Integral Life Coaching

Mike’s Coaching Practice
I am currently completing my New Ventures West 1-year certification program to become a Integral Coach®, or in more common terms, a Professional Life Coach (Dec 2017).   This blog post (Hit over the head by a 2×4) provides the backdrop to how I entered the coaching arena, in case you are interested.

Who is New Ventures West?
Founded in 1987, New Ventures West offers training programs in Integral Coaching, customized coach training for organizations, executive coaching, advanced courses for experienced coaches, and a referral network to certified Integral Coaches. New Ventures West is ICF accredited – approved by the International Coach Federation – for the quality and depth of its certification process.

What is Integral Coaching?
Integral Coaching as described on the New Ventures West website, is what arrives when two people develop a professional relationship that is grounded in mutual trust and respect, directed toward a set of clear outcomes, guided by presence, and informed by broad models about what it means to be a human being. It is a coaching methodology developed by James Flaherty, the founder of New Ventures West, and the author of Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others, which is widely recognized as a seminal text in the field of coach education.

Mike’s Coaching Practice
When I first meet with my clients I have a pyramid I like to review with them (diagram below) to help explain the methodology I use. The focus is not as much about being more effective or accomplished in the world (the “what” and the “how” of life), although that often can come about.  The intent is to assess the individual and design a program which provides freedom in their being — in “who” they are in the world. This is what we call “developing the individual”. This process is very unique to each individual I coach, and typically takes a minimum of 3-6 months (meeting every two weeks) to get deeply connected to the integral process I follow. The outcome of this is that the client can achieve long-term excellence with both an ability to self-correct along the way, as well as the competence to self-generate to stay on track for where they want to go.

We initiate the coaching process with a 90-minute intake conversation where I begin understanding and embracing who the client is as a human being. In the next meeting or two I will propose a coaching plan and invite the client to move forward in this development of their being. This plan will involve practices and/or exercises to help the client in self discovery and self awareness — to be able to see how they are interacting in the world — and to help them discover who they really are inside (heart, body and head). Of course there are many benefits of unlocking their human potential, and that is my favorite part of the process. To help people discover who they are and why they are here is a wonderful thing to experience.

Why a “Christian perspective” on achieving work/life balance?
If you’ve seen my website tagline (“A Christian perspective on work/life balance”), you might be wondering…  While my passion for helping people in the work/life balance struggle in Silicon Valley has led me to the coaching profession (Hit over the head by a 2×4), I do look at the world through the eyes of a Christian who believes the Bible is the true word of God.  I want to be very up front about that.  However, I do not believe my clients need to hold Christian beliefs to receive value from my coaching. It is simply the lens through which I view the world.  And I do not coach only in the realm of work/life balance issues, it just happens to be a passion of mine that I frequently blog about.