The Impact of Development on Coaches’ Use of Self as Instrument -- Deborah Kennedy
Deborah Kennedy spent over 15 years as an award-winning, high-impact senior leader in the high tech industry with a particular aptitude for business strategy, nourishing collaborative work environments, and delivering bottom-line business results. Deborah left her career in high tech and became a coach and facilitator of women’s leadership development. She earned a M.A. in Applied Behavioral Science from the Leadership Institute of Seattle and a PhD in Human Development from Fielding Graduate University. Her scholarly work has been paralleled by ongoing professional development in the field of coaching, where she has completed over 400 hours of coaching education. She is a member of the International Coach Federation and holds a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential. She is also a partner in Kore Evolution, a social enterprise committed to the awakening, development, and support of conscious women leaders.
The purpose of this exploratory research study was to investigate the ways in which development impacted coaches’ use of self as instrument. Fifteen graduates of Integral Coaching Canada’s Integral Coaching® Certification Program were interviewed to investigate (a) what they had become aware of about their way of being and the ways in which it manifested in their coaching, (b) what aspects of their unique developmental profile developed over the course of the training and certification program, and (c) how that development impacted their use of self as instrument in their work with clients during and after the program. The data were collected and analyzed using McCracken’s (1988) Long Interview. Findings suggest that graduates of the program experienced development and perceived an impact to their use of self as instrument. This impact is represented by four key themes: (a) Empowered Experience, participants experienced an expanded sense of consciousness, capacity, connection, and contribution; (b) Embodied Presence, participants conveyed a grounded and authentic presence; (c) Empathic Connection, participants shared a resonant connection at the gross (physical), subtle (energetic), and causal (spiritual) levels of consciousness with their clients; and (d) Employed Instrument, participants actively engaged their use of self to respond, adapt, and cocreate with clients.
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