Over my years of working as a consultant, counselor, and personal coach, I’ve come to know & applied a wide range of tools & methods to initiate, drive, and implement change processes for individuals, teams, and organizations. Depending on the specifics of each situation, I draw on all these tools & methods and adopt & adapt whatever seems most useful in a given context.
At the same time, regardless of the specific situation and the highly individual context of each client situation, I’ve come to value a core set of client-centric interventions that are especially well suited to
- set targets that link personal & team effectiveness to business context, industry environment, and personal development at the same time
- understand & describe the mental structures of individuals & teams (as well as their limitations)
- support individuals & teams in radically expanding the limits of their mental & emotional comfort zones – thereby enhancing their flexibility, creativity, and resilience
Three of the most powerful interventions that I use in most situations I work in are:
1. Subject-Object Conversations: Subject-Object Conversations are a form of semi-structured interviews, informed by the methodology of the Subject-Object Interview (SOI), which was designed and refined in over 20 years of academic and practical research. Based on the constructive-developmental theory described above, SOIs are a quick and thorough way of understanding an individual’s mental complexity, or, in plain terms: How he or she makes sense of himself/herself and the world around him/her. In the context of a change process, these conversations can help individuals as well as groups to better understand the limits of their (mental and emotional) comfort zones – and subsequently identify ways to expand them in order to support transformational progress.
2. 4-Column Exercise: The 4-Column Exercise is a tool developed by Robert Kegan & Lisa Lahey (see description of the theory above) to describe & analyze the way an individual (or a team) is - at the same time! - pursuing a goal which is really important to them and getting in the way of them reaching that goal as they are (unconsciously) also held by certain mental structures that push them away from the very goal they want to achieve. The power of the 4-Column Exercise reveals itself when individuals (or teams) choose goals that reach just beyond their existing comfort zone: The subsequent disaggregation of what is “getting in the way” regularly uncovers not only the current workings of mental complexity for that individual (or team), but – more importantly – also first entry points to radically expand the current mental complexity to a new level of thinking & acting.
Try the 4-Column Exercise here (forthcoming).
3. OITC Coaching Arc: Building on the goal setting & subsequent analysis of the 4-Colum Exercise, the “Overcoming the Immunity to Change” Coaching Arc is a series of up to nine interrelated exercises that take an individual (or team) through the process of gradually deepening their understanding of their own mental complexity and its limitations, testing ways of expanding the limits of their own mental complexity, and re-integrating their insights into a next level of new goals. All exercises are conceived & designed in a way that closely integrates with the client’s day-to-day life & work and thereby effect change & transformation “on the go” and with sustainable impact.