In the adult development world, thought partnerships are born. Each new partnership has a moment when prospective partners -- adults who are interested in exploring more sophisticated ways of perceiving their lives and the world – meet one another face to face, and find looking back at them another real person who has the same interest, curiosity, and courage that they have. This, when it happens, is the moment when one or both of these people step up and ask: “You want to work with me?
Abraham Maslow conceived the notion of self-actualization 50 years ago with three books: A Theory of Human Motivation; Toward a Psychology of Being; and The Farther Reaches of Human Motivation. The guiding questions for each of these books were the factors that facilitate exceptional development in the lives of adult human beings. Maslow thought that understanding the complexity of post-conventional development would offer all of us doorways into fostering such development, and to ways of appraising correctly what type of people are
In his book, In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life, Robert Kegan is clear that those of us who want to help other people realize new, more congruent Orders of Consciousness have to offer them the kinds of “scaffolding” that will support their transformational efforts. Kegan likens this scaffolding to a bridge that’s been built to span a chasm too wide to leap across.
For me, Dr. Kegan’s telling us that, when it comes to helping someone transform their unique Order of Consciousness we have to know how
Encountering the idea of adult development for the first time can be empowering and liberating. By itself, the idea of development opens the door to new stories about our lives — we can see more clearly where we’ve been, realize how old challenges make more sense, and we can begin to see how our lives might want to unfold.
So, we start lying to ourselves.
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