Home Concepts Adult Development Meeting Clients Where They Are – the Adult Development Coaching GPS

Meeting Clients Where They Are – the Adult Development Coaching GPS

15 min read

Joy Goldman, RN, MS, PCC & Petra Platzer, PhD, PCC

 As a seasoned coach, have you ever had the experience where you designed a coaching engagement that did not meet the client where they were, even though it worked in other situations? For example, administering a 360 survey and when the leader received their feedback, they completely shut down…perhaps the engagement never quite got back on track afterward, even?

A fundamental coaching competency is to meet clients “where they are”. We typically use markers like their personality styles or preferences to help us hone in on their “location”, but we can still have these “false addresses” appear at times.

Now imagine if there is a developmental framework, different from personality types and preferences, that can help us not only meet our clients at their location, but also help us better understand how to navigate from our location to theirs. A framework and theory that serves as a map to navigate that person’s journeys from:

  • Leading Self → Leading Others → Leading Team of Teams
  • Knowing the Answers à Getting Others’ Buy-in à Curiosity without a Known Answer & Seeking Other’s Perspectives
  • Leveraging Independence à Collaboration à Interdependence

What could that mean for you as the coach? For your client? For you as your own continuous learner?

The Leadership Maturity (LMF) Framework, does just that – and more.  We are seeing a profound impact with our physician clients – and their organizations – where we have been leveraging this framework within our engagements with the leaders, their sponsors, and our team of coaches. We believe this framework is a game changer for our coaching and systems work in healthcare and share here some key focus areas we now incorporate into our coaching toolkits. We invite you to apply them as you find useful as well.

The Leadership Maturity Framework is based on the work of many, including Piaget, Loevinger, Kegan, and Cook-Greuter.1-4 There are multiple articles that articulately describe the intricacies of this framework, including one in this very journal.5 Our purpose here is instead to demonstrate ways of considering this framework within our coaching engagements to meet our clients where they are, with respect to their action logic “stage”.

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One Comment

  1. Margaret Cary

    March 21, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Joy and Petra – this is a masterpiece about being an excellent coach. You’ve done an amazing job at clarifying the what and the why of developmental coaching. I love the GPS idea.


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