Robert Kegan, PhD, instructor
The program will introduce participants to the way one novel, and increasingly influential, approach to coaching has evolved from the field of adult-developmental psychology. Its successful use with coaching clients in public and private sectors in the US, Eastern and Western Europe, South America, Japan, China, and Singapore suggests its global, cross-cultural applicability. Its orientation to self-improvement through self-understanding and active experimentation make it highly transferable to the therapeutic context. Its biggest “business advantage,” which attendees will directly experience, is the way it quickly sets up a new pathway for improvement, regularly leaving clients engaged, energized, and feeling that their expectations for an initial session have been exceeded. The usual pathway to improvement is what we call "the New Year's Resolution approach," which involves a sincere goal, plans to accomplish it, an emotional commitment to carry out the plan, and the effort to "power through" to success. Like most New Year's resolutions, this approach, while commendable, seldom produces sustainable results. Our approach is about first bringing into fuller awareness the brilliant mental system we have created which, while protecting us, MUST generate exactly those behaviors which will prevent the change we genuinely want! Once we see the system, and the key assumptions that anchor it, we can take up specific behavioral experiments, aimed not first at improvement, but at seeing whether we can change our minds. Lasting change follows from these changes of mind, the altering of our "immunities to change."
The program will be largely interactive and experiential, with "teaching patches" interspersed "when you're not looking.” Participants should come expecting to “try on” a form of practice as it relates to themselves, rather than to “hear about” a form of practice which has been applied to others. The program will help each attendee develop the mental equivalent of an X-ray (so-named because it makes something visible that is usually invisible). Each participant receives a one-page organizer that tracks and co-ordinates a sequence of discoveries they will make over the session. The discoveries take place through a recurring sequence that starts with my posing a question, then gives them a quiet minute for reflection, then invites them to check in with a partner (pair-sharing), and then moves to our considering, as a whole group, what has happened thus far, via the participation of 2 or 3 "public players," volunteers who are willing to "go public" with the gradual development of their own X-rays. This keeps the session fresh, spontaneous, and its main focus is work that is arising right in the room. The public players' X-rays are shown on a large screen via Tablet technology that allows me to "write directly on my laptop screen," Smart board-like. The climax of the discoveries comes when people see that their genuine improvement goal (e.g., "to get more organized, focused, disciplined") is matched by a formerly hidden, competing commitment (e.g., "to never slow down and have to be with myself," or "to not feel imprisoned by anything that smacks of routine"), which makes all the behaviors they earlier identified as OBSTRUCTING their goal (e.g., "taking on more and more work") now completely SENSIBLE because they can see that it also supports their hidden commitment. Their X-ray is, in effect, a picture of themselves with one foot on the gas pedal, and another on the brake. There is enormous energy in such a vehicle, but the car isn't going anywhere. The program than moves on to show participants the variety of ways they can use their X-ray to support changes that were not before as possible.
Dubbed “one of Harvard’s most entertaining professors” by The London Times and “everyone’s favorite developmental psychologist” by Ken Wilber, Robert Kegan has spent a lifetime studying adult development—and what we do to prevent it. He and Harvard colleague Lisa Lahey are credited with uncovering a hidden mechanism that keeps people from making exactly those changes they most want to see in themselves. In this fast-moving, interactive, and experiential session, Kegan will help each of us to see our own “immunity to change,” and their approach to helping people overcome it, which has now attracted the interest of coaches on every continent.
The session you are about to experience has been conducted with CEOs and the CIA; K-12 and university educators and administrators; bankers and firefighters; software engineers and management students; psychologists, psychiatrists, executive coaches, and human resource officers; government leaders, international business consultants, state judges, church leaders, attorneys, journalists and physicians. Participants should come expecting to have a good time while doing some hard and valuable introspective work. The process Kegan and Lahey have built emphasizes safety in the process of personal discovery. Participants are encouraged to set the pace that works best for them throughout the session.
Upon completion of the program the student will be able to:
- See a new pathway for improvement around a specific goal of their own (e.g.,' to be more comfortable promoting their services'; or 'to better handle interpersonal conflict')
- Utilize a unique, custom-designed map (the "X-ray") providing them (a) a new understanding of why they currently cannot make progress, and (b) a new route to solution--i.e., the critical assumptions that must be tested and altered in order for them to create durable change
- See demonstrated the foundations of a new approach to coaching and performance improvement they can consider integrating into their current practice
Program Code: RK60
6 CE Credits
Location: at MSPP, West Roxbury/Boston
Robert Kegan, Ph.D., is the Meehan Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. The recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, his thirty years of research and writing on adult development have influenced the practice of coaching, psychotherapy, management, and leadership; and impacted the disciplines of psychology, education, theology, literary criticism, medicine, and political science. His seminal books, The Evolving Self and In Over Our Heads, have been published in several languages throughout the world. He and long-time colleague, Lisa Lahey, are credited with a breakthrough discovery of a hidden dynamic which impedes personal and organizational transformation. Their book, Immunity to Change, has found its way onto many “Must Read” lists. Oprah Winfrey’s “Ten Things You Must Do to Get Fit in 2011” lists the “immunity to change” approach as #1. This year Kegan was the only person in the world invited to keynote each of the three leading international conferences on coaching--ILA (International Leadership Association), ICF (International Coaching Federation), and the Harvard Medical School’s Annual Coaching Conference.