Training for Lecturers @ WITS University, SA on Self Development

Following our project  from 2011 helping to create the postgraduate MBA course Interdisciplinary Global Change Studies at WITS University Johannesburg, SA, the team leaders went ahead and implemented the course successfully, starting this year in March 2014. It was framed in the integral model, roughly following the lead of the 4 quadrants, focusing the students, who come from different university departments (Animal and Plant Studies, Law, Engineering, Education, Geography etc.) on the following:

  • Systems and Structures (lower right quadrant): the main quadrant people tend to focus on while studying Global Change
  • Worldviews and Cultures (lower left quadrant): mainly using Spiral Dynamics integral and examples of applied projects thereof; immensely important in a country with so many different ethnicities and cultures.
  • Behavior (upper right quadrant): the crucial point in the context of a course on global change studies is mostly: why is behavior not changing towards more sustainable, thrivable and equitable despite overwhelming data?
  • Psychology and Self-System (upper left quadrant): What is happening in oneself with sensing, attention, presence? What is the implication of being identified with something, a worldview? What is deliberately or unconsciously resist change in one self? How does oneself develop?

In the spring 2014 I delivered a training for the Lecturers of the Global Change Course  on the subjects of the Self and Adult or Ego Development.  

This included a closer look into internal change processes in individuals both in theory and in practice.

The theory covered integral framing of self development and deep phenomenology (upper left quadrant), and the work of researchers such as Susan Cook-Greuter’s ego development, Bill Torbert’s action logics, and Robert Kegan’s orders of consciousness – moving from socialized mind, to self-authoring mind, to self-transforming mind. The theory sandwiched a whole three days of practical, 1st person explorations of the subjects of Self and the nature of Change and Transformation. The lecturers went through a coherent series of exercises, taking them from attention management, to self-alignment to working with their own assumptions and beliefs. This brought them to an experiential clarity on how it is to discover a personal ‘immunity to change’, suffer through the discomfort and protective layers to finally reach the protected, hidden, automatic big assumption – in Kegan’s language- that is responsible for an unwanted yet sticky behavior.

The aim of this training is to provide teachers of change with the inner feeling reference of how it is to overcome comfort zones, escape mechanisms, pain and resistance and to free the Self up with relief and integration to new view points, greater perspective, and the possibility for quantum leaps and vertical development. Teaching a course on global change, in my view, can really only be taught from that place of knowing, having gone through pain and resistance, having succeeded. Not from theory.

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