A Coaching Model created by Dominika Farley
(Career Coaching, Expat and Diversity Coaching, POLAND)
This model reflects my strong feelings about the importance of cooperation between coach and client. The outer circle describes actions taken by the coach in different phases of the coaching relationship, while the inner circle shows the elements that the client is an expert about and is accountable for. There is constant interaction between coach and client in various phases of the process that ensures that the client is moving in the right direction. I was not trying to use any fancy abbreviations but to show what my coaching approach really is.
The client comes with a certain situation that s/he wants changed or improved. In the case of career coaching it usually involves an intent to change or improve one’s career prospects. During the first session the client provides information on his/her current situation and the role of the coach is to be able to obtain a clear picture of that situation both for themselves and for the client, using mainly open questions. Te client expresses their expectations which are then discussed with the coach also in relation to the contract.
Values and Needs
Subsequently, the coach will try to stimulate awareness in the client as to his/her values and needs. This is a very important step, especially in the case of clients who do not really know what their goal could be. By providing the client with exercises and asking powerful questions as well as using visualization techniques the coach broadens the client’s perspective in terms of his/her most important values and needs that need to be met in their professional life, but also possible options – here the role of the client is to be honest with themselves and the coach about what they really want from (professional) life and why. S/he also needs to do the necessary research about potential options for changing or improving their career. Based on my experience so far, you need to give the client a lot of space and time. Rushing over this phase may lead to the pursuit of goals which the client does not believe in and therefore to wasted time and frustration in both the client and the coach.
During this phase it is also important to pay attention to potential negative beliefs that can lead the client astray and make him/her believe that the change is not possible for some reason. The most common negative beliefs, as per my experience, involve financial fears of not being able to support onself after a career change or – in the case of moving forward in the current field – a kind of the so called “impostor phenomenon” (Clance & Imes, 1978), where the individual thinks that they are not smart, experienced or educated enough to do the job or to demand a higher position/pay.
After obtaining a clear picture of what the client needs in his/her professional life and what needs to be done in order to obtain that it is time to set goals. A major, general goal is broken down into an action plan consisting of smaller, more manageable goals arranged in a chronological order. The coach facilitates the process making sure that goals are defined in positive terms and are small enough not to be overwhelming, but also big enough to give the client a sense of accomplishment. Making an action plan makes it easier to reevaluate the consistency between goals on he one hand and needs and values on the other.
The coach makes the client accountable and responsible for carrying out actions that were agreed upon during sessions. The client reports his/her progress and any problems or resistance stemming from negative beliefs. There is a constant feedback loop to the current situation, values and needs as well as goals, to make sure that all those elements remain consistent and move the client towards desired reality. The coach offers lots of support and motivates the client in their pursuits.
The results of client’s actions are assessed based on how well they match the smaller goals and how relevant they are for the big goal. Even small gains need to be celebrated and acknowledged. This gives the client reassurance and reinforces their motivation to follow up on the action plan. The coach helps the client in the evaluation of the relevance of the results and in tackling possible problems or inconsistencies, using mainly open questions aimed at widening the client’s perspective on how the results of their current actions can affect their future situation. This leads to reevaluation of the new current situation where the client’s expectations for the coaching process and its outcome can be reassessed.
This cycle can be repeated to obtain more and more goals which, as I imagine it, enters the collaboration between coach and client into an upward spiral symbolizing improving satisfaction, self-esteem and life quality for the client.
Clance, P. R. & Imes, S. A.(1978). .The impostor phenomenon among high achieving women: dynamics and therapeutic intervention. Psychotherapy Theory, Research and Practice, 15, 241–47.