A Coaching Model Created by Linda Hajduk
(Executive Leadership Coach, USA)
Coaching is built on the belief that the solution is inside the client. A client comes to coaching to discover self – awareness that will lead them to discovering the answer that will move them forward to their goal. The coach provides a safe, supportive environment that allows awareness to emerge. As the client moves through the coaching process that I have labeled; define, explore, discover, commit, they learn more about themselves. As their awareness increases they are able to move forward to finding the solution.
The goal of creating awareness should be brought by the coach to all phases of the coaching process. The power of the coaching process lies in the coach knowing how to create awareness in their client. Creating awareness though-out the coaching process is achieved by the coach in the following ICF core competencies:
- Ability to be fully conscious and create spontaneous relationship with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible and confident.
- Is present and flexible during the coaching process, dancing in the moment.
- Sees many ways to work with the client and chooses in the moment what is most effective
- Ability to focus completely on what the client is saying and is not saying, to understand the meaning of what is said in the context of the client’s desires and to support client self-expression.
- Attends to the client and the client’s agenda and not to the coach’s agenda for the client.
- Hears the client’s concerns, goals, values and beliefs about what is not possible.
- Summarizes, paraphrases, reiterates, and mirrors back what the client has said to ensure clarity and understanding.
- “Bottom-lines” or understands the essence of the client’s communication and helps the client get there rather than engaging in long descriptive stories.
- Allows the client to vent or “clear” the situation without judgment or attachment in order to move on to next steps.
- Ability to ask questions that reveal the information needed for maximum benefit to the coaching relationship and the client.
- Ask questions that evoke discovery, insight, commitment or action (e.g., those that challenge the client’s assumptions.
- Asks open-ended questions that create greater clarity, possibility or new learning.
- Asks questions that move the client towards what they desire, not questions that ask for the client to justify or look backwards.
- Ability to communicate effectively during coaching sessions and to use language that has the greatest positive impact on the client.
- Clear, articulate and direct in sharing and providing feedback.
- Re-frames and articulates to help the client understand from another perspective what he/she wants or is uncertain about.
- Uses metaphor and analogy to help illustrate a point or paint a verbal picture.
The AWARENESS MODEL focuses on the importance of the use of powerful questions throughout the coaching process. While all the core competencies listed above contribute to building awareness, it is the competency of powerful questions that brings it all together. Questions have the power to change lives. Questions hold the power to cause us to think, create answers we believe in, and motivate us to act on our ideas. It is important that the coach asks questions that build awareness in the client, that move them to achieving their goal. Following are powerful questions that can be used in each coaching phase to create awareness. This is not an inclusive list. The coach must also always remember the importance of “dancing with the client” when asking a question. The question must be directed by where the client is at the moment.
This is where the client brings forward their issue. It is here where powerful questioning brings clarity to what is to be achieved. Through beginning awareness, the client defines their goal(s).
- What specific goal would you like to work on?
- What is most important to you about this goal?
- Describe what completing your goal will look like in your life?
- What will be different about your life once this goal is achieved?
This is where the client addresses the current reality, the external and internal situation. This is where the coach’s curiosity increases. The coach probes to build the client’s awareness to what is going on.
- Tell me more.
- How do you feel about that?
- Have you been in a place like this before? Describe what happened.
- It seems like this is important to you…talk a little about that.
This is where the client discovers options. This is where the coach helps the client get unstuck by pushing them to think farther then they have before. The coach draws the client into their creative zone. The client’s increasing awareness opens them up to think outside the box.
- Give me five options for how you could tackle this challenge. Give me one more.
- If you pursued this dream (or this solution or this decision), what would your life look like in 30 days, or 90 days or a year?
- What do you need to reach your goal?
- What could you change about you that would change the situation?
This is where the client commits to action steps. This is where the client goes from could do® want to®will do. As a coach, you want the client to create doable steps so they will know success. This is where the client’s increased self- awareness brings energy and motivation to move forward.
- Which of these options do you want to pursue?
- Are there any obstacles to getting this done that we need to address?
- Are you ready to commit to that action?
- What will you do, by when?