Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More info about our Ego Development class...

Our little website doesn't leave a ton of room for descriptions of our classes so here's a bit more about the Ego Development class from our wonderful teachers...

Many of us have been exposed to different ways of looking at our personality types and preferences (such as Myers-Briggs). Another way people differ from each other, their developmental stage, is as important in understanding ourselves and others, perhaps even more so.

In speaking about human development, we distinguish between lateral and vertical development. Lateral development includes improving skills and learning new material. We go to school, take classes, and get training.

Vertical development is much rarer. It refers to how we come to see the world with new eyes, how we change our interpretations of experience and how we transform our views of reality. The metaphor of climbing a mountain can serve as an illustration of what it means to gain an increasingly higher vantage point.

In this class, we’ll share a model of stages of vertical development which was developed by William Torbert and Susanne Cook-Greuter. This framework focuses on how people tend to reason and behave in response to their experience, and how that changes as we develop. Each stage we’ll cover is a coherent and internally consistent belief system that describes how its proponents are likely to think, feel and behave in various life situations. Each stage has its own strengths and vulnerabilities.

Understanding developmental stages helps us:
understand ourselves better and increase our capacity to embrace ourselves
have compassion and empathy for others – those we enjoy as well as those who are difficult for us
appreciate the larger context in which we’ll evolve over time
know when we’re shifting stages, and become more effective at creating the change we want

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