The Doors of Perception
Last week I attended a 3-day coaching training program at Integral Coaching Canada. I’d never had any coaching training before and I felt it was important for my Self and my business to have my foundations built in a school of knowledge.
There are many coaching schools in Canada, and throughout the world, but when I learned there was a coaching school based on Ken Wilbur’s Integral Theory AND run by the Integral Institute, AND that it was in Canada, AND 4 hours away in Ottawa, I knew it was the place for me.
Integral Theory encompasses and expands on the Cultural Creative wordview. It is a holistic model, “a theory of everything” that outlines and explains the perspectives or lens through which every human sees and understands the world.
The 4 Doors of Perception – the Integral Theory model
In any situation, the model states that there are 4 quadrants of perspective active and occurring. In any situation, we come to understand a topic through 4 different ways of seeing. And every person is different in how they “see”.
Each of us favours some quadrants more than others. I, for instance, see situations from the lens of UL –> LR –> UR –> LL. That is my flow pattern. A situation occurs and I think of my meaning (UL), then I think of how it affects the bigger picture (LR), I then observe and regulate my actions in response (UR), and finally I will communicate with another about what has occurred for me (LL).
Most of my difficulties with life lie in the LL quadrant (or Shared Meaning & My Relationships), and likely your last quadrant of perspective is where your difficulties lie too.
How to Support Sustainable Change
In my Integral Coaching training I learned about each perspective (or lens) and how to discern which quadrant a client primarily approaches and relates to their specific topic. In my coaching role I help my client see their topic from all 4 perspectives for sustainable change can only occur when all 4 perspectives are seen and acted on.
The Integral Coaching Approach
The Integral Coaching approach honours how each of us perceives and takes action in the world, and it uses all 4 lenses to support change and the forming of new practices. Through this coaching approach change occurs when:
You know what’s best for you. You’ve gotten yourself this far. Sometimes we just need some help to illuminate different ways of seeing the world. Through Integral Coaching you become aware of your current approach to situations, see new possibilities for doing, and co-create the sustainable practices needed to function in this new way.
I got to bear witness to the powerful and lasting change this approach can create. It is amazing how someone can wake up and grow up when they feel that they are being seen.