A Coaching Model Created by Wiebke Kleine
(Life Coach, GERMANY)
Frank O’Connor, the Irish writer, tells in one of his books how, as a boy, he and his friends would make their way across the countryside, and when they came to an orchard wall that seemed too high and too doubtful to try and too difficult to permit their voyage to continue, they took off their hats and tossed them over the wall–and then they had no choice but to follow them. John F. Kennedy in his speech at the Dedication of the Aerospace Medical Health Center, San Antonio, Texas, November 21, 1963.
It all starts with commitment: When you throw your hat over the wall you are committing to getting it back. Sometimes, people can be stuck for several reasons. Often, this can be fear; fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, etc.
When you are fully committed to getting your hat back and you throw it over the wall you start a momentum. Now, it is about finding out how to get the hat back. Or how to get oneself over the wall to the hat.
First step: Commitment to a decision / an action
- Where am I now? à Status quo
- Where is the hat? à Goal
- What do I need to do to get to the hat? à Strategy / Structures
- When do I want to get my hat back? à Time
- Who can help me getting the hat back? à Resources
The wall is my obstacle and is a constant reminder that no 3. (Strategy / Structure), no 4. ((in what) Time) and no 5. (Resources) can play a role in order to overcome the obstacle and to get from no1 (Status quo) to no 2 ((my) Goal).
It can help to just throw it over the wall, without too much thinking. And then figuring it out how to accomplish what I committed to do. It is interesting what solutions can present themselves when I make the commitment first.
I usually struggle with decisions. I toss and turn the positives and the negatives for ages, weigh up every option possible and end up feeling drained and tired and even more indecisive. So, I am very good at procrastinating with decisions. All the while my energy gets zapped in the background. However, I have experimented with a different approach in the past. When faced with important decisions, I have just thrown the hat over the wall. And this created a momentum that I needed to propel me into action. This has left me feeling energized and alive. It also set free a creativity that I have never experienced with my “toss and turn” approach of decision-making.
Thus, my coaching model comes from my personal challenge of making decisions. Having tried a different approach, I am deeply committed to walk my clients through the approach I have gone through and support them along the way. Questions I would ask my clients are:
- What are you fully committed to?
- Where are you now? / What is your present situation?
- Where would you like to be? / What is your goal?
- By what time would you like to reach your goal?
- What do you need to do to get to where you would like to go? / What do you need to do to get to your goal?
- What strategies / structures need to be in place to reach your goal?
- Who or what can support you in reaching your goal?
- What obstacles can come in the way of your goal? What will you do to overcome these obstacles?
Throw your hat over the wall will be my guiding force and I will refer back to it when needed. After all, these are the words, which J.F. Kennedy used to commit to society that man will travel to Moon. And there was no way back after he first uttered these words in 1963.