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7 Classic Mistakes that Values Programmes Make
The Act of Will
Competing Commitments
Context - a powerful tool for change
Core Qualities
Covert Processes - the Hidden Forces that Prevent Change
The Creative Process
Creating Sustained Change - The Ideal Self 1
Creating Sustained Change - The Ideal Self 2
Desire and Addiction
Faulty Thinking and the ABC Model
From Know-How to Do-How
From Know-How to Do-How
Guilt is Good for You!
The Miracle Question
Managing Progression and Regression
Shifting Stuck Patterns
Single, Double, and Triple-Loop Change
Star Diagram / Personality Functions
Stages of Change
Working Identity
Traps - How We Delude Ourselves
Your First 100 Days
Creating Sustained Change - the Ideal Self 2

Creating Sustained Change - the Ideal SelfIn Creating Sustained Change - The Ideal Self 1 I outlined Boyatzis' Intentional Change Model. Its powerhouse is the Ideal Self. The Ideal Self is an evolving motivational core within the self which focuses a person's desires and hope, aspirations and dreams, purpose and calling and drives change in our behaviour, emotions, perceptions and attitudes. It is made up of three major components:

  1. a compelling image of a desired future articulating one's dreams, aspirations and fantasies. This is cognitive in nature but fuelled by the affect resulting from one's passion, dreams and values (see left).
  2. hope caused by one's optimism and belief in one's general competence. Hope is also an expression of a person's degree of self-efficacy (their belief in their capability to produce results)
  3. a comprehensive sense of and acceptance of one's core identity (past strengths, traits and other enduring dispositions).
The Ideal Self manifests as a personal vision of what a person hopes to achieve in their life and work, or as an image of the kind of person they want to be.

If we want to help our clients change, one of the most powerful things we can help them do is activate the force of their Ideal Self.

Boyatzis & Akrivou in "The ideal self as a driver of change" (Journal of Management Development. 2006, 25(7), 624-642.) propose that there are three elements to developing a healthy and robust Ideal Self that a coach can help someone with:

  1. Awareness: Articulating and making explicit their Ideal Self by increasing their mindfulness of it and its components (see diagram)
  2. Importance: Raising the importance of their Ideal Self by increasing the intensity of their desire for the components of their Ideal Self
  3. Coherence: Integrating all the components of the Ideal Self with the their desired life and future.
Note that the Ideal Self is different from the "Ought Self", which is someone else's version of what your Ideal Self should be which you have mistaken for your Ideal Self. The Ought Self can masquerade as a very convincing Ideal Self - as coaches we need to be alert to this and help unmask the impostor! (in the nicest possible way of course).
Copyright © 2013. Dr M H Munro Turner. All rights reserved