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Episode 44

Extinction vs Emergence: Your Role in the next Phase

Coaches are at the forefront of the battle for a more conscious, sane world via the impact they have on leaders. As we consider our role, what are the elements that will define our success?

In this deep dive with leadership expert Alan Watkins we explore the crucial switch from descriptive to developmental diagnostics and why this is so important, the skill of emotional regulation and how that impacts a leader’s ability to facilitate transformation and the potential inherent in neuroplasticity.

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The switch to developmental diagnostics

Religious and political leaders are letting down the citizens of the world as well as the planet, which is why Alan believes we must look to business to make the correct choices for the collective evolution of the world over the next critical 30 years.

Coaches are therefore at the forefront of change agency at this time, with the ability to make a positive impact on leaders. This will however require that the coaching industry itself wakes up and begins to coach in a different way. As coaches we can’t take people further developmentally than we are ourselves, so it’s crucial that we foster our own evolution.

Aside from fostering our own presence and psycho-emotional competence, another aspect is letting go of the obsession with descriptive diagnostics (e.g., typologies) and moving towards developmental diagnostics. This is a switch from looking at what you’re like to exploring your level of sophistication in terms of development along different lines of intelligence.

We’re collectively in a developmental crisis and looking at that is the only way we can get ourselves out of it. And intellectual comprehension is not enough – we need to be able to embody higher levels of vertical development.

The role of emotional regulation

The more we increase our development as coaches the more we need to increase our capacity to regulate our emotions, as do our clients. This means being able to become aware of the emotion (objectify it), accurately name it and be with it in a way that facilitates a deeper understanding of it.

This also relates to our awareness of our identity and our ability to recognise the conditioning and construction that create it, and the generally unacknowledged fact that it’s an artificial construct. The more we can free ourselves from the identity concept, the more possibility we have in our lives.

Thanks to neuroplasticity we can literally rewire our brains at any time; the only prerequisite is to be open to change. The process itself requires practice, repeating a new habit until it becomes automated. Understanding how to objectify our emotions is key, so that we’re able to pick and choose the emotional states that will serve us best, or can be most skilfully employed at any given time.

Resources mentioned:

Coherence, by Alan Watkins
Trump and a Post-Truth World, by Ken Wilber
Kurt Fischer, developmental theorist

About Alan

Alan Watkins

Dr Alan Watkins is the founder and CEO of Complete, a leadership consultancy that advises hundreds of businesses in diverse market sectors on how to grow their revenues, transform their strategy, step change their leadership capability and develop their culture. He is a disruptive thinker and a modern business innovator. Alan is a visiting Professor in Business at Kingston University, London and the author of seven books on a range of topics, from leadership to how to solve the world's toughest problems.


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