A Coaching Model Created by Inga Lizdenyte
(Life Coaching, UNITED STATES)
What steps did you take yourself to change your own life?
Yes.. I did take certain steps that systematically moved me forward. What were they..? After a little inner dialog, I sat down and tracked my own steps.
When I decided to start changing my life, I was in a very desperate place: the car accident that I was involved in, took away from me everything that made my life beautiful and it bereaved me of my independence. Losing both of my legs and my left arm getting paralyzed turned my life upside down. I could not come in to terms with my new way of life being shut at my house with no opportunity to have a life of full value and not being able to grow and contribute, and I made the decision to change it all. I will never forget that beautiful sunny day, when I realized that if I did not like the way my life was – I could change it. Nothing – no accident, pain, challenges due to my changed physical condition, nor any other problems could determine how I felt and how I would continue my life journey. Yes, the accident created those desperate circumstances, but I could change them by taking the initiative and action that would create different circumstances. I didn’t have to settle for the way it was, and I believed with God’s help I was going to get out of this horrible place in my life. That moment something deep inside in me has shifted. I felt strong and determined to change my life conditions. I decided not to waste my time and not to allow the unknown to make me doubt, but take the initiative and start making changes to get myself out of the “dead-end”.
I asked myself What needs to happen, how my life needs to be for me to feel happy again. Then, I asked myself what are the ways for me to possibly implement that, what do I needed to do to have it. Once I had those answers, I determined my long term and short term goals, and determined what exactly I needed to do to start the process. First, I set the goals that helped me gain my independence back on a daily routine, along with the ability to walk wearing artificial legs. Then, I traveled from Europe to the United States by myself to turn my ultimate dream into a reality. I always held my vision in my mind, took action and consistently worked toward my goals. A beautiful dream, which seemed nearly impossible at the time, has now become my reality. When I identified the steps I took, I noticed that I unconsciously took exact the same steps to reach any goal I had set my mind to. It works! It literally transformed my life and it works every time I use this strategy. So I decided to take it and use it as my coaching model to help my clients.
By offering my coaching services I want to pass on to others that they do not need to settle for whatever life brings along. They can change it. They can implement the vision that they have. Their dreams and desired goals do not need to remain their wish. They can bring it all to life. Having a clear vision, empowering perspective and belief, and taking action, step by step they will arrive to their desired change. 7 Step Forward coaching model is a map to that will help you achieve what you set your mind to.
Model “7 Steps Forward”: In the Bible, the number seven symbolizes completeness or perfection. I included the word Forward because it
means a lot to me. Do not stop. Do not give in and do not give up. Be strong. Be determined and persistent. Be unstoppable… Move forward no
matter what it takes.
1. Assess current situation. This is the very beginning of the journey. In this step, I ask the client what brought him to coaching: what is the current situation, why he wants a change now, what the change means to him and how it will improve the life.
2. Vision & its alignment to client’s 6 Human needs/Values and Beliefs. This is a step forward.
A. Ask the client what is the vision of the desired outcome. What will be better once he has the outcome he wants and How important it is for him to implement it.
B. Align client’s vision with his 6 Human needs/Values and Beliefs. I believe this step is crucial. Every human being has the values and human needs, and whether a person will feel fulfilled and satisfied or not, depends on whether his conditions/actions meet his values/needs or not. After a lot of reading and searching, I found the tool that I believe is accurate and explains why people do what they do and which will help to recognize what changes are going to make a person be fulfilled and what not. They are called 6 Human Needs by Anthony Robbins: Love/Connection,
Certainty, Variety/Uncertainty, Significance, Growth, Contribution. Everyone has them, and the priorities are different for each person. A person will do whatever it takes to fulfill his top 2 needs, and if they are not met – a
person will not be happy/satisfied. http://training.tonyrobbins.com/the-6-human-needs-why-we-do-what-we-do/
If a person does not know his human needs/values and decides to achieve a goal that contradicts his highest needs – he is not going to be fulfilled after all.
One of the examples, I had a client, who earlier met some big goals, but for some reason he felt something was wrong; he expected to feel and live differently once he meets those goals. He came to coaching wanting a change. The coaching process showed him that those goals, after they were met, totally contradicted his highest needs and therefore, he could not feel satisfied with his life. When a client told me how he wanted it to be, we checked if his new vision matched his needs/values and it was interesting to see that his desired outcome was exactly matching his top needs and values. He knew that after achieving his new goals he will be satisfied with his life. He saw what a difference it made to be aware/identify his personal Human needs and align his goals with them.
Belief is also critical. If a person deep inside does not really believe that he can successfully achieve the goal, or he has underlying beliefs that contradict his desired outcome or action he needs to take – it will be very hard to achieve it, and he might not even succeed in that.
Therefore, I put this step before even the goal setting to make sure his Human needs/values and his vision are aligned, and also that he has the empowering belief.
In this step of the coaching process, check what the client values the most from his personal 6 needs.: Ask him to prioritize 6 Human needs (Love/Connection, Certainty, Variety/Uncertainty, Significance, Growth, Contribution) and then check how that vision meets those needs. Help the client to align his vision with his needs/values, and his beliefs to support the client, so there is no inner conflict. When there is a conflict, identify the conflict and then align it.
3. Evaluation of opportunities to implement it. Check what are the possible ways to realize the vision, evaluate the opportunities, identify what are the best ways to implement the desired outcome.
4. Goals. This is a step further – Identify long term an short term goals that will move the client toward achieving the desired outcome. Set the priorities and the deadlines.
5. Action plan. This is a big step forward – creating action. Identify what exact set of actions needs to be in place.
Determine what is the first step, what needs to happen after and further on. Set the timeline. The deadline for the goals can be changed if needed, but at least setting it will move the client into consistent action to meet the goal.
6. Action & Evaluation of the process. In this step, the client takes action to meet his goals, which will move him toward his ultimate outcome. As the action is in the process, evaluate it: is it the right action, what makes sense and what doesn’t, is it worth it or not, does the current set of actions work or something needs to be changed in order to have the desired result. If the chosen strategy does not work, keep changing it until the right one is found.
It is important to check that the action or a person’s perspective does not violate his highest needs. For example, a direct sales representative has a compelling goal that meets his highest needs and is very excited about it. But when it comes to taking action – there is a block. A person unconsciously procrastinates by coming up with variety of reasons why this action cannot be done now or that he has more important things to do. If this lasts for some time and a person does not take action to reach the goal, there is a reason for it. The reason might lie not in person’s bad work ethics, busy schedule or laziness, but deeper – something in the action process violates his highest needs. For instance, when a sales representative’s highest need/value is Love/Connection, and after calling his potential client hears unhappy tone of voice “No, I don’t need it”, delivering unspoken message “you are annoying me with your calls to sell”, “your call is unwanted” or gets no answer without a call back – it violates his highest need to love/be loved and to connect. If this happens again and again, a person does not want to take that action anymore, because this violates what he needs/values the most and it causes him pain. This way, a person unconsciously will come up with the ways how to get away from this by sabotaging himself in the business. (it’s a real life example from my own experience) In this case, if a person still wants to pursue the vision, he needs to change his perspective about what is going on when he makes those phone calls and his perception of the response he hears. Therefore, it is important to take a close look not only into a goal, strategy to meet that goal, but the action itself and the meaning the person gives to each action and the outcome. The coaching process can help a person to change and set the perspective that will empower him and will help him achieve the desired outcome.
7. Encourage momentum, accountability Until the goal is achieved. In this step, the coach encourages the client, helps to overcome obstacles that are in his way, holds the client accountable. And finally – Celebrate the Victory When the Result Is Achieved!
One of the Human needs is to grow/develop. It might be that the client will want to go further. After achieving one goal, new opportunities might show up and the client might have a new vision.
If he wants to go further implementing a new vision, the same steps can be taken all over again. This way, a person will have a constant and never ending improvement.