A Coaching Model Created by Moraima Ferradas Reyes
(Life Coach, PERU)
I have chosen the acronym E.M.B.R.A.C.E. because I think embracing is what I do, it is how I live, and hopefully, how I coach. I embrace life and I see myself supporting people in their journey towards embracing it themselves.
Niche wise, I feel close to my heart the idea of helping people make the most of life, embrace it, create and deal with change, whatever this change is. Change of countries, of cultures, of situations, of career, just help people change their life for the better, or embrace those changes that came unexpectedly. Help them make their life look more like the life they dream to live or help them reframe their perspective so they can see their life in a better light. All these regardless of where they live or where they come from and what their cultural background is.
So, this is my model. It applies to the coaching process in general and to the coaching session in particular. It aims to be a road map for me to follow during the coaching journey. As with every road map, it is flexible. It will adapt to the clients’ needs in a given session, he or she will decide how to drive through it.
As a visual representation, I have chosen to include a smiley heart as I think every answer and action forward in the coaching process has to come from the heart and because the willingness to actually embrace life and its changes (or the changes we create) have to come from there as well. The smile is because for me a real, honest smile can say a lot, and it can show optimism, positive thinking, true happiness and fulfillment. For me, a smile represents the openness and willingness to embrace life. I love to smile.
Because this is who I am, I tend to get “close” to people. That is my style, that is how I am and that is what works for me and my clients and what makes them open up to me and feel safe. A friendly environment is what I want to build for my clients, a warm space where they can feel free to talk with confidence and knowing that I am there for them and they can trust me.
Make expectations clear!
This is where I explain what coaching is and what is not. How the client is in charge of the process but also what her/she can and can not expect from me. Also, what I expect from him/her. Which are the rules in general. We will also explore what the client is expecting. We will make our own rules as well.
Become aware of the goal and of the current status
Here we would explore the goal that the client has for the coaching process and for the specific session. The use of “becoming aware” is intentional. Sometimes the client is not completely aware of what its goal really is. We will explore its stated goal to make sure it is really what he is aiming at. We need to go deeper, trying to help the client find out why is this goal important to make sure there isn´t an “underlying goal” that he or she may be missing. Creating self-awareness is a key part of this part of the model. In this part we may go as deep as to explore the client´s purpose and values, to make sure that he is aware of whether the stated goal is aligned or not with them.
Being clear about what the client´s current situation is is also very important. It is crucial to know the “where we are” in order to plan the route towards the “where we want to be”. Analyzing where (and why) we are now is also helpful to see previous behaviors and patterns that may be helpful or damaging to the client´s journey.
We will also discuss how we are going to get to this goal, how are we going to measure our progress, when and how are we going to know that we are getting closer. We will define small, measurable goals that we can celebrate during the process and that will keep the client in action and energized during the whole journey.
Reflect on the possibilities and opportunities
Once we know the destination and where we are departing from, we need to think about the journey and the different streets and routes we can take to get to our goal. It is crucial to give enough importance to the journey itself, to the steps we will be taking, to all of them, so the client can learn from all of them and celebrate them. It is also key to see the different routes we can take in order to let the client know that there are always different possibilities to get to the goal.
Opportunities are also going to be explored here. Help the client see there are opportunities that may not be apparent is very important to help him reframe his perspective on the obstacles that may lay before him or on the different possible ways to get to the goal. Obstacles may stop looking like that to resemble more a challenge that the client might be willing to take. Here is where the client hopefully will start embracing his situation, his life.
Actions and Accountability
At this stage the client establishes the action plan, both for the long term goal and for the specific session´s goal. We will also discuss whether the client wants to be held accountable by me, if he will need me to do some follow up in between sessions. We will explore different structures that could help the client move forward as well as those structures that may be getting in the way. We will explore any available support network available. We will also reflect on potential obstacles that may arise and that the client may already be aware of, so we can work on possible strategies to overcome them.
Check on the progress
As in any action plan, things are not written in stone, there is always room for flexibility and change. After all, this is the big purpose of my model, to help the client be able to adapt and embrace change, isn´t it? Even the most committed of clients may get stuck or day to day life may get in the way. We will revisit the action plan (and even the goals and priorities) whenever is necessary in order to help the client reassess and always move forward.
Evaluation and Take Aways
Feedback is of great importance to me. Know how to be better at what I do and how I can better serve the client is a must of my model. One thing I have learned during my journey is that it is OK to not know and to admit it if necessary. I want the client to feel free to give me feedback and comment on what tools I use work better for them.
Not only that, I also want to know my clients´ take aways from each session and from the coaching process. This will help me learn to know them better and understand their needs. They might not even notice but just sharing their take aways c8oan say a lot about where they need the most support.