A Coaching Model Created by Andrea Bruns
(Life Coach & Career Coach, GERMANY)
My C.A.R.E. coaching model is a four-stage framework that helps me to have a structured approach in my coaching sessions. It also allows me to keep my coaching style flexible and client-focused at all times. It is important that the coach guides only the process by asking open-ended, non-leading questions and the client always needs to hold the agenda and drive the content. The coach must be entirely nonjudgmental in every stage. In comparison to other coaching models like the GROW Model, my coaching model arises with an earlier stage. It indicates the importance of creating a relationship between the coach and the client. Each coaching relationship needs to be client-designed to meet the particular needs of the client. Therefore, the first phase in my coaching module is called “Creating Relationship”. Every client is different and wants to be coached in a different way, has different values and perceptions. By discovering this at an early stage the coach is able to focus from the very beginning on the whole person and how to best support the client. This is the foundation to create a good relationship where trust, openness and a safe space are established for the client. Through a good relationship, the best possible outcome for the client can be achieved.
Creating a Relationship:
The client is the focus and center of everything in coaching. The power of coaching resides in the relationship between coach and client. It is important that the client feels safe and supported in the coaching session. Here are some aspects for creating a relationship between coach and client to best support and empower him or her.
After confirming confidentiality it is very important that coach and client discuss strategies for working together and what will make the relationship as effective as possible for the client.
The Coach can ask the following questions:
- How can I best work with you?
- What are you looking for in a coach?
- How do you want to be coached?
- How can I best challenge you?
Also the coach should ask for permission to challenge the client and hold him or her accountable.
Creating a good relationship also involves discovering the necessary background and other personal information that will be useful during the coaching.
The coach may ask the following questions:
- What are main areas of focus you want to bring to the coaching?
- What are you passionate about?
- Who are the most important people in your life?
- What brings you great satisfaction in your life?
- What motivates you to action?
- How have you created change in the past? What worked?
- Look forward 20 years: You are attending an event where someone is giving a speech about you! What would you want them to say?
In this stage, where the foundation is set and trust is established it is also advisable to help the client to identify his or her values. When the client is aware of his values it can help him through the whole coaching progress. It can support him to understand obstacles that are preventing or limiting progress or guide him to make decisions aligned with his own values. To make a decision based on the clients top values will always be a fulfilling one.
Possible questions to help the client to identify his values could be:
- What is present, when life is most alive for you?
- What is essential in life for you?
- What is important in life for you?
- How do you honor these values from 1 to 10? (1 = value is not present at all in your life; 10 = you honor this value completely at all time)?
By clustering and measuring the client’s values he or she can be self-aware of what is stopping him or her from honoring certain values and what would it take to honor them more.
There are many exercises and visualizations that can also help identifying the client’s values.
Assessing the Goal:
The second stage of my coaching model is to identify and clarify the goal the client wants to achieve. It is extremely important that the coach listens carefully to the client’s words, asking the right questions and challenge the client to go deeper. That helps the client to identify what they truly want to accomplish.
Questions to define the goal can be:
- What would you like to focus on today?
- What would you like to achieve by the end of the session?
- What would that look like?
- What is important about your goal?
- How will you know you have achieved your goal?
- What would be different if you accomplish your goal?
- What will reaching your goal look like?
- On a scale from 1 to 10...where are you now?
In this third stage the coach supports the client to become aware of the current situation, to determine how far he or she is away from his or her goal and explore with the client the options for reaching his goal. The coach needs to consider that there might be an underlying belief like „I am not good enough“, or „I am stupid“ etc., that might be an obstacle. In this case the coach should help the client to be aware and must support him or her to detect and name the underlying belief. By detecting and naming it, it is possible for the client to reveal any underlying beliefs that may drive his or her behaviour.
Questions regarding the exploration of the current situation could be:
- What is the situation that you are currently in? Where are you now?
- What have you done so far?
- What is working well?
- What do you still need to do to reach your goal?
- What are some challenges with this situation?
- Is there anything slowing your progress?
- What do you think is holding you back?
- What are the obstacles here?
After exploring the current situation, the client can explore the options for reaching the goal:
Questions for exploring options:
- What could you do to reach your desired outcome?
- What might be some approaches you can take to reach your goal?
- What will it take to get you there?
- How does it feel to be there?
- What can you bring in from past successes?
- What haven’t you tried yet?
- What if this obstacle was removed?
- What structures are in place to help you?
The last stage of the model is to generate commitment. The client needs to formulate from his thoughts a plan of action to achieve his or her goal. The action plan should be detailed, showing specific action steps and when each step has to be done. The coach’s support is to ask the client certain questions to hold him accountable?
It is useful to ask the following questions:
- What actions are necessary to achieve your goal?
- What will you do?
- What actions can you take right away?
- By when will you do this?
- When will it be done?
- How will I know?
- What else will you do?
- Who do you need to involve?