Roland Cox

I’m an integral coach committed to advancing personal transformation, mostly with executives and teams, through assessment, coaching and leadership. I’m privileged to work closely with maturing leaders, witnessing how this influences teams and organisations. My own understanding and practice of an unfolding consciousness also continues to deepen. In August 2003 I founded Aspiral after spending the nineties in media, ‘exploring the self’ and travelling.  I’ve built up a solid client base, enjoy consistent business growth and have been active within the profession.

I’ve published articles on coaching, diversity and one personally significant piece on a lone illumination while trail running on Table Mountain one misty night. I’ve lectured and run group supervision at the South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) and served on the COMENSA ethics committee. I work nationally but live in Cape Town with my wife Alison and daughters Caitlin and Sarah.

Coaching approach & methodology

My approach is founded on my Lifeline training in Rogerian counselling in 2001/02 and I believe that empathy, honesty and good mapping of the ‘landscape’ are essential in coaching. I value the quality ofrelationshipas a profound influence on personal transformation. While the integral methodology frames my coaching approach, it’s also influenced by professional training as a psychometrist and the use of assessments (including the Enneagram), ontological coachingneuroscience, somatic work, various developmental models and the wisdom traditions. Clients experience a coach who is sensitive, analytical, uses metaphors and asks provocative questions. Specific feedback I’ve received includes: empathic, warm, knowledgeable, sense of humour, wiser, gentle, non-judgmental, authentic, ‘genuinely cares about the outcomes’, honest, professional and easy to talk to.

Coaching experience

I’ve been coaching for fifteen years. My earlier experience focused on career coaching and I have assisted around 350 people in this area. As this work matures I find myself welcoming coaching around transition, identity & self-determination, especially with those who want to re-examine their careers or become more self-directed. My organizational work involves executive, leadership & team coaching at senior levels. I’ve worked in public and private sectors (from SMMEs to multinationals) across sectors such as ICT, tourism, media, education and widely in finance and children’s rights. I’ve coached at executive level at BAT, DStv, Grundfos, Juta, Nashua, Old Mutual, RAPCAN, Sentinel, Servest & Veritas Wealth amongst others and have delivered over 3000 hours of coaching and 800 hours of assessment feedback. I’m an associate of two major coaching schools in Cape Town and am involved with two Cape based NPOs – a founding member of the School of Hard Knocks (SA), who deliver short programmes that leverage sport to tackle unemployment, anti-social behaviour and poor health; and I head up Personal Development at the Catholic Leadership Academy. 

Coaching credentials

I trained as a counsellor/facilitator at Lifeline and gained an Honours degree in Industrial Psychology (UNISA in 2001/2); registered as a Psychometrist with the Health Professionals Council of SA (HPCSA) (2003); completed Integral Coaching Principles(with James Flaherty in 2006), the Associate Coaching Course(2007) and the Professional Coaching Course (2009), all at the Centre for Coaching (UCT GSB). I’ve completed numerous shorter courses, including The Diamond Approach (Almaas) online through Naropa University; Level 1 of The Thinking Environment (Nancy Kline), Conscious Embodiment(Wendy Palmer) and the Leadership Maturity Framework (Susann Cook-Greuter), Coaching in Action (Alan Sieler) and Somatic Wisdom (Cynthia Merchant). I’ve also completed numerous short Enneagram courses and I’m an accredited and experienced user of an Enneagram profiler. In 2015, I completed an MPhil in Management Coaching at Stellenbosch University’s Business School (USB).

Aspiral Coaching & Leadership

Assessment (for development)

Over the years our approach to assessment has evolved from 1:1 psychometrics to an all-encompassing view of discovering the true nature of the challenge with a view to meaningful change.   Clients may require online assessments for individuals, a single coach to ask good questions or perhaps a team of coaches to conduct interviews and scope an organizational challenge. Our starting point could therefore be 360s, EQ assessments, scoping exercises, needs analyses or a cultural survey. So for us, assessment could involve a structured and formulaic approach (such as a survey) or a rich, intimate process where transformation begins in parallel to the inquiry or ‘assessment’.

At Aspiral development is in our DNA. So while we do provide assessment for recruitment through expert associates, our core focus is assessment for development.  Our strength is to provide a development perspective in parallel with a recruitment process.   Thus, when a new recruit starts, the organization already has a development path in place for that recruit which is in line with their coaching and talent development strategy. In this way, assessment for recruitment and assessment for development work in synergy.

Coaching 

Our coaching approach fundamentally combines integral methodology, ontological coaching and neuroscience, all resting on a foundation of relational support as taught by the client-centred counselling approaches.

While the integral methodology frames our coaching process, ontological coaching deepens and enriches our transformational approach to coaching individuals, teams and ultimately organisations. The growing field of neuroscience, particularly in relation to coaching, brings precision and the latest scientific grounding to our work.

Other influences include  The Diamond Approach, the Enneagram, somatic work, personality theory and psychodynamic approaches.

Our work is also naturally infused by the thought leaders in all of the above fields, such as Ken Wilber, James Flaherty, Alan Sieler, Carl Rogers, Nancy Kline, Wendy Palmer, Dan Siegel, David Rock, Cynthia Merchant and Manfred Kets De Vries, amongst others.

Leadership

At Aspiral we believe becoming a great leader is essentially becoming a great person, the best version of yourself. It is about recovering or remembering the more authentic version of one’s self. Or Self, even. Paradoxically, while this process is deeply personal, it also reveals the universal. This means that highly conscious and effective leaders may tend to have virtuous traits such as wisdom, compassion, resilience and flexibility in common.

Naturally, our approach to team and organisational development integrates this viewpoint, generating extraordinary leadership throughout the organisation. In other words, organisational culture starts with leadership culture.

In practice we combine a range of approaches including integral, ontological and brain-based methods (neuroscience) to assist leaders in understanding themselves through the lenses of brain, mind, language, emotions and body. Once leaders start understanding the workings of their own minds and have a healthy sense of self, they begin to grasp the nature of human beings and teams.

This combines to create improvements in personal fulfilment, relationships, communication style, problem solving and productivity. Leaders develop maturity, autonomy and responsiveness, as well as an expansive understanding of vital leadership faculties and concepts. These include inquiry, self-regulation, influence, perspective, strategy, identity, relatedness, uncertainty, complexity and adaptive intelligence.

In organisations specifically, mature leaders are consistently able to mobilise teams amidst increasing chaos, complexity and change by generating commitment, personal responsibility and team cohesion, as well as positively influence organisational culture and performance.