implement your learning agenda, identify and experiment with behaviors you'll need to initiate and practice, all while leveraging your strengths and getting support from trusted relationships. This is the path to intentional change.
As you embark on your journey of intentional change, IOC has several eye-opening new resources to help you get started. In our last two research doses we took an in-depth look at Intentional Change Theory by exploring a great article in Leadership Quarterly co-authored by IOC grant recipient and speaker Angela Passarelli.
Interestingly, the article references how coaching that orients around one’s ideal future self leads to different neurological responses than task-oriented coaching. Functional MRI scans showed that vision-focused coaching generates more arousal of brain regions involved in positive emotions and motivation than task focused approaches.
Download the Leadership Quarterly article at no charge before January 24, 2020.
You can also watch our December webinar by Angela’s collaborators, Ellen Van Oosten and Melvin Smith, entitled "Conversations that Inspire: Coaching for Desired Change."
In case you didn’t know, ICT and the supporting brain scan research were developed by IOC thought leader and conference speaker, Richard Boyatzis. They are also the subject of intense investigation by the Coaching Research Laboratory at Weatherhead School of Management.
For me, when I think of who I want to be, I think in four directions. See if these help you identify areas of growth that really matter to you:
Now it’s your turn.
As the new decade launches, apply Intentional Change Theory. Take the time to explore your ideal self: who you really want to be. Create and implement a learning agenda that uses your strengths to bridge gaps between who you are today and who you want to become.
We are here to support you on your path, living the life, being the leader, having the health and joy that matters most to you. If you haven't already, join our IOC community to get even more support through full access to our top resources.
Have a good year and a good decade!
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