A Coaching Model Created by Della Spring
(Executive Coach, UNITED STATES)
Now don’t think that awakening is the end. Awakening is the end of seeking, the end of the seeker, but it is the beginning of a life lived from your true nature. Adyashanti
AWAKE to your true self and your new, authentic life!
A client may come to coaching for several reasons. Among them may be a sense that his life can improve in some specific or general way, and he is not sure how to begin. Inner awareness is the first step in achieving ultimate change and happiness in life.
Awareness of one’s emotions, underlying beliefs, behavior patterns and goals create the platform for action and change. One cannot improve those things of which he is unaware. Therefore, with “powerful questioning”, the cliient can begin to identify and articulate the specific values which are most important and meaningful to him. His own inner wisdom will lead him to a life that is truly authentic.
At this time, it is important to create some clarity about success: what does it look like? Feel like? How will the client know when it has been achieved?
As the client learns to utilize the tools with which to dig deep into self-awareness, the process will begin to occur naturally, on it’s own, in establishing and asserting his needs. As a coach, it is my goal to bring my client to a point where he no longer needs my guidance.
It is essential for the client to learn how to observe without judgement. This is especially true in observing himself. Through appreciative inquiry, the coach helps the client work towards cultivating self-love and freedom from comparing himself to others. The practice of witholding judgement, also called “witness consciousness” and “mindfulness”, strengthens our ability to observe and accept what is; rather than entering into thoughts, emotions and sensations (where it becomes easy to pass judgement), we must learn to simply watch, briefly notice, and let the thoughts go again, without being drawn in. It is only then that we can exercise conscious choice instead of unhealthy impulsive reaction.
Practicing “witness consciousness” allows the client to focus his attention on nurturing his personal needs, goals and support systems. It is here, in this fertile void, where he begins to set intention and defines himself in purely positive and present-tense language. Non-judgement of self allows him the freedom to process and integrate information so that he can formulate new ideas on how to move forward without succumbing to powerful or negative emotions or states of fear, guilt or expectation.
Another practical application of witholding judgement pertains to the coach. S/he must be diligent as well in witholding judgement and be careful not to project a personal agenda. The client must be in complete control of this process in order to acheive a successful outcome. In addition, the coach is serving as a role model and reinforcing the importance of this crucial step towards empowerment.
Creating action is critical to our clinet’s feelings of success and achievement. It is an opportunity for him to experience something new, learn and grow. Once his values and goals have been established, it is time to take the first steps, however small, towards “living” them. This may include a priority list, a support team and/or deadlines — there are numerous ways to begin the process. Once the process is established, it is then necessary to set up a way to measure success and provide a method of accountability.
It is absolutely essential that the action steps taken are generated through the client’s personal inquiry and are organically his own. If they are not generated by the client, he has no personal ownership or stake in the outcome. It is equally as important to acknowledge and validate achievements. This is also a perfect time to integrate the new ideas that have been percolating during introspection. As a coach, I must practice witness at this time, and be sure that I have no part in generating the ideas that bring my client into action. I support his goals and methods with no personal agenda.
Change can be frightening, but once the client moves forward and receives positive feedback, the more likely he is to continue and try again. Another step forward. Changes do not have to be large or happen all at once, but they will ultimately lead to his living as his authentic self on the path to personal freedom and happiness. During this process, he reminds himself to ask: How does this currently serve me — what core values does it support? How can my learning be tweaked to optimize results?
Progress, as a continual process, must be regularly assessed. In addition and, as importantly, the client’s feelings towards the changes being made must be recognized and validated. He must be acknowledged and celebrated for his achievements. This also provides an opportunity for him to acknowledge other people who have supported and assisted him in reaching his goals; when they feel that their support was beneficial, they will be more likely to continue their support.
The client has all the answers within himself. When an effective coach helps a client learn to access the tools needed for mastering personal inquiry and when he truly understands his core beliefs, the client becomes empowered. He alone holds the key to unlocking his life of personal fulfillment. Acknowledge and appreciate the strengths it has taken him to get to this empowering place of understanding, but remember that growth is a life-long process and the process of “awakening” may occur many times in a lifetime!