One of the great values that a coaching culture brings is the ability to transform yourself into something new and better by embracing the teaching and experience of whoever coaches you. In a coaching culture there are always two parties and two distinct roles:

The Coach and the Coachee.

The coach’s job is to teach, fast track learning through experience and to uncover the gaps in understanding.

The coachee needs to have a mindset of learning and growth and a motivation to apply the value being given as a catalyst to transform themselves.

For me – I pay a lot of money for my coaches to help me grow and to transform.

One of my coaches, Joe Polish says “no one places personal commitment and value into coaching if it’s free”.

How do you spot if you are ready to transform yourself?

The Transforming Self

When you develop a coaching collaboration, particularly with world-class talent, projects and businesses can quickly expand far beyond the initial concept.

Harvard psychologist Dr. Robert Kegan has a term for this—The Transforming Self—and he considers it the highest form of psychological and emotional evolution.

According to Kegan, the basest form of psychological development is the Socializing Self, which is when a person operates out of fear, anxiety, and dependence.

You don’t make your own decisions. You don’t have your own goals.

Instead, you are simply trying to be accepted by your peers and will do anything you can to conform with them.

Above the Socializing Self is the Authoring Self, which is when you’ve gone from unhealthily dependent to a much more healthy independence.

You’ve developed your own sense of self. You have a worldview, goals, and an agenda.

However, you have a perceptual filter that you cannot see beyond. Everything you do is to confirm your bias and achieve your narrow goals. This is where most people stop in their development, highly convinced of their own perspectives and unwilling to alter those views.

The Transforming Self is different from the Authoring Self in that rather than being individualistic and competitive, it is more relational and collaborative. When at this higher level, you engage in collaborative relationships for the sake of transformation.

All parties have their own perspectives, beliefs, and agendas. Yet they come together for the purpose of having their own views, and even their own identities and sense of self expand.

The whole becomes new and greater than the sum of all parts.

Change and Growth

Through coaching collaboration, striving, growth, and connection, people can and do change. They can evolve in ways far beyond what is possible through individualistic pursuits.

In order to engage in Transformational Relationships, each of the involved parties must be psychologically evolved to the Transforming Self level.

Kegan posits that this psychological level is achieved by less than 10 percent of all individuals and organizations. Transformational Relationships, as opposed to Transactional ones, are entered into for the purpose of change and growth.

In Transformational Relationships, all parties give more than they take. There is an abundance mind-set, and an openness to novelty and change.

Rather than viewing people or services as a “cost,” as in the transactional mind-set, everything is viewed as an investment, with the possibility of 10X (10 times), 100X, or even bigger returns and change.

Before I started my coach journey in 2017 – I was at an authoring self level but I was looking for transformation – which is where I find my mindset grounded today.

Where are you today?

Coaching can only create value for you when you are looking for a transformation.

As my other coach, Dan Sullivan says, “the eyes only see and the ears only hear what the mind is looking for”.