A Coaching Model Created by Amy Strom
(Transformational Leadership Coach, UNITED STATES)
My clients are future, present, and past leaders at all levels across organizations, in all positions. They are successful individual contributors; they are someone who is moving into increasing responsibilities to leading others or who are currently in leading positions. I work with them to recognize in themselves their ability to lead others by working on L.E.A.D-ing themselves first. We work through the 4-step model of L.E.A.D. during our coaching sessions to put a plan together to develop and increase their own capabilities and achievements of the goals they are working on for themselves.
Listen Explore Awareness Do
Step 1. Listen
During the start of the session, focusing on actively listening to how clients are talking about their thoughts. Our thoughts can limit us without us consciously realizing it. We rely on our ideas and opinions to help make decisions, but these are not always the facts. And if we don’t stop and consider what other thoughts or facts may be happening at the same timing, we can start to accept thoughts as facts as we are thinking them and narrow our abilities, our options, and or future opportunities for ourselves. Our clients can limit their possibilities, make decisions based on thoughts that have a strong potential to be inaccurate and aren’t indeed the facts, they are only thoughts that they are treating as facts. Start with helping the client to listen to what they are saying and reflect on it rather than just saying it and moving past.
Step 2. Explore
In this step, the client is asked to explore their thoughts, assumptions, needs, wants, etc. They can take their thoughts and expand, examine, and change. Powerful questioning engages the clients to consider what else exists at this moment. Some examples:
- Explore their self-talk. Everything starts with their thoughts. What if you switched from saying I can’t do this to I can do this? What would you need to do to make it happen?
- Explore the positive. What do you do well? What do you enjoy experiencing? What could you do to have more of that in your work?
- Explore how they can continue to grow. What can you do to help yourself for future successes? In what ways do you enjoy learning? In what ways have you considered to increase your understanding of the situation? Who else could you ask for a different perspective?
During this exploration of the client’s comments, new thoughts, new learnings start to arise for the client. When the client is starting to emerge into this future possibility, they are ready to explore deeper into the new ideas, new ways of thinking about their situation. Their self-awareness has expanded and is ready to help shift them forward.
Step 3. Awareness
As the client starts to shift in their understanding of the subject, issue, thought, or situation they have brought to the session, ask them to continue to explore these new ideas. This awareness helps clients to see what is working for them and what isn’t. It helps empower the client to move to a growth mindset. They move forward to a positive appreciation for themselves and what they can do, they can redirect I can’t do this is what I can do. Talking out loud with a coach increases a client‘s listening skills to their inner voice. That voice is there, a running commentary of thoughts and opinions, observing and commenting on your current experiences. Speaking out loud helps the client to listen to themselves and can lead to an “Aha” moment as they hear what they are saying, they hear their thoughts as just that, thoughts/ideas/perceptions, not necessarily reality/fact. It is necessary to spend time with the client, having them reflect, clarify, define further, on what they are learning. When the client is ready, when they have that new forward-moving perspective, as a coach, you move your questions to help them think about and develop actions to achieve their goal for the session. They are ready for the last step, putting together the next steps and actions to their new/different awareness.
Step 4: Do
In this fourth step of the model, the client begins to articulate what they will start doing, what the next couple steps they can take. They make a plan to achieve their goal. They feel empowered to change and start designing actions they will implement. They can make lists, schedule dates, and plan out those that can support them in achieving their goal. Clients can leave the session with an action plan and the belief they can do it.
With this L.E.A.D model, they can gain confidence and build success in recognizing the value of listening and exploring their thoughts, being open to new/different/greater self-awareness, which they are then able to take actions and lead themselves forward to achieving their goals.