Evolutionary Coaching

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By Patrik Somers Stephenson

If every leader had an evolutionary coach, if every leader was an evolutionary coach, every workplace would be the best possible place to work.

In an ideal corporate world, managers are coaching leaders, listeners with excellent communication skills, empathic and supportive with insights in others and themselves. With these so-called soft skills leaders give oxygen to the culture of their organisation. In the real world, managers suffer from chronic stress and pressure because of numbers, targets and expectations. If they hear talking about values, they can only imagine shareholder values. They will blame the stress around them for the stress inside their head, their body, their system.

What if the stress and tension around you is a mirror of the stress inside you? People who keep on complaining how VUCA the world is, must experience this Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity in their head. If you can shift your mind from fear to trust, stress and tension will reduce or even disappear in yourself, and consequently also around you. You will experience another VUCA reality of Vision, Understanding, Clarity and Agility. How to get there? Here is a simple answer in three steps to a complex challenge: first allow yourself to be coached by an evolutionary coach, next become an evolutionary coaching leader for your people, and before that join the Personal Mastery Class Evolutionary Coaching.

“I have absolutely no time to be coached, I work non-stop long hours,” is the most commonly heard response. My answer to that is clear: “Time management is an illusion. You can’t manage time. You can only manage your energy and priorities.” The outcome of evolutionary coaching might be less stress and tension, less excessive focus on having enough and being good enough, easier to move from fear to trust and your whole system will get more space to breath: oxygen. The return on investment in evolutionary coaching is exponential for yourself and the people around you in your professional and personal life.

After this liberating experience as a coachee, you will want to become an evolutionary coaching leader. Therefore you join the accreditation programme Evolutionary Coaching. And this is a 3-day investment with a big risk. You might start understanding and supporting your employees’ needs. They might respond with a higher level of engagement, wanting to commit their energy to the organisation, bringing passion and creativity to their work. Are you really willing to take that risk? If every crisis in the world is a crisis because of poor leadership and lack of consciousness, the answer to every crisis is conscious leadership. And that is exactly where we focus on in Evolutionary Coaching.

Evolutionary Coaching seems to be a magic, life-changing experience for participants, based on the book of the same name written by Richard Barrett. The book and the course offer a new psychological framework of human development. This values-based model will inspire you to facilitate the emergence of the full potential of yourself and people around you. It helps yourself and others to participate in your/their own evolution. It puts every human growth in a new perspective, where you can experience exactly where you are in your evolution, what you need to move forwards and what is holding you back. This is not just another psychological model. Its uniqueness is that every life story is a story of ego/soul dynamics.

I realise that some of you might drop out when they hear talking about ego and soul. Most of the people either love their ego because it is their only hold, or they hate their ego because they see it as an obstacle. Neither is true. The truth is that we are not our ego. We have an ego that helps us to survive by meeting our survival, safety and security needs. The key question is: how much trust or fear is there in our system about meeting our basic needs: about having enough to survive, about being loved enough to feel safe, about being good enough to feel secure? It is the fear in your system about these needs that is the obstacle, undermining your life and creating tension and stress. You are the creator of your own stress, nobody else.

Personal transformation work refers exactly to this: how to move from fear to trust about having enough, being loved enough and being good enough. That implies discovering how your fears come from limiting beliefs in your past. They have served you at some point in your life to survive, but they don’t serve you anymore. In contrary, this lack of internal cohesion creates frustration and separation because of dysfunctional behaviour. Why would you give all your power away to these fears? Moving from fear to trust means making yourself free from your attachment to these fears and that will empower your inner self, liberate your ego to align with your growth needs or soul desires. Here comes the soul into the picture.

Talking about soul might create confusion or even resistance, which is fine. If you look at the soul of your organisation, what are you looking at? The words that come to my mind are: energy, purpose, fulfilment, connection. The same for every human being: your soul, your essence, your inner self refers to your yearning for meaning and fulfilment. When people have an excessive focus on salary and status and they’re experiencing an inner fragility and emptiness, they start asking: “What’s next? Is there nothing more in life than this? What is the purpose of this all?” Sometimes a crisis in life brings you to these deeper life questions.

In Evolutionary Coaching we see how your ego has to be detached from your fears, so that it can align with your growth needs of meaning and purpose (internal cohesion), making a positive difference in the world and selfless service. Looking at your soul desires, we talk about self-expression, connection and contribution. And you try to find a healthy balance between self-interest and common good. We don’t teach this at the Evolutionary Coaching course, we give you an experience from inside out by walking the seven levels and sharing the energy at each level. You will find out what it means that we grow in stages of psychological development, we operate at levels of consciousness and we are embedded inside world views. This all is a values-based approach as our values are a reflection of our needs.

Some coaches and leaders confirm how strongly they are already focused on their growth needs, soul desires and the common good, which is great. In that case, we explore and discover how any emotional attachment and excessive focus is a compensation for an unmet basic need. You can only fully self-express with your creativity, passion, generosity, humour/fun, if you can move from fear to trust about your survival need of having enough. You can only fully connect and collaborate with empathy, if you can move from fear to trust about your safety need of being loved enough. You can only fully contribute with humility, forgiveness, vision, wisdom, if you can move from fear to trust about your security need of being good enough.

How much do you feel victim of people and circumstances in your life? And how much victim of your past? To become proficient in personal mastery, you have to realise that no one or no situation can upset you. You always upset yourself. Personal Mastery means that you start owning your reactions and make yourself responsible and accountable for every emotion. In this process of personal mastery, you don’t depend on others to feel okay about having enough, being loved enough and being good enough. You let go your fear-based limiting beliefs that come from your parental programming and cultural conditioning. You transform them into positive, trust-based beliefs.

What is finally my role in all of this? As a facilitator of the Evolutionary Coaching course, I create and hold a safe space where participants can grow and evolve, where they can have and share an in-depth experience of the next steps in their personal transformation journey. The same for evolutionary coaches and leaders: they guide their people into a safe space of growth and evolution. This space will grow with their personal evolution. A space where everybody can be the best they can be for the world, by finding and living their purpose, by reaching their potential. That is how we all bring this ideal world closer to the real world.

‘Evolutionary Coaching’ is the title of Richard Barrett’s book: https://www.valuescentre.com/resources/books/evolutionary-coaching

‘Evolutionary Coaching’ is a 3-day, non-residential Barrett Values Centre accreditation course, approved by ICF for 24 CCE units (10 hours Core Competencies and 14 hours Resource Development), created by Patrik Somers Stephenson: https://www.evolutioninsideout.com/evolutionary-coaching/

https://www.valuescentre.com/mapping-values/endorsed-trainings/evolutionary-coaching

The BVC accreditation gives you lifelong access to values assessments for individuals and leaders as tools for personal transformation and evolutionary coaching.

Calendar for 2018: 30 May-2 June (Manchester, UK), 11-14 July (Cluj-Napoca, Romania), 19-22 September (New York, US), 25-28 September (Montreal, Canada), 24-27 October (New Delhi, India).

For more information, please contact Patrik Somers Stephenson: patrik@evolutioninsideout.com