A Coaching Model Created by Handan Ascioglu Ozel
(Life Coach – Empowering Women, Expat & Intercultural Coach, NLP Coach, ITALY)
(Goal > Intent > Focus/Future > Transition)
One of the most known coaching models is GROW (Goal > Options > Reality > Way Forward). This is a simple but very useful and powerful model. On the other hand for the results of the coaching to be sustainable, the coaches shall focus on the client, and shall coach WHO s/he is, but should not get stuck with the issue, getting lost in searching solution for the specific WHAT. Without getting stuck with WHAT but focusing coaching WHO the client is can be achieved only if we can look for deeper levels of awareness, about values, beliefs and intents. This means sometimes challenging the “goal” towards the intent or challenging the client to explore other goals that serve the same intent.
In this coaching model exploration of “goal” is ensured in a deeper level to check with the beliefs values. The steps with the related powerful questions are:
Goal > Intent > Focus/Future > Transition
The questions below are not considered as different options but a series of questions to explore the goal in a deeper level:
- What do you want to achieve? (Client probably initially expresses only the tip of the iceberg.)
- What are your objectives? (When asked after the previous questions challenges the client to go one level deeper, the client might answer with sub-goals, intermediary objectives to reach the main goal, or he/she might explore why she has that goal, in the sense of what it her objective, what does she wants to gain by reaching that goal)
- What else you want? (When asked as a secondary or even 3rd level question, it gives the client the space to think what else she might be want to achieve with this goal.. or any other related or deeper topics)
This step is the exploration of the beliefs values and life purposes that are related with the goal. A full exploration of those would be a separate work but here we look at them in relation to the goal/case in hand. As a result this clarifies the underlying intent of the client, so s/he can look at the possible actions without being stuck about the challenges to reach her initial goal but rather focusing on the intent. This might reveal that to reach her intent, the client may not need to have this specific goal but there can be other ways to realize that intent. One basis of this model is also the theory that most people have the best intentions but behaviours get in between. Thus finding the real intent which is probably more positive and motivating than the initial goal, the client can even choose different goals that better fit her values, or will better understand how her initial goal serves her values & life purpose. This way the client will be more motivated to reach those goals. Finding ways / solutions towards that more exciting new goal (or towards the same initial goal that looks more exciting now) will be easier for the client. It would be best to use few of the questions below together to explore the values, beliefs and the intent:
- What is important for you in this situation? (exploring values)
- What is bothering you in this case? (exploring beliefs and judgements)
- What benefit you might have reaching your goal? (the intent of the initial goal)
- How do you want to feel when you achieve a good result about this situation?
(To focus on the real intent, the question shall not refer the specific initial goal but broadly mention as “this situation”. This would encourage the client to move away from the specific WHAT of the goal to WHO s/he is? WHO does s/he want to be at the end? Thus client can explore the intent)
Once the intent is clear and the goal is confirmed/updated an alternative to the GROW model could be for a moment skipping the challenges of the reality perceived by the client, for the options currently seen by the client and instead focusing on the future, designing it, visualising it, looking at even indirect aspects of it. Compared with the GROW model, this could be seen as a very specific definition of the Goal but it has more elements from the Way Forward step of the GROW model. The concept of jumping from the Goal & Intent to the Future will set the client free of his/her current limitations and seeing challenges from the beginning. Instead when focusing on the future, defining the ultimate state, or even clarifying what is the good enough situation, the client might already work out the solution backwards from the desired state. Moreover while focusing on the future we can also explore the future after we reach the goal, to consider the sustainability. A combination of the below questions can be used. Coach shall try to catch the clues from the client`s selection of words on if s/he is a more visual or vocal or other sensory person, or a more feeling person, and selects the questions according to clients learning, sensing and communication style.
- What will you feel/hear/see/sense when you reach your goal.
- What will you have around you when you reach a good state about this case?
- What will be happening around you when you continue to live in this new state?
- Who will you have around you when you reach that point?
In most cases if in the previous steps the client can draw a very clear picture of the future, the way forward can already reveal itself as a gift, and this is the power of this model and why it is called GIFT.
- (On other cases when the way forward does not became clear then we refer to the middle steps of the GROW model. We can utilise the powerful questions related to those Reality > Options > Way Forward, before going to the transition details and the sustainability.)
However in each case the transition needs to be a structurally planned and the special attention shall also be given to plan the transition in a way that it will be sustainable. The questions below can be used:
- How confident do you feel about reaching your desired state?
- (If needed) what do you need to feel more confident about executing this transition?
- Once you reach your desired state what do you need to do to sustain it?
- What could be the cues to remind you your intent and preferred actions when you face this or similar other challenges again?
Overall as a symbol for this model I use the diamond in a wrapped box. Your goal is the box, it can be transparent to clearly show what the real intent is, but in most cases you will need to open the wrapped cover to see the diamond inside. Then just like a diamond, a goal with an appropriately deep level of awareness will reflect a clear sparkle. That clarity might already show you the way forward to realize that intent.