Integral Coaching: A Closer Look

Joanne HuntAudio, Cognitive, Conversations, Defenses, Interpersonal, Lifestyle, Perspectives 2 Comments

In this intimate conversation between Ken Wilber, Laura Divine, and Joanne Hunt, you will be exposed to some of the in-depth nuances of Integral Coaching Canada’s work. You will gain more intimate access to the Integral lenses that are illuminated, as well as how ICC’s coaches uniquely use them, through embodied “Looking At” and subtle “Looking As” capacities. Not only is there “simplicity on the other side of complexity” in ICC’s work, there is elegance, love, the alleviating of suffering, and a deep commitment to consciousness development — one human at a time.

Sitting at the very core of the Integral Vision lies a startlingly simple realization: adult development is possible. Sure, the actual nature and mechanics of development are somewhat complex—so complex that Ken Wilber has devoted dozens of books and hundreds of hours of discussion over the past several decades to this topic, resulting in the most comprehensive and inclusive map of human growth and potential ever devised. And though this map truly represents a “simplicity on the other side of complexity”, it can be somewhat daunting for people unfamiliar with the intricacies and nuances of the integral approach, and may remain frustrating for those of us who don’t quite understand how to apply this map to the territory of our everyday lives in a meaningful way.

Still, intricate as the mechanics may be, the actual existence of ongoing adult development is irrefutable and is supported by an overwhelming body of evidence from a very wide sampling of human disciplines.

But how to actually nurture and navigate our own development—well, that’s a different story altogether. Growth is hard. It can be challenging to let go of well-honed patterns. We can feel alone and lost in the wilderness of human development, without a real map or compass to guide us, other than the intuitive pull of our own conscience or the familiar tug of our habits. We might need some help figuring out which direction to face, where to place our next few steps, or where we are even trying to go—and even when we do figure these things out for ourselves, even with a deep desire, good intentions, and a solid plan, the changes we desired can often ebb as the strength of our embodied views and patterns of behavior bring us back to our habitual form. Until very recently, we’ve largely been left to our own devices, forced to continuously figure everything out for ourselves, or else subject our development to the projections and platitudes that stem from various other partial interpretations of reality.

Which is why we are so excited about the Integral Coaching approach developed by Laura Divine and Joanne Hunt, founders of Integral Coaching Canada (ICC)—the very first coaching methodology we’ve ever seen that explicitly honors and includes the full spectrum of human development so elegantly described by Ken Wilber’s Integral approach. Which is to say that it is the very first Coaching program that can fully honor and include all of you—all of your strengths, all of your weaknesses, all of your shadows, all of your experiences, and all of your untapped potentials as you expand your perspectives and capacities to include, transcend, and embody a fuller, freer, more capable being.

What’s even more extraordinary is that ICC’s Integral Coaching method resists the sort of “one-size-fits-all” approach so common to the coaching industry and to the self-help market as a whole. Integral Coaching acknowledges that, yes, we are all unique snowflakes in the great blizzard of being, and what works for you is not necessarily going to work for me. However, by using the full arsenal of integral perspectives available to us, we can begin identifying particular “lenses” that help us to better qualify and quantify our inherent uniqueness.

ICC’s coaching approach utilizes six lenses to “Look As” and “Look At” clients and these lenses, in combination, build an elegant and unique architecture—or AQAL Constellation—for Integral Coaching clients. Each lens, used alone, can capture some important aspect of a human, disclosing useful but ultimately limited patterns running through our experience. For example, the Enneagram as a type structure lens can carry tremendous value for an individual, but when we try to apply the nine Enneagram types to nearly seven billion people around the world, the data becomes somewhat less useful. It is through the combination of these different lenses that we gain a far more sophisticated, accurate, and intimate understanding of our own individual path and progress toward health and wholeness, allowing us to really “hone in” on the coordinates of our development—helping us identify where we are growing, where we are stuck, and where we should place more of our attention.

One of the most interesting applications of the Four Quadrants, developed by Integral Coaching Canada at their coach training school, is something they refer to as “Orienting Quadrants,” which uses the Four Quadrants as a typology or type structure lens. Orienting Quadrants describe four radically different Native Perspectives that influence how we orient, perceive, and interpret our relationship with the world, with each other, and with ourselves, depending on which of the Four Quadrants we typically orient from: personal, cultural, behavioral, or systemic. (Click here for more information about the Four Quadrants, and click here for more about Typologies.)

For example, here are a few different reasons you might want to try Integral Coaching for yourself. See if you can recognize which quote is associated with which quadrant:

  • Integral Coaching will dramatically deepen the quality of your actual interior experience, and will inspire you to continue along your own path toward increasing growth, happiness, and meaning.
  • An Integral Coach will help you gain a birds-eye-view of your own growth and development, and show you how you can calibrate your actions and align your intentions to better meet the complexity that surrounds you—helping you to make a much bigger, better, and longer-lasting impact upon this world.
  • Integral Coaching will provide you with valuable and powerful action steps you need to help optimize your ongoing health and vitality, bringing you to an entirely new level of productivity and performance.
  • Entering into a relationship with an Integral Coach will provide a deep and enduring connection with a kindred soul who is also familiar with the many peaks and valleys of the integral terrain, who can share their own experience and wisdom with you, and who can help you with some of the struggles common to integral living.

Finally, regardless of which quadrant you instinctively orient from, one of the greatest benefits of ICC’s Integral Coaching approach, whether you are a professional coach or a client, is that it really helps you become much more competent in all four quadrants at once—helping you to recognize your own orientation, to make subject into object, and to ultimately include and transcend that orientation so that you are no longer limited by your own biases and blind-spots, until you begin to experience more fullness, more freedom, and more of your own hidden potential than you ever thought possible. And that’s only one lens. Once the Four Quadrants Lens is used as part of an elegant AQAL Constellation, transformational growth is not only possible, it becomes sustainable, expansive, and far-reaching, impacting all aspects of your life.

Integral Coaching is a truly extraordinary vehicle for your ongoing growth and development. It provides developmental traction for your own personal path, regardless of the direction it may be leading you. It’s a new year. It just might be time to undertake your next profound path of development by working with a Certified Integral Coach or contacting Integral Coaching Canada to become one.

Although there are several other coaching approaches that call themselves “Integral”, ICC’s Coaching method is the very first coaching methodology we’ve ever seen that explicitly honors and includes the full spectrum of human development—which is to say that it is the very first coaching program that fully honors and includes all of you: all of your strengths, all of your weaknesses, all of your shadows, all of your experiences, and all of your untapped potentials.

Written by Corey deVos

Joanne Hunt

About Joanne Hunt

Joanne is the Co-Founder of Integral Coaching Canada. She is a lead instructor for Integral Coaching Canada's advanced programs, and students describe her as an expert coach, a playful human being and a passionate, skilled teacher. Rooted in her own commitment to living with personal integrity and authenticity, Joanne brings this dedication to how she teaches, how she guides faculty and how she coaches clients.

Laura Divine

About Laura Divine

Laura has been practicing in the field of coaching for over twenty years and she brings extensive leadership and business management experience to her ability to directly apply Integral Coaching® in complex settings. While living in her hometown of San Francisco, Laura spent fifteen years in the telecommunications industry accumulating comprehensive executive experience in leadership, business effectiveness, change management, total quality systems, strategic planning, and coaching implementation within large scale systems.

Ken Wilber

About Ken Wilber

Ken Wilber is a preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is an internationally acknowledged leader, founder of Integral Institute, and co-founder of Integral Life. Ken is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative world philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory”.


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    A really insightful conversation which helped me to grasp the integral coaching approach.
    Ken cites passages from which seems to be a book or a publication by Joanne Hunt and Laura Divine. Does anyone know by chance which publication that is he reads from?

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    Hi Benjamin Werner. The publication I think Ken was citing passages from is Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, Spring 2009 issue about Integral Coaching. (Volume 4, Number 1, usually written as 4(1)). There are 6 articles in it all about Integral Coaching.



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