A Coaching Model Created by Catherine Evans Joines
(Executive Coach, UNITED KINGDOM)
Vision (vizh’an) n. 1. An imagined idea or a goal toward which one aspires.
As with any new relationship in work and life, starting a new coaching relationship can have an element of uncertainty surrounding it. Often my clients have questions like “what type of coach are you?”, “how does coaching work with you?”, “what can I expect from the coaching process?”, “how will I know if I am making progress?” These are all valid questions and finding out their answers will help You decide whether I am a good “fit” for you.
So what is my coaching ethos?
In all coaching conversations, you, the client are central to the whole process (Figure 1). It is your beliefs, values, strengths, resources and experiences, which make you unique. No-one else can be an expert on you, as no-one else has the exact same mixture of beliefs, values, strengths, resources and experiences. During our coaching sessions you will develop a greater awareness of these integral parts of yourself and learn to draw on them to move yourself ever closer to your goal.
Figure 1: You are central to any coaching conversation and your values, beliefs, strengths, resource and experiences make you unique
I am a firm believer in utilising our inherent strengths and in focussing on positive action steps we can take to propel ourselves forward toward our ultimate goal. I believe that to be “the best that we can be” we need to invest in ourselves, be curious and continue to learn and develop. As such my coaching is action-orientated and often utilises techniques and approaches from Appreciative Inquiry (AI), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Emotional Intelligence (EI).
So what does my coaching approach look like?
During my coach training and through coaching conversations with clients my own coaching style has developed and evolved. Although every coaching relationship is different and every conversation is unique, there are some common stages. Being aware of these stages and where the conversation is currently can help you, the client, and me, the coach, to move forward within the cycle.
The coaching model I have developed is the VISION Coaching model and it has 6 stages (Figure 2). It is depicted as a circle because once you have completed one cycle the momentum and learning you have gained will propel you forward to set further goals, thus beginning the process again. This is because the process of developing your best self and moving toward your ultimate goal is on-going. There can always be improvements to be made or new things to learn. How you progress and what you wish to focus on is up to you.
Figure 2: The stages within the VISION Coaching Model
So let’s look at the stages in a little more detail…………………
|Voice the Desire||This is about articulating the change you want to make or the goal you want to achieve, or the topic you wish to explore. In this step we set-up the contract and specifically define the (overall) objective of the coaching session(s).|
|Investigate & Explore||How often do you truly explore an idea or concept; articulate you dreams and desires without fear of judgement and listen to your own internal dialogue or thought processes? Within the safe-space that coaching provides we do just that and explore your current situation and how the change will affect/benefit you.|
During this stage I might use a mixture of techniques such as the use of open questions, direct communication, active listening & feedback, role-play, visualisation exercises, personality questionnaires, challenging perceptions. And through these your self-awareness and self-knowledge will increase. This is your opportunity to learn more about you so that you can identify potential pathways forward.
|Specific & Clear||Armed with your increased awareness and a clear vision of your goal, in this step we get specific about the actions you could take to move toward your goal. Through brainstorming and idea generation techniques we develop SMART (Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) actions and explore what could prevent you from achieving them (obstacles). We look at ways to support you in achieving these SMART actions and the resources and strengths you have at your disposal to overcome any obstacles you might encounter.|
|Initiating Action||Now is the time to Commit and Do! You choose which action (or actions) you wish to commit to……and then do them! These can be baby steps or giant leaps. You decide what will work for you. The planning and preparation you have already done combined with prioritising and focusing on these actions will give you with the confidence to move forward and reach your goal.|
|Own the Process||Remember: You are in control. You are responsible for the progress you make and the actions you do. As your coach I will support you, provide you with honest feedback, and acknowledge you and the progress you are making. I will be your sounding board, cheerleader and accountability partner. If you get “stuck” and if something doesn’t quite work as you had hoped we can explore what is happening for you in this moment, so you can develop new strategies to move yourself forward. No-one said change was easy and there mostly likely will be set-backs along the way but I will support you as you work toward your goal.|
|New Insights and Learning||Striving to be the “best you can be” is a continual process of self-development and it is important to make time to reflect on our progress and acknowledge our achievements, no matter how small or large. As you achieve one goal you will have gained greater self-awareness, learnt new skills, developed new insights. So in this stage you can reflect on this learning and determine how you wish to proceed with this new knowledge and awareness. What will be your next goal/desire?|
And so the cycle continues
Throughout the coaching process I like to remember the words of Joel A.Barker
To be the very best you can be and achieve your dreams and goals takes time, dedication and a lot of effort. For sure you could do it on your own, but coaching gets you there faster.
I look forward to working with you, as you work towards your dreams.