Moving Beyond Coaching Competencies

As part of our exclusive group of senior coaches and leading scholars, we welcome your feedback on the discussions into how we can advance the current practices utilized for coach development and assessment.

The outcome of our work together will be published along with a final version of the series of articles by Project Research Lead and Convener, Dr. David Drake, in collaboration with the Institute of Coaching's Executive Director and IOC Project Leader, Jeffrey Hull.  

Below is a summary of the themes we are engaging in together:

  1. Surveying the landscape of the coaching profession: Research findings, field observations, and emerging demands
  2. Using an evidence-based framework for integrative development as a more systemic approach
  3. Introducing the "Five Maturities Framework" as a new paradigm
  4. Experiencing "Five Practices" to support maturation and mastery
  5. Exploring the implications for coaching and coach education, certification, and accreditation

Watch this page for updates and discussion topics and please leave your feedback in the form below.

We value your contribution!

July 31, 2023

As I emerge from six-months of Long-COVID, I am happy to share with you the second edition of The Five Maturities paper. I am excited about how this work is taking shape, and I look forward to getting your comments and questions. There will be a final round of updates, culminating in a final version of the paper as a Report in partnership with IoC around the end of the year.

Read the 2nd edition here:


May 13, 2024

This report has been a labor of love for the past year, written during a challenging yet liberating journey with Long COVID. It is the culmination of 25 years spent working to advance the field and the practice of coaching. I appreciated the early support from the Institute of Coaching. It has been an honor to be one of their Thought Leaders, and I fondly recall the game-changing experiential workshop on Moments of Meeting I led at their conference in 2016.

This report will become a short book as part of our new series. For now, I want to make this work as widely available as possible for all those seeking a new way forward for coaching. It has been amazing to see its impact already in the packed rooms at the 2024 IoC Healthcare & Leadership Conference and the largest turn-out ever for an event hosted by The Moment Institute.

This report is a rich resource. Notice what you are drawn to. Pace yourself. Use the Reflections pages to take notes for yourself as you read it. My deep hope is that it will inspire you to reflect in new ways on your journey as a coach and to start or join in the conversations we need right now.

You are welcome to excerpt from this report using standard academic protocols in publications which benefit the field. I encourage you to share pieces that are meaningful for you with others, while honoring the integrity of the copyright as noted on each page.

The Five Maturities - A New Paradigm for Developing Coaches

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To Grace Calpus: I appreciated your comments. What I took from the marvelous coaches at the event in Rotterdam was a desire to invest more in their aspirations for what coaching could become and invest less in accommodations to what often felt like what coaching had been. There was a palpable sense of permission and liberation in the room.

I agree that there is a definite place for enhanced mentoring and supervising, as well as eldering, stewarding, and collective reflecting. In support of this ambition, I will be launching The Five Maturities Project in early 2024 to support ongoing research and thought leadership in this space. I am also working with a colleague to develop a Five Maturities Experience as a deep developmental space. I will continue to advocate for the work in this paper as a viable path forward for the development of coaches (which could lead to a centralized outcome), and I am keen to connect with others exploring along similar lines as I feel the need for significant change is urgent (which would lead to a decentralized outcome).  Thanks.

To Akihiko Morita: Thanks for your thoughtful post: In my view, both technologies and nature invite us as humans to reflect on our place in broader systems. Both have become more prominent features in developing coaches and augmenting coaching. One of the challenges ahead is how to extend coaching beyond helping clients succeed in the current world to include helping clients create a more sustainable and equitable world. As you note, this will require us to ask deeper epistemological and existential questions. For myself, I am less worried about the role of AI in coaching (which I believe can be very useful if deployed well) and more interested in deepening our role (and capabilities) as humans. For this, maturities are essential.

I fully agree with Dr. Drake that the major impactful factors in coaching outcomes are clients and relationship rather than coaches and methods and that this cognitive gap is derived from and enhanced by a modernist view of the world, favoring rational knowledge, reductionist and causal-linear approaches. In this connection, I would like to hear from Dr. Drake how the science and technology, not only the generative AI but the broader historical development, affects or should impact this modernist paradigm. For instance, Luciano Floridi describes the modern history of re-self-conceptualization as follows. “After Copernicus, the heliocentric cosmology displaced the Earth and hence humanity from the centre of the universe. Darwin showed that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors through natural selection, thus displacing humanity from the centre of the biological kingdom. And following Freud, we acknowledge nowadays that the mind is also unconscious and subject to the defence mechanism of repression thus displacing it from the centre of pure rationality, a position that had been assumed as uncontroversial at least since Decartes .” Floridi, following the above three revolutions in our perception of who we are, described a fourth revolution that, represented by Turing, computer science and ICT has exerted an epistemic influence since 1950’s and is transforming our view of human and the world. On the contrary, Others like Yuval Noah Harari support more anthropocentric linear development of human capacity by science and technology. How does and should coaching be positioned in this context?

Hello David!

Thank you to you, the Moment Institute and IOC for taking on this conversation. I have not yet been involved, but did hear many rumblings in our coaching community about the disenchantment with the old and new MCC certification process and am curious if that precluded some of this work on the Five Maturities Framework.

Additionally, I am curious about your thoughts on the role of supervision. I recently obtained my diploma in supervision from the Coaching Supervision Academy. I noticed you utilized many resources for your paper that are supervision related but only mention its potential role once.

My year-long training in supervision transformed me as a coach and a person and has left me in a space to develop a program of education for coaches around "becoming a clearing" for their clients. There is more to this, but I prefer not to state it publicly before I have worked it out entirely and release it. In a nutshell, the course(s) would develop the coach as a person with a focus on the client as the ultimate beneficiary. I think it would touch on all five aspects of the framework, but will mainly focus on capacity and clarity. (I am using the term "course" right now as I am still developing the offering(s).)

Therefore, I wonder where you think supervision fits into developing maturity and what other interventions may be appropriate training methods for this framework.  You mention small intentional practices/narrative coaching and the depth of time it takes for maturity and mastery to develop (aka experiential learning), but who creates the space for coaches to reflect and how do you know they are qualified to do so? This also makes me wonder if the paper and the framework are laying the ground work for the Moment Institute to grow and create a learning monopoly on mastery - by monopoly I am referring to a profession centric organization like the ICF - or would this be decentralized learning via anyone utilizing your framework? I personally think we need all the avenues we can get for all the different places people are along their personal path.

I plan to launch my "courses" in early to mid 2024 and would like to be able to connect my work with your framework, particularly as this shift in coach training mindset takes hold. I like the idea of being a part of the ongoing changes to the coaching profession by hearkening back to the basics of presence and the spaces we hold for others. I hope that I can weave my supervision work into the importance of developing maturity in our profession and that I can refer to your framework as not only a justification for supervision, but also as a pathway to encourage coach clients to explore over the life of their career.

Again, thank you for putting so my energy, time and foresight into sharing this vision with us, it is inspirational and impressive.




Dear colleagues,
I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with IoC on the Five Maturities project and the wonderful launch event and participants in Rotterdam in March. I recently presented on the Five Maturities for the WBECS Pre-Summit and will hear from some of the participants in an upcoming debrief. I also attended the recent Technology and Coaching Conference at NYU in New York with the team from Ovida. I came away with an even stronger sense for why we need to move beyond simple, often reductionist, competency models in coaching. We even had robust conversation over dinner about what does 'coaching' and being a 'coach' mean now.

I have finished an initial second draft of the paper — incorporating what I learned from the Rotterdam event, wider reviews of the literature, deeper inquiry into my thinking and models, and further reflections on the broader implications of this paper (with increased attention to the challenge for coach educators). One important shift I made was to acknowledge that the needs related to assessment/certification are connected to but not the same as the needs related to development/advancement. I believe that the industry is hampered by the fact that they are often bundled together. My hope is that this project will set coaches free to attain greater mastery and maturity. A heartfelt thanks to my student/colleague Bradley Brummel for our conversations on this point. The second draft will be available by the end of July. Until then, I welcome your thoughts on what we have thus far.

Dear friends,  

We are excited to set up this dialogue format as a way to continue the wonderful conversation and evolution of the research being conducted by Dr. David Drake, in conjunction with the IOC, on the future of coach development.  As you know, David is currently working to refine and expand his "five maturities framework"  and plans to publish a report on this research within the next year, with sponsorship from the IOC.  We would love for you to share your insights and thoughts in the wake of our gathering in Rotterdam.  

As a reminder, we at the IOC are committed to dialogue with our affiliates and fellows that provokes continued learning and growth for all of us. We want this, as with all of our member forums, to be a safe space for reflections and insights to be shared.  Please feel free to add your thoughts but always do so in a respectful manner, in the spirit of community and learning.  I look forward to hearing from you!