A Coaching Model Created by Victoria Vakova
(Career Coach, BULGARIA)
There is now a wealth of literature on coaching as a way to facilitate the learning and performance of clients. And I believe all coaches never stop searching for ways to improve their own learning and performance.
There are also many books describing effective coaching models yet a few encourage us coaches to develop our own approach which is based on our own unique features and strengths.
Whereas coaching helps clients, coaching models help both clients and coaches. Coaching is defined by many as a dynamic interaction between client and coach which facilitates learning, development and performance of both the client and the coach. So an easy to follow, authentic and consistent model allows both sides to get the maximum value out of the coaching relationship.
A lovely suggestion on how to understand and approach the development of own coaching model is provided by Lennard (2010) who states the following:
- Coaching models are tools for coaches.
- Cultural factors influence coaching beliefs and practices.
- There is no one right way to coach.
- Coaches learn and coaching models evolve.
- Start from where you are.
What’s a model?
A model is an intellectual device that highlights the key elements of a process and their interrelationships. It can be visual or verbal. A model includes whatever elements the developer considered most essential and eliminates others. Lennard (2010)
Coaching models help us understand the coaching relationship from a process perspective, and to understand the need for “structure” in the interaction with our clients. It simplifies and clarifies the complexities of coaching. However, although models create a system within which coach and client work, I believe they should not be prescriptive or rigid. The models evolve and develop with us, so it is a continuous improvement process coaches are committed to.
Despite the wide variety of coaching models presented in the literature, all share common themes relative to the process. They usually begin with establishing a relationship or partnership that is built on trust, honest communication, and confidentiality. Then common to all models is the definition and agreement of client goals, with or without an official contract stating the agreed upon expectations. It is during this phase that emphasis is placed on the client’s agenda in relation to their personal and professional development. Once goals have been clearly defined, all models imply a phase in which insight development and/or action learning occurs. In general, most models strive to foster accountability and commitment toward self-initiated change and continued growth.
In the efforts of creating own coaching model I found it useful to examine the variety of ways practitioners approach coaching, for example:
- Timothy Galway’s Inner Game Model
- John Whitmore’s GROW Model
- Mary Beth O-Neills System Approach to Coaching
- Bruce Peltier’s Psychological Orientation to Executive Coaching
- Hunt and Weintraub’s Developmental Coaching Model
- Zeus and Skiffington’s Team Coaching Model
- George Renwick’s Approach to Coaching Global Executives
- Douglas Silsbee’s Septet Coaching Model
My coaching model– The Five D’s
I have tried to follow the common structure of a coaching model and embed the founding milestones in the process to support the achievement of desired outcomes for both client and coach. My goal was to ensure the model reflects the ICF competencies and simultaneously incorporates my own values and strengths in order to ensure it is authentic. The fourth competency (Coaching presence) is blended throughout the model in order to maintain and further develop the relationship with the client and reach a greater level of mutual trust and respect.
Dare to – connect/trust your partner/assess reality
This step of the model is based on the first two segments of the coaching competencies: Setting the Foundation and Co-Creating the Relationship. The main focus is building rapport with the client, creating a safe, supportive environment that produces ongoing mutual respect and trust. This step also aims to establish the coaching agreement and assess the reality or what is it exactly that the client wants to tackle.
Deep dive – raise client’s awareness/to explore own values/search for experience and example/inspirational ideas
In this step the accent is placed on active listening, understanding what is said in the context of the client desires, understanding the meaning and support self-expression which leads to raised awareness. It targets exploring own values, experiences and inspirational ideas, integrating and accurately evaluating multiple sources of information that will deepen client’s awareness
and thereby achieve agreed-upon results (competencies №5 Active listening and №8 Creating awareness).
Dream – positive change/desired future state or outcomes
This step is based mainly on competencies №6 Powerful Questioning and №7 Direct Communication which are to be blended with power tools in order to challenge client’s perspective, nurture positive change and visualize desired future state or outcomes which will be most beneficial to the client.
Design – client’s action plan/road map/approach
This step is about planning and goal setting, about designing and structuring an action plan, road-map or approach that will most effectively lead to agreed-upon coaching results (competencies №9 Designing actions and №10 Planning & Goal setting).
Do – execute/learn/follow up
The final step of the process stresses mainly on the last competence namely Managing Progress & Accountability. The client’s attention is focused on taking real actions, triggering reflection process & discussion of learning while ensuring he/she is taking full responsibility for the execution of the designed plan.
Of course, I believe it will evolve with my own personal and professional growth as this model represents and reflect my current level of knowledge and experience related to coaching.
Thank you, ICA for encouraging us students to explore a variety of models and for triggering the development of our own model. I personally believe that knowledge is power. The more understanding of available models the more intelligent and well-grounded our choices will be.
Thank you Maria Tsangaridou, my peer coach, for facilitating and supporting me in the development of the model as it is presented in the pages above.
So in brief, as suggested by Stout-Rostron (2009) the journey we are taking our clients through is simply represented through our models. They encompass what both us and our clients bring to the coaching conversation, namely our skills, experiences, strengths and expertise.
Lennard, D. (2010). Coaching Models: A Cultural Perspective. A guide to model development for practitioners and students of coaching, p. 139
Stout-Rostron, S. (2009). Business Coaching International: Transforming individuals and organizations (The professional coaching series), 1st edition, p. 118