A Coaching Model Created by Anamaria Ciobanu
(Career Coach, ROMANIA)
Empowerment increases the capacity of individuals and groups to make choices and transform those choices into effective actions and outcomes (World Bank definition).
This coaching model is applied in the context of a transformation process of an organization helping individuals (employees) to get into a state of mind of self- and relationship awareness and management and have their intentions and behaviours aligned with their values and beliefs.
The EMPOWER coaching model is built around the belief that the empowerment is about making a shift in individuals’ perspective, which only occurs through self- & relationship awareness.
Below are described the steps of the model.
Engagement and goal setting
In this section, the coach will establish a coaching relationship with the client and will clarify the goals the client has for the coaching session.
It is important to use open-ended questions that invite the client to describe what s/he is aiming at, what is the expected outcome of the session (e.g. more clarity in thoughts, an action plan, a better feeling about situation, a trigger to self-awareness, underlying beliefs etc.) and how the success of the section will be measured. In this respect, the coach could invite the client to measure her/his current status of what s/he wants to achieve and set a goal for the session regarding the level s/he wants to reach.
Example of the tools the coach could use in this section: Wheel of life and Visualization
Meaning and self-awareness
In order to achieve any transformation or shift in perspective, the client will need to have more awareness about her/his values, vision, beliefs, internal drivers, norm/ moral, feelings/ emotions, underlying beliefs. In this state of mindfulness, the client will bring to light ways of thinking that may have been automatic or overlooked in the past and the feelings/ emotions/ assumptions associated with them.
The type of questions that open the door to self-awareness are those that make the client think to what is important for her/him in setting and reaching the goal for the session, what is motivating her/him, what is bothering her/him at the current situation and what are the feelings/ emotions that s/he is experiencing, which are the assumptions s/he is making about the current situation, what is opening for her/him in the current situation, what are the challenges that s/he is facing in the current situation, what s/he can (not) control in this situation and what are the feelings s/he has, what is/are the root(s) of the problems s/he is identifying, what makes her/him believe that what is facing is a problem, what means for her/him an ideal state of affairs and what is behind her/his need to get into this state.
Present situation and gap identification
Presenting the current situation will help the client to better understand what drives her/his reactions, feelings and emotions, assumptions. This section of the model is in close relation with the later and the questions might go back and forth from the current situation to the meanings associated with what is happening.
What is also important in this section is to identify the gap between the current situation and the ideal (or optimal) state the client wants to achieve. In analyzing the gap questions and answers that may arise, the client could clarify what is important for her/him in achieving that ideal (optimal) state, what is beneficial for her/him in that state, what is staying in the way of achieving that state, what is in her/his control, what are the resources s/he needs to get into that state.
Visualization and appreciative inquiry could be helpful tools for lifting the energy of the client by describing the prospective ideal (optimal) state and with what it comes for her/him personally and professionally, the strengths s/he has and can be used to build this prospective optimal state. With the state of mind and emotions generated by the visualization of the prospective optimal state, the client can identify the paths that can lead her/him there. The milestones of the journey can be identified with the help of open questions that refer to what the client sees important to achieve in order to get into the optimal state. ‘What else’ questions will help the client to better clarify what prospective optimal state implies for her/him.
Observe your relationships
Given the fact that empowerment is also related to what is the foundation of the client interactions with others, this section will have the purpose to get the client into awareness of what are the values, beliefs, limiting assumptions, roles s/he is having in relations with the others.
Emotional intelligence (EI) will play an active role in identifying what drives the client’s emotions in relation to the others and understanding her/his feelings and of others. EI related questions will direct client’s attention to what expectations s/he has from others, what drives these expectations, what are the reasons behind these expectations, what understanding s/he gets from how the others respond/ react, what are the assumptions s/he is making about the others’ responses/reactions, what is beneficial (or not) in her/his readings of others’ reaction, what can s/he control in expressing her/his emotions, what it opens for her/him when understanding the emotions of the other/ feelings/ reactions.
Work on your limiting assumptions and beliefs
By using NLP and Visualization tools the client is invited to envision the future self in the optimal prospective state s/he described in the previous section and have an inside-out view of this other self that s/he can imagine, embrace and embody today.
Through a set of powerful questions, the client is invited to speak about how would be the prospective state for the future self, how it would feel, taste, sound, touch like and what will be the behaviour and language, perspectives and beliefs of the future self in that state. This will move the client into that new reality, by creating a bridge to that reality now.
Energize and create the future
This section will bring the client in the state of creating the future s/he wants to live in by identifying what can be generated through the new state of mind and awareness.
The goal of the section is now checked in terms of realization and measures of success. The positive shift in the energy of the client will be levered by forwarding an action plan based on what s/he wants to achieve and what it comes to her/his mind that is in her/his control to create, to develop and to grow personally and professionally. It will also be checked which are the resources that the client needs to support the actions plan realization and a timeline for the actions that follow.
Reflection upon realization and accountability
In this section, the client is invited to reflect on what worked well for her/him until now and with the new awareness s/he built what are the new ways that can be used to get the desired results. What will hold the client accountable for getting the results s/he wanted? If necessary, the initial timeline set for the action plan is revised to allow flexibility in implementing the plan. The new insights regarding the obstacles in applying the plan will be new opportunities for the client to have a new awareness about her/himself. The coaching journey is made for the client to enjoy the road and have the desired outcome by walking the steps of empowerment.