A Coaching Model By Catherine Schwab Wildi, Executive Coach, SWITZERLAND
The 5c’s Coaching for Women to Empower and Inspire Them to Thrive Through Change
My 5C coaching model aims to provide executive coaching for women and their allies to empower and inspire them to thrive through change by increasing their curiosity, embracing choices, gaining courage, and confidence to commit to getting ahead. My goal is to help my clients reach their fullest potential towards a more fulfilling work/life integration. During my 30 year-long career in the corporate world, across different geographies and cultures, I have mentored, trained, advised, and coached individuals, teams, and a significant number of women leaders to help them get ahead and position themselves for success.
Embracing change and seeing fresh challenges as opportunities is difficult for everyone. For women, it is especially hard because the hurdles to finding a career and life path that allows us to follow our passion and reach our potential are higher. It is challenging because “women have fewer role models in leading positions and because many women still face unconscious bias, pay inequity, lack of childminding solutions or family-friendly workplaces” (2), amongst other obstacles.“Often professional goals are intertwined with personal goals, as our lives influence our work, and vice versa”(4). It has been particularly visible during the Covid pandemic, which showcased “the extra burden women hold in caring for children and the home.” (2)
My focus is to support women and their allies, as I see allies as key enablers who can help women reach their highest potential. Allies can be partners, family, friends as well as “mentors, sponsors, managers, colleagues, peers and even staff who believe in a woman’s potential and find ways to help her gain confidence, visibility and recognition.”(2)
My model will support clients looking to unlock their professional and personal potential and who will need to embrace change and leave their comfort zone to do so. I will help them face and embrace the change ahead of them, help them understand what they want, and empower them to take these initial steps towards a more fulfilling work/life integration.
With this 5C coaching model, clients will learn to understand what is going on in their work/life, explore new possibilities, make inspired choices, dare to communicate with confidence, and commit to their goals. In addition, they will become more aware of their unique potential and will be able to identify ways to achieve their desired outcomes.
Asa coach, I will not tell my clients what to do nor give them guidance or advice. My clients are profoundly resourceful and responsible for their own choices. I will give my clients time and a safe space to talk about their beliefs, values, feelings, thoughts, ideas, and actions. I will also help them understand their goals and support them in identifying action plans and resources to facilitate change and take decisions.
The reasons for which clients are seeking help and what they will take away from coaching will be up to them, as only they know what they need to address to thrive through change. What they cover during sessions will depend on them, and I will support them on the journey as a coach.
For the coaching to be successful, the clients need to be willing and ready to be coached and open to self-discovery and personal growth.
The model consists of two parts:
- The 5c’s of Whatis in It for My Clients
- The Values I Will Honor That Underpin the Model
The 5c’s of What Is in It for My Clients
My clients aim to thrive and grow through change. However, they do not know how to begin thinking about their situation nor what to do. They are looking for support to help provide them with the clarity they need to identify the relevant path to move forward to where they want to be.
To start, I will partner with the clients to define the change they are looking to achieve and create clarity about the coaching relationship, process, goals, and plans.
I will help clients clarify their current situation vs. their desired outcome and encourage them to set realistic expectations based on that gap.
At the beginning of each session, clients will identify a specific topic related to their broader desired outcome and establish the goals and expected outcomes for the session.
Coaching will help my clients:
- Notice and embrace change as an opportunity versus a challenge
- Become aware of the change that they desire
- Be inspired and motivated to go beyond what they thought is possible
Through powerful questioning and delivery of appropriate feedback and observations, I will stimulate the clients’ curiosity to explore the gap between the current situation and the desired outcome.
I will help clients become aware of their broader potential and help them identify the shifts of thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and actions that will enable them to reach their objectives.
Through increased curiosity, clients will gain new knowledge and information, see challenges as opportunities, expand their creativity to identify new possibilities and ultimately learn and grow.
Through coaching, my clients will be encouraged to
- Open their mind to exploring new ideas and possibilities beyond current ways
- Engage in self-discovery and gain fresh perspectives
- “Look at challenges as opportunities rather than setbacks” (9)
- Shift their perceptions to learn, grow and get the results they desire
Once clients have discovered their objective and where they are now, they will need to find out how to get there.
Clients will explore all options in that stage and choose the most relevant one(s) for them, based on what matters to them. Coaching will help clients identify possible choices, consider alternatives, and make the most effective decisions to move forward.
Coaching will allow my clients to:
- Play with different options
- Find the inspiration
- Take responsibility for their relevant choices
In this stage, I will help clients shift their perspective from fear to courage to identify and choose steps and actions needed to move forward towards their goal.
I will help clients on their path, have them recognize their strengths, passions, knowledge, skills, and identify resources that could support them in gaining courage and confidence to pursue the actions they have pinpointed. There will be an emphasis on actions as “action is the path to growth, learning, self-esteem, and confidence.”(5)I will also help them gain awareness for potential obstacles that are hindering their progress and help them identify ways to help remove them.
Coaching will allow my clients to:
- Believe in themselves
- Recognize their strengths
- Take action and forward movement
- Learn by doing
Once clients understand their choices and dare to make a decision, I will nudge them to commit to action and focus on the solution(s).
I will partner with clients to make commitments, help them hold their promises to themselves, and discuss ways to enhance their accountability to reach their goals.“A suggestion for action becomes a commitment once the specifics are tied down.”(5)
Coaching will allow clients to:
- Commit and engage on the journey with clear steps and timelines
- Follow-through & persevere to reach the desired outcome
- Monitor their progress and results
- Own their success
The Values I Will Honor That Underpin the Model
The following values I will offer my clients underpin the 5C coaching model:
- Trust in my clients and their resourcefulness
- Trust in the coaching process
- Mutual trust to reach the objectives
- Clients define the journey, and the coach is the guide
- Clear, open& transparent communications
- Each client is unique, free to make their own decisions
- Respected as a person
- Inclusive & equitable
- Ethical standards & support
- Mutually agreed on rules of the relationship
- Present and hold safe space for clients without judgment
- Actively listening to the entire person
- Encouraging and acknowledging clients’ work
- Sensitive to what clients are going through and are aiming to achieve
- Care and passion for helping professional women & their allies find their path and maximize their potential
- Curious, responsive, and with a genuine interest in my clients
The 5C model underpinned by the THRIVE values will help empower and inspire my clients, who would like to leave their comfort zone, embrace change, gain courage and confidence, and maximize their potential. Using this model, I will help them thrive through change towards a more fulfilling work/life integration.
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Harvard Business Review. Coaching for Change.
I’m Busy Being Awesome. 5 Benefits of Being Curious – I’m Busy Being Awesome