A Coaching Model Created by Dina Kassymbekova
(Life Coach, MACEDONIA)
What is coaching? What is at its heart?
I found myself asking these questions and giving different answers over the course of my training.
At first, I thought that coaching is all about helping clients identify blocks that prevent them from achieving their goals. Then, I saw that finding obstacles and addressing them is just the first step in the process of shifting a client’s view of their situation. The second step is the shift itself and is equally important. As my training progressed, I noticed that I was overlooking another essential element of coaching: supporting clients in using their new perspective to move forward. I also came to understand that all of these elements are parts of the coaching process that build on each other and therefore cannot be separated or prioritized.
It was when I had my first long-term clients when I noticed something that seemed to lay outside of this process but powerfully impacted coaching outcomes. Clients came with different questions, problems and goals. Some of them wanted to gain clarity, others to make a decision or find motivation. Whatever the clients brought to coaching, there was one common thread in when and how coaching worked for them. The answers they found, the shifts in perspectives they had, the goals they set and the actions they designed worked for them only when they resonated with clients’ core values and a deeper sense of who they are.
Application in a coaching session
How can a coach notice if such a resonance is there? For me, the answer is: through observing the client’s energetic shifts and inquiring about the client’s feelings.
Sometimes in a coaching session, a client comes up with an idea or solution that sounds logical but does not seem to resonate with them. When asking about the client’s feelings the coach might find out that even though the client rationally finds the idea appropriate there is a feeling of heaviness or discomfort. This is a sign that this idea is not aligned with the client’s personal wishes, values or idea of self. It is probably a projection of societal norms. Even though the client brought up the idea on their own, it will not motivate, inspire and move them.
Application in the coaching process
This part of the coaching process seems central to me because I believe that the extent to which the mental work accomplished by a client in a session resonates with client’s sense of personal identity is the main factor determining how helpful coaching will be for this client. When a goal that a client sets is in tune with their sense of identity, the client will pursue it. When a strategy they develop is aligned with their core values, they will be determined to achieve it.
Some clients have a strong sense of identity. Others’ ideas of who they are and what they want in their lives may be more ambiguous. Exploring clients’ personal values, priorities and life purpose can be instrumental in these cases.