A Coaching Model Created by Justin Rayne Nash
(Executive and Life Coaching, INDIA)
The S O U L Model is a paradigm in coaching that works with individuals at deep levels of consciousness to bring about shifts and changes in fundamentals ways of seeing, thinking and acting.
Often individuals get locked into limiting patterns of thinking. This causes them to be ‘boxed in’. Over a period of time, this becomes crystallized, over time, into mindset.
Any breakthrough performance then requires a breakthrough in the patterns of the mind. For this transformation to happen, shifts need take place not only at the level of behavior, but at the level of beliefs.
S O U L is a model that seeks to bring this about.
Introduction to the S O U L model of Coaching
S O U L is an acronym that represents the four stages of this coaching paradigm.
Each stage and what it represents, is explained below.
When we come into the world, we come quite literally with an ‘open mind’, eagerly, and without filters, soaking and absorbing brand new experiences. From these early childhood experiences, we begin to form a map of the world or of reality that guides us through the experiences, the challenges and problems in our journey of life as it unfolds through adolescence and then adulthood.
This is our self. Our Centre, Our heart, Our soul.
We go to it for inspiration, for solace, for solutions.
As it turns out, most of our problems are also generated from this source. Our maps don’t quite fit with the territory of life and with our lived experience of reality. The result is conflict, frustration, anger, fear, hurt and many other emotions. At time like there, so many confusing questions arise
And in coming to terms with these questions, and their answers, lies the key.
For this we have journey deep within ourselves, to the source. Having made this journey when we return with the answers, the keys, and slowly but surely we come to terms with our life, and then external situations don’t bother us so much. We being to realize them as mere blips, pebbles in the pool which cause ripples that come and go. They cause less turbulence. We are able to maintain our calm and equanimity in the face of challenges.
This is because we know who we are and where we are headed.
We are self-aware.
We don’t exist alone. No matter where we are, we are always involved in interactions, transactions with other people. We are born in systems, we grow up in systems, we live and love in systems and we work in systems. This is the fact of our basic dependency and inter-dependency on others. This is our environment, our context.
So it follows that in every situation is a field of interaction in which there is the ‘Self’ and there are ‘Others’. Self and Others are the players and contributors to every situation. Some examples of others include guides, mentors, spouses, bosses, colleague and customers etc.
In times of challenge and crises, Others, may contribute positively to a situation or may be the source of problems. They also, may be problem solvers. They may bring strength, resources, insight and wisdom. They also bring in their own re-activities (triggers).
In any situation it is important to understand, who the Others are, what they bring into the situation. Are they part of the problem, or are they part of the solution? What vested interests do they bring? How do they impact the situation and Self? These behaviors, motivations, interactions of all the players in the situation are the drivers of the situation.
Analyzing and understanding the situation in terms of these factors and drivers is to understand where the problem is and how it can be solved.
Every situation has potential solvers of the problem. These are people who are willing to step in and address the issues, to bring in their resources and skills.
These may also be people whom you can go to for advice, for insight, people who are supportive of you.
These people constitute the psychological ‘team’ who share a collective interest or motivation in the situation to solve the problem, to respond to the crisis. They are willing to work with you to solve the problem, to nourish the ecosystem.
In some circles, they may be referred to as the ‘support system’.
There is Native American saying, that life is a journey we all must undertake on our own to find songs of love and healing. Healing, wholeness, transformation, your inner potential- whatever may be our search – is possible, only if there is love. In another form this is also known as compassion.
Love is the starting, as well as the final stage, of the coaching journey.
We begin by (often, making attempts of) loving our Self.
In loving ourselves, it is possible to come into a friendly, acceptance of one’s Self. With acceptance it becomes possible to look at ourselves without fear of what we might see. We are able to feel fully and deeply our hurts and release the potentials for healing.
With this ability to love and accept ourselves, we are now able to embrace the situation that is posing challenges and causing stress, rather than resisting it. We start looking for ways to bring balance and harmony with situation and with Others and Us.
We are now more interested in finding a solution. We are able to calmly, and without fear identify the triggers, to identify the causes and drivers of the problem, and looking for sources of solutions and resources.
We are able to bring harmony to the situations we choose to be in. We find within us the sources for energy, meaning and the capacity to be creative, the power to contribute to life and to systems.
While its often thought that this model is best suited for ‘Life Coaching’, the model applies across coaching specializations, for the simple reason and the universal truth around :
- All coaching forms deal with people (Self, other, us)
- Love is a universal factor, and truth to solutions, either in its passive or active presence.
And like it is often said, ‘…after some time, all coaching becomes Life Coaching’.
The diagrammatic representation of the model (below) illustrates its flow, usage and application: