Mentoring a Behavioral Coach to Think Developmentally

In this dialog between two coaches, one of them behavioral, the other developmental, I convey the mindset it takes to think about coaching clients in an adult-developmental manner. My goal is to demonstrate the differences in thinking and listening, not just “methodology”, that separate the two approaches to coaching. From my experience, while behavioral coaching has its place at lower levels of organizational levels of responsibility, it is increasingly ineffective the higher one climbs up the organizational ladder. This does not preclude, however, that the two forms of coaching could not be fruitfully combined once the coach is expert in handling developmental tools.

Keywords: Constructive Developmental Framework, dialectical thinking, handling complexity, developmental listening, social-emotional coaching, cognitive coaching.