A Coaching Model Created by Lynn Ann Barcant
(Executive Coach, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO)
Many years ago I took a Course at our University on “Introduction to Counselling”. At the end of my Course my professor said to me, “You do not want to give people fish, you want to teach them how to fish”. There began my journey to find a way to empower others. I knew what I wanted to do but had never heard about Life Coaching, not until about five years ago. So two years ago I decided to become a Life Coach and gave myself the Course for my birthday. My thought at that time was that I would use the learning to enhance my relationships but now I am possessed of a passion to use my training to empower others. So here is my model.
Empowerment For Life
As a Coach I assist others to empower themselves in order to achieve, make or create a desired shift in their lives. This shift may be in any aspect of their life be it relationship, career or self-change which may be what they are after.
I call the process between the Coach and the Client the DANCE.
D – Decide to do it
This is the first step for the Client – Intent. The Client decides that they want freedom, change in their life and resolution of challenges that they may be experiencing and this is what brings them to the Coaching relationship. It is important for the Client to understand the difference between Coaching and other means of support such as Psychotherapy, Consulting, Mentoring, etc. so that they are aware of the coaching process and can therefore be more able to decide what they think would work best for them. It is also the Coach’s duty to refer the Client to another support professional if and when they feel that this may be in the Client’s best interest. Once the Client decides that they wish to enter into a formal Coaching Agreement it is important that the parameters of this relationship be firmly established. This refers to where and how the sessions will be conducted and the fee schedule as well as what is appropriate or not in the coaching relationship.
To do this the Coach may offer a Welcome Package which the Client has time to read and respond to before they begin the Coaching Relationship or have a preliminary session in which this is discussed.
A – Awareness
This part of the process begins by the Client and Coach creating a “Sacred Space” which the Coach holds open for the Client. This can be one of the most important steps in the coaching process as this space is one of trust and confidentiality in which the Client is offered support, safety, acceptance and non-judgement. In this space the Client is allowed and encouraged to articulate and emote their feelings and thoughts and through exploration and discovery comes to self-awareness.
Through Active Listening, which is the ability to focus completely on what the Client is sharing and Powerful Questioning, the ability to birth questions from Active Listening the Coach creates a strong Coaching Presence in which the Client is assisted in becoming more self-aware and better able to take responsibility of their issues. This makes it possible for the Client to make a commitment and to take relevant action which enables them to feel more empowered to make the changes necessary in order to achieve what they wish in their lives.
This is the Coach’s ability to be fully present in order to not only hear what is being said but what is not. The Coach needs to trust their own inner knowing and to have the courage to go with what comes up for them to ask, offer or just be silent if necessary. This presence must be harmonious for the relationship in that it must allow for both sadness and joy but not be carried away by either.
In this space the Coach offers Feedback to the Client so that there is both confirmation and clarity of what is being said for the Coach, but also awareness for the Client of what they are imparting to the Coach. It is possible that the Client may not be aware of what they are saying but also that the Coach may have heard incorrectly. Acknowledgement is also very important for the Client when they have made a step towards their desired goal or shown courage in the face of fear or insecurity.
N – Name It
In this state of Self-Awareness the Client’s issues, challenges, blocks, core issues and underlying beliefs are brought to the surface to be “named”. The Coach also assists the Client to become aware of their strengths, values, passions, dreams and goals and those too are “named” and used to navigate and overcome the challenges presented.
C – Clarity
This is the stage of Clarity when the Client, with the help of the Coach identifies what is important to them and what they truly wish to achieve in the different aspects of their lives. This process can be assisted by using different resources that are available through books, etc. for example The Values exercise, Reflections on different areas of the Client’s life and other resources like Mind Maps which often help to excavate the Client’s deeper issues.
As the Coach consolidates this information, a coaching plan for developing Goals with the Client may be established. It is important that these Goals be attainable, measurable, specific and has target dates while maintaining the flexibility for adjustments as they may be required.
E – Energy
The Client is filled with new energy and their vision and direction is acute at this stage. This new Energy enables the Client with the support of the Coach, to design an Action Plan which they will use to arrive at their desired outcome.
To assist with this the Coach holds the Client Accountable and makes sure that they feel supported and acknowledged throughout the Action process.
It is also essential to Celebrate the wins and achievements to further encourage the Client to carry on with their journey and for them to know that they are supported and appreciated in their endeavours.
The DANCE is not necessarily linear and certainly depending on the process needed for each individual Client, the Coach’s intuition needs to be well honed. Some of the process may need to be shelved for a while e.g. I believe in deep transformative work, Powerful Questions may be a bit daunting for a Client who is in the throes of strong emotion.
As Coaches we need to stand powerful yet gentle, steady yet flexible and many other seemingly opposite ways of being, all at the same time. The main thing being that the Client must feel safe, comforted, supported while being helped to be daring, unafraid and independent.
This is what EMPOWERMENT FOR LIFE is about.