In 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:
- 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).
- 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)
- a comprehensive sense of and acceptance of one's core identity (past strengths, traits and other enduring dispositions).
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:
- Awareness: Articulating and making explicit their Ideal Self by increasing their mindfulness of it and its components (see diagram)
- Importance: Raising the importance of their Ideal Self by increasing the intensity of their desire for the components of their Ideal Self
- Coherence: Integrating all the components of the Ideal Self with the their desired life and future.