A Coaching Model Created by Claudia Disco
(Expatriate Coach, UNITED STATES)
The life of the expat is filled with new discoveries, changes and challenges. It can be thrilling to discover another part of the world and learn about a new culture. On the other hand, all the changes, cultural differences and the distance from our family and friends can make us feel lonely and misunderstood.
My coaching aims at making the client reach their true potential and improve the quality of their life during any stage of an expatriation. This can be from the first stage of deciding to look for an expatriate assignment, moving on to another expatriate assignment, to returning home.
For me, as an expat, an important symbol of the expat’s journey is the suitcase. The suitcase and its contents are one of the few constant items throughout the different phases of expatriation. Our symbolical suitcase carries our identity, values and believes, and capabilities. Somewhere on our life’s journey we may discover that the suitcase has become difficult to carry. We might have forgotten about some precious memories we carefully packed away a long time ago. Or we realize our lightweight cabin suitcase has to be replaced with a supersized rolling suitcases to accommodate our growing family. Coaching can help you see things more clearly.
I have chosen the suitcase as a metaphor to explain what my coaching process looks like. Below the stages of my coaching model:
- Check-In: Do I want to check-in my suitcase?
- Destination: Having checked in your suitcase, let’s define the goal of your suitcase’s coaching journey.
- Identity: What is the story of your suitcase? What kind of suitcase is it and what are you carrying inside.
- Capacity, Capability and Reality: What is the capacity of your suitcase? What are its capabilities? Where is your suitcase now?
- Action, moving forward: Building on the previous stages, what action do you need to take to reach your goal?
Before starting the coaching sessions a discovery session will help clarify if the client wants to check in their suitcase. First of all, the coach and client will get to know each other better. Secondly, it is about demystifying what coaching is all about.
Finally, the client’s expectations will be discussed. The client is free to ask any questions about coaching and can decide afterwards if they want to pick up their suitcase and start the coaching journey.
Please note that everything the clients says remains confidential and that the client decides on the content of every sessions. It’s the client’s suitcase and the client decides where to take it, what compartments to open and what content to look at!
If the client wants to check-in their suitcase, we will start our journey through the 4 stages.
Let’s fill out your luggage ticket. This first stage of the coaching is to find out what your goal is. Where do you want your suitcase to go?
Definition of a luggage ticket (Wikipedia):
Bag tags, baggage tags, baggage checks or luggage tickets, have traditionally been used by bus, train, and airline carriers to route checked luggage to its destination.
The luggage ticket is typically handed to the passenger or attached to the ticket envelope:
a) to aid the passenger in identifying their bag among similar bags at the destination baggage carousel;
b) as proof—still requested at a few airports—that the passenger is not removing someone else’s bag from the baggage reclaim hall; and
c) as a means for the passenger and carrier to identify and trace a specific bag that has gone astray and was not delivered at the destination.
Let’s go get your suitcase and take a closer look at it. What kind of suitcase do you have? What does it look like on the outside? What is the story of your suitcase?
We are now gently going to open the suitcase and take a look what is inside. Is it full? Is it heavy? Are there any hidden compartments? Do you remember everything that you packed in your suitcase? Do you need to unpack or pack differently?
Remember, coaching has no space for judgments, it is all about the client and every suitcase is unique!
Capacity, Capability and Reality
How much or how little can you fit into your suitcase? What are the qualities of your suitcase? Does it have a hard shell and offer good protection for what’s inside? Where is your suitcase now? Is it on the maze of conveyor belts, lost in transit, turning circles on the luggage carrousel or has it been stored away somewhere in your home? You want to establish if your suitcase has what it takes to reach your destination. By knowing your suitcase you can evaluate if you are strong enough to carry it. You might need help from somebody else. Or maybe you are carrying somebody else’s suitcase?
Action, Moving Forward
During this final stage of the coaching all the pieces of the suitcase puzzle will fall into place! You might have gotten a new, revamped suitcase. Or you have become aware that your old suitcase is actually perfect for your journey. The client has an increased awareness of what their suitcase looks like, what is inside, and in what different ways it can get to the desired destination.
Once the client is comfortable with the suitcase and the direction, it is time to check-out of the coaching. The time has now come for the client to continue the journey by themselves.