David’s first degree was in sociology, and it has served him well across his career in taking a systemic approach to resolving client issues. He began his career as an educator and grief worker, with a focus on facilitating often difficult conversations about issues that mattered. Along the way, he developed a keen sense for recognizing the patterns in play and an ability to get to the crux of issues quickly. He brings a compassionate presence, a keen mind and an insightful artistry to working with people.
His doctoral research on coaching laid the groundwork for the innovative methods of facilitating transformative change using people’s own stories for which he is now well-known. David is the founder of the field of narrative coaching and, for over twenty years, he has championed this work and a vision for what coaching could become. He has taught narrative coaching to practitioners in over twenty countries and reached another forty countries online.
David is a Fellow and Thought Leader for the Institute of Coaching at Harvard. He earned his PhD in Human & Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University. David is the author of over fifty publications, including as lead editor of The Philosophy and Practice of Coaching (2008), co-editor of SAGE Handbook of Coaching (2016), and author of Narrative Coaching: The Definitive Guide to Bringing New Stories to Life (2018).
David has also worked with over seventy organizations, including Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Dropbox, Google, Logitech, Nike, PwC, and numerous state and federal government agencies. He has taught narrative coaching skills to over 15,000 leaders, managers and professionals in organizations, largely in support of change initiatives.
David is the Founder and CEO of Moment Institute in California. It was established in 2018 to (1) extend the legacy and reach of Narrative Coaching; and (2) research, teach, apply and extend its principles and practices as a theory of change. It is committed to (1) advancing our understanding of the art and science of real change in real time; (2) developing professionals and practitioners who can use this work; and (3) democratizing this work so that it can be used by anyone at any time.
Session length: 45 minutes
This Pre-Session lays the foundation for my Summit session on Pragmatic Enlightenment: Why the World Needs Elders and What it Takes to Become One. It offers an introduction to coaching as a rite of passage and why vertical development is both hard and more essential than ever for our clients.
We will focus on the concept of thresholds and their critical role in development as an act of intention not just a process of acquisition. We will explore how thresholds are essential crucibles through which our clients mature and why this is so important.
Using the narrative coaching framework, we will explore how to help clients mature through shifting their narratives about themselves and others and about their past and their future.
You will be able to trace your own development using this model as well, and identify openings for your own growth as a human and as a coach. This is essential work if we are to remain relevant to our clients because they are asking us to join them in bigger questions, more complex dilemmas and more unknown territories. In so doing, we discover that coaching becomes a way of life, a way of being. It is asking ourselves, “In this moment, what is needed most?”
You will learn about the power of radical presence to enable you and your clients to stand at the threshold that is before them at this stage in their journey. While many of you have cultivated aspects of it through somatic and mindfulness practices, radical presence takes it to the next level because it is tied into clients’ vertical development and maturity.
Session length: 45 minutes
Participants will find themselves part of a fully-immersive, interactive learning experience, by seizing the opportunity to put their questions to formidable coaching expert, Dr. David Drake, World-Renowned expert on Narrative Coaching. During this engaging, deep-dive session, participants will explore Pragmatic Enlightenment: Why the World Needs Elders and What it Takes to Become One - empowering them to immediately apply the knowledge and skills they have gained with their clients.
Session length: 90 minutes
This session complements my 2018 WBECS Summit session on Enlightened Pragmatism: Bringing Wisdom and Design Thinking to Coaching. It focused on how coaches can evolve their practice; this session focuses on how coaches can evolve themselves.
We will look at what it means to be an elder in these times and four areas of development for those who want to be on that path. Each area is connected to one of the four phases in narrative coaching as a framework for preparing elders in ways that is both ancient and visionary.
The session draws on indigenous traditions in Australia and North/South America where there is a long history of honoring and developing elders to see what we can learn from them. It also looks at contemporary challenges and opportunities to understand what is called for now. We will look at both becoming an elder yourself and/or coaching elders-in-the-making.
To become an elder in and for these times requires a profound shift in how we see time and space such that we can stand for a bigger vision in any moment. The narrative elder framework offers a blueprint for those who want to bring greater wisdom into the world. The session will offer you a series of questions you can use to gauge where you and/or a client are on that path and to determine what is needed most right now.
The focus is on putting mindfulness in motion to do more than just cope. The session will offer you pragmatic actions you can take to awaken yourself such that you can connect, create and contribute at much deeper levels. It is part of a larger vision to develop more elders within coaching and to bring coaching into the process of developing elders.
Session length: 90 minutes
So much of coaching has historically focused on horizontal development and helping clients to achieve their aspirations. This is important in narrative coaching as well, though we do so by dropping into key moments rather than taking a linear path. In so doing, we engage clients in vertical development so they can make wiser choices and are more able to meaningfully enact them.
We also use integrative development principles to invite them to think ecologically in terms of space (how to create healthier environments that make it easier for them and others to flourish) and time (how to plant trees under whose shade they may never sit).
In this demonstration, you will gain insights on how to address patterns, not symptoms, how to look beyond the goal to see the client’s soul—and what they want at a deeper level—and how to think in terms of wisdom, not just progress. These distinctions are essential in a time when there is so much at stake and such a need to ask bigger questions about how we live and how we lead.