I was first introduced to ‘adult development’ theory as part of my Master studies and it has had a lasting and profound effect on me both personally and professionally. This year, I set out to learn more from the world’s leading experts in the field. Special thanks to Coaches Rising, my teachers, especially Jennifer Garvey-Berger and Bob Anderson, and to my ADC cohort and practice group.
Adult development is the journey of our lives; describing the many and varied ways in which we see and make sense of the world. Not only do we continue to grow and develop as adults, research has uncovered common stages in our trajectory. The key distinction between each stage is ‘what we can see and what we are blind to’, akin to a ladder leading to increasing levels of perspective taking capacity and consciousness. Unsurprisingly, many of the hallmark capacities of the later stages of adult development are also the most coveted in leadership such as questioning one’s own thinking and assumptions, seeing more possibilities for creative solutions, and a greater capacity to cope with complexity.