A Coaching Model Created By Dawn Waldron, Professional Coach, UNITED KINGDOM
- Seed – the vision, the blueprint -‐ it’s all inside
- Plant – the supporting structures are put in place
- Shoot – the signs of growth are carefully nurtured
- Flower – the work is successfully underway
- Fruit – the goal is reached Seed Plant Shoot Flower
Most clients come with an idea of what they want to achieve. As coaches, we know that most of what they need is already inside them waiting for the right moment to grow. The work is in refining the goal (peas or beans?), creating the vision, uncovering purpose and beliefs, and dealing with any tensions that get in the way of moving ahead. This leads to a plan a blueprint for what the client wants to achieve: the seed. Visualization may be important at this stage of the process.
The next stage is to prepare the ground. This may involve making space to focus on the goal, increasing nutrients and hydration, sleep, exercise or relaxation to create optimum conditions for growth. Unhelpful underlying beliefs are likely to surface or conflicts with other projects and relationships. Planting is about recognizing that growth does not occur automatically, it needs to be carefully thought out. New tools or skills may be required to ensure a successful outcome; re-framing, feedback for example. Other interests may need to be pruned to allow enough light into the scene at this stage to ensure that the goal is achievable.
It takes a little while after planting for the first shoots to show. During this time it will be important to keep to agreed routines and self-care plans to keep the conditions for growth optimal. As the sprouting leaves appear they are tender and delicate easily bruised and the right support and encouragement are vital. This is a time when commitments may be questioned, new UACs may surface along with doubts, delay, invalidation, etc. The power tools will be useful to get through this stage of the growth cycle.
The flowering stage takes a lot of energy. Everything is focused on the goal but it isn’t quite in sight. This is the time to look at where energy comes from, trusting the flow, and having a clear vision. Just as every flower is unique this is a good time to explore the wider implications of life purpose and integrity, intention, and motivation. In nature, fertilization is vital for the fruit to be produced. Mixing with other like-minded people and finding new sources of information and support, networking, and making new connections replicates this in the coaching model.
Only when all these processes have been completed can the fruit appear. And, crucially the fruit is a source of new seeds for future growth so a cycle of development is created.
In reality, the stages may not always take place in perfect succession just as we sometimes have long winters and early springs, or forget to do the weeding in time but the cultivate model is flexible enough to cope with this and a rich source of imagery and analogy to create interesting and illuminating coaching conversations.