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

We’ve crafted a table that serves as our adult development GPS. This table shows the 4 developmental stages spanning the majority of organizational leaders and looks at the leadership competencies we encounter as most discerning in this framework’s application. These also specifically address the 4 key question model – O.A.R.S. – we previously shared with physicians for their own self-coaching.6

Table 1. Adult Development “GPS”

Leadership Maturity Stage
(Expert – 3/4)
(Achiever – 4)
(Pluralist – 4/5)
(Strategist – 5)
Outcomes & Focua
Focus on expertise, procedure & efficiency
Focus on delivery of results, goals, success & effectiveness
Focus on understanding capacity, system connections & self in relationship
Focus on higher principles, social construction of reality,complexity & interdependence
Feedback & Response
Dismisses it from “non-experts; seen as a personal attack & defends position
Accepts it; seen as a means to improve effectiveness & achieve goals
Welcomes it; seen as needed for self-knowledge & uncovering blindspots
Invites it; understands different perspectives are inevitable
Paradox & Thinking style
Logic rules norms
Beginning appreciation of “And” with “Either/Or”;
Single system effectiveness rules expert logic
“And” within systematic thinking;
Relativity rules single system logic
“And” with increasing system’s complexity and long-term trends; most valuable principle rules relativism
Communication Styles* & Influence
Advocates own position
I & II
Logical arguments & data
Discuss issues and air differences
I, II, & III
Frames ways to support overall principles & strategies

%: distributions across adult populations (n = 4,510)4

*: Conversational Intelligence framework: Levels I (Transactional), II (Positional), III (Transformational) 7

Remember the initial example we shared? We actually did have that experience where a healthcare organization requested their leader have a 360-survey done as part of their coaching engagement. Looking back on their defensive reaction, we would have a first clue that particular physician was centered at a Skill-Centric stage. Had we known that then and leveraged this table, we could have approached the feedback process in a different way – perhaps a self-assessment as a means to work through a feedback experience and their meaning-making before getting external feedback, as well as setting different expectations with the sponsors, to maintain overall forward developmental progress with the client. That is precisely the type of thinking and co-creating we do now, with this GPS table as a resource.

Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6
Download Article 1K Club
Load More Related Articles
Load More By Petra Platzer
Load More In Adult Development

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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Generativity and the Deep Caring of Professional Coaching

The state of Generativity is important for coaching clients to appreciate and set forth as…