A Coaching Model Created by Monica Matei
(Life Coach, BELGIUM)
Introduction Into the conTrust Coaching Model
The conTrust Coaching model can be applied in Transformative Coaching and Life Coaching. The model’s assumption is that clients are experiencing inner tensions that sometimes limit or hold them back from achieving their desired goals. The inner tensions can be looked as any apparent conflicting thoughts, feelings or actions within one’s life. The coach facilitates the clients’ identification of unconscious patterns of resistance and support them transform these into inner freedom.
The conTrust Coaching Model is thus a self-empowering and transformational process that would accompany clients to free themselves from painful tensions and support them embracing inner CONTRASTS with TRUST, as constructive forces. This goes along with the second assumption of the model, that clients are able to successfully accomplish their desired goals, only when they reach the inner shift, through which they build their readiness.
Philosophy of the Title
- conTrust – read as “contrast.” Contrast represents the central concept of the Coaching Model. Contrast refers to the inner tensions clients experience at a certain point in time due to apparent conflicts among their own beliefs, values and/or behaviors. The Coaching Model underlines the tendency of people to interpret the inner tensions (inner contrasting) as something negative. They would automatically embark in a process of inner reconciliation, to make the tension disappear. The conTrust Coaching Model facilitates the clients’ path towards a life where inner contrasts are accepted or embraced.
- conTrust – as in the Italian language “con” means “with,” therefore read as “with Trust.” Trust plays an important role in the Coaching Model. Clients are inspired to believe in themselves, but more importantly to believe in their inner conflicts (contrasts) as great catalysts (fuel) for moving forward. The Coaching Model would gently challenge clients to look at all contrasting elements as complementary aspects to their harmonious personality and co-create with reality new cognition and behaviors that would
The conTrust Coaching Model – Visual
The model suggests the path clients follow in their process of self-transformation, starting from a place of inner contrasts (tensions, doubts and conflicts) towards a place of self-trust (empowerment and love). Along the way, clients get through 11 stages of transformation, each stage representing a step stone for the final outcome. The transformative process is visually suggested by the color progression from blue to green. Symbolically, “CON” becomes the root for all verbs or nouns that describe the stages of the caching process (ex: CONvictions, CONfrontation etc.).
Conversation – Coaching space, ICF Code of Ethics
At this primary stage the coach initiates the coaching dialogue, the coach invites the client in the safe and confidential space of coaching, where the client shares the main goals to be addressed through the coaching process. Mutual expectations are expressed and a comfortable and trusted conversation is set up, in agreement with the ICF Code of Conduct.
- What is important for you to accomplish during the coaching process?
- How would you know you got there?
- What are your expectations of the coaching process?
- How do you want to begin this work?
- What approaches most motivate you? etc.
Convictions – Current beliefs, values, thoughts
The coach explores the client’s reality: story, goals and how the client relates to the inner and outer world. The client gets through a “mind mapping” exercise, where the coach plays the sounding board (mirror) for the client’s reality. This is the point where the initial goals might be revised and reconfigured as per client’s new awareness.
- What is your story?
- What is your perspective on the world?
- What are your most fundamental motivations in life?
- When do you feel your best self with yourself? With others? In the world?
- What activities have meaning and heart for you?
- In the best of all possible worlds, what would be your ultimate wish?
- Is you really dared to formulate your deepest hopes, what would you say?
- What do you really want from yourself in the near future? etc.
Confrontation – Client’s readiness
At this stage the coach challenges the client’s intrinsic motivation to reach the desired goal(s). The client is invited to look at own skills, strengths and possibilities to accomplish those goals. This is a moment of strong reinforcement of client’s potential and reasons for change.
- What is the meaning of having this goal?
- What makes this issue so important to you?
- Whose grid are you filling by doing this?
- Who do you need to become to reach that goal?
- What will you have if you accomplish this? How would life change?
- What are the qualities that you generally recognize in yourself?
- What are the five skills that people you know usually see in you?
- What are your options to move forward?...etc
Contemplation – Awareness of inner tension
The coach looks at any values, beliefs and intentions of the client that are demonstrated during the coaching conversation. The coach serves also to facilitate mental disruption and send the client spinning in a different orbit, away form obvious certitudes. The client, thus gains awareness about what actually keeps him/her back, what causes inner resistance, about conflicting beliefs, values or any discrepancy between intentions, feelings and actions.
- What values does this issue relate to?
- What belief(s) is behind this way of thinking?
- What this feeling/behavior say about you?
- What is the obvious common denominator to your all apparentlly different beliefs?
- How are all your different thoughts really similar in essence?...etc
Consensus – New empowering cognition
The coach accompanies the client to identifying new empowering beliefs, thoughts and language patterns (build new cognition) that could shift the client from attempting to reduce inner tension to embracing it within the client’s harmonious personality (Power Tool – Divergence Vs. Complementarity). This stage is about reorganization of feelings, meanings, understanding, and finding the emotional balance.
- What could you do to feel more aligned in your thoughts, feelings and actions?
- What are some thoughts that you can create for yourself to connect to your inner harmony?
- How those beliefs are in complementarity with your entire being?
- What would be a supporting feeling that would make the process a smooth and enjoyable downhill slide?
- What new language (words) can you put in place to ensure that you don't invalidate yourself anymore?
- What are some new perceptions you can install for yourself to keep you away from self-justifying? etc.
Construct – Experiment new cognition
At this stage, the coach supports the client to co-create with reality. The client creates new possibilities, chances, opportunities that the new cognition system can be manifested. It implies visualization and imaginary scenarios where the client experiments how it feels to exercise the new empowered thoughts, feelings and language patterns.
- How does it look a day when you accept your actions free of judgment?
- What is the color, shape, smell of that freedom?
- How does it feel like when you don't diagnose your actions as "divergent," "inconsistent" or "dissonant?"
- How would you go around this if you were as light as a feather?
- What would you see about yourself if you were dancing in the clouds?
- What is the most enjoyable aspect about this?
- If you were feeling resourceful, how might you look at your actions, intentions?
- How does your body feel when you are at your highest potential? etc.
Consecrate – Commitment for change
The coach encourages the client to remain in the feeling of empowerment by reinforcing the new patterns. The client commits for changing mindset (cognition), and thus for adopting the new patterns of language, thinking and feeling towards a more empowered behavior in the future.
- What are you ready to commit to?
- How will this new mindset (cognition) support your final goal(s)?
- What message would you like to record for yourself so that you can replay it each time you need it?
- What do you want other people know about your new intent?
- What do you feel about your new understanding? Does it look/feel right to you?
- How do you feel about your new mindset? Do you want to keep it?
- Are you ready to commit for it?
- How can you keep yourself accountable for this commitment? etc.
Constellations – Supporting structures
The coach guides the client to create structures (supporting system) that will sustain the new pattern of feelings and thoughts (new cognition). Also the coach checks with the client how the new mindset supports his/her goal(s). Moreover, the coach guides the client to work out a plan of action.
- What things can you bring into your routine to support this new attitude?
- What do you need to change in your behavior to reach that shift?
- What structures have you used in the past that helped you adopt a new attitude?
- What would be a feasible plan for you to keep yourself focused and motivated?
- What's missing in the plan that once it is included, will make the process flow?
- What do you want to let go of to allow this intention to be achieved? How can you make it stronger?
- How would you measure, evaluate your progress during the way? etc.
Condition – New attitudes, behaviors
This stage is about how not to fall back into the old patters of thinking, feelings and action. The coach accompanies the client to create preventive responses to any trigger that might push the client back from moving forward. The client decides not only the response, but the behavior he/she wants to manifest if “that X” happens ( Neuro Associative Conditioning theory).
- What would you like to behave if an old pattern comes back?
- How would you fight back?
- How would you keep interrupting the limiting pattern as it occurs?
- What can you create a response approach to your environment instead of reactive ones?
- Imagine/Visualize the scenarios that trigger the empowering patterns. What are already your responses?
- How can you condition your new patterns? Any associative thoughts, words, action?
- What are some thoughts you can run on and on to help you reinforce the new mindset (new cognition)? etc.
Conversion – Full transformation
The coach acknowledges the client’s shift and facilitates his/her understanding of own evolution. The coach guides the client to gain full awareness of how that shift will support the final goal(s), also the coache checks on the client’s feelings regarding any reminiscence of resistance (conflicting thoughts, feelings, actions). This is the moment when the client experience full Self-TRUST and empowerment.
- How have you enjoyed practicing the new behaviors?
- What are some main challenges you were facing to make that shift?
- What do you find amazing about yourself in this transformative process?
- Which kind of support would you further need to sustain that shift?
- What are some new things you learnt about yourself?
- How the new set of patterns would lead you to achieving the final goals?
- How would you grade your self trust, now at the completion of this process?
- How do you perceive the inner tension? Is there any painful tension (contrasting feelings etc) anymore? etc.
Congratulate – Celebration of goal(s)
The coach celebrates together with the client the magic moment of reaching the final goal(s). This is a powerful moment, where the coach acknowledges the client and facilitates the expending of his/her happiness and accomplishment.
- How does it feel to have your goal(s) realized?
- What are the main sensations your body feels at the excitement of reaching your outcome?
- How do you celebrate your accomplishment?
- What makes part of your happiness?
- Who can you share your success with?
- How can you maintain and nurture the feeling of self trust?
- How do you own your success? But your self-trust, self-love?
- How do you feel your energies flowing?
- How can you keep yourself in this magical cocoon of full empowerment and trust? etc.
The 11 stages of the conTrust coaching Model would unfold of a period of several coaching sessions. Clients need time to understand, create and exercise the new empowering cognition, and ultimately to internalize the new behavioral patterns. Only when they had adopted a new empowering way of thinking and responding to the outer and inner reality, they would be ready to accomplish their initial goals.
As this is a transformative and life coaching process, the experience can vary form client to client. Nevertheless, the coach accompanies clients along this path, and gently leads them to experiencing inner shifting each at their own peace. Same stages can be returned to until the client gets ready to move forward to the upper level. Therefore, the coaching model allows flexibility for the client and coach to adjust the process as per the client’s needs, however the coaching stages are all required and the lack of any of them could jeopardize the final outcome (the client’s desired goals).
Neuro Associative Conditioning Theory, from:
Inner Freedom ™ Method, from:
Power Tool: Divergent Vs. Complementarity, student Monica Matei, August 2014
Robert Hargrove, Masterful Coaching, John Wiley & Sons, 2008