A Coaching Model Created by Elizabeth Wheeler
(Management Coaching, UNITED STATES)
Gemstones can be described as beautiful, radiant, magnificent, sparkling and dazzling. Did you know the sparkling gems we think of don’t start out that way? Raw gemstones, straight out of the earth, look just like other colorful rocks. It’s the work of a skilled gem cutter to bring out the beauty and brilliance within. In the GEMS Coaching Model, the coach uses the same steps used in gem cutting to empower the client to transform from a diamond-in-the-rough to a brilliant gem.
A gem cutter starts by examining the stone very carefully to gather information about it’s unique internal characteristics and limitations. In coaching, the coach creates a safe and supportive space to enable the client to start looking internally to gather this information about him/herself. A combination of tools including powerful questions, powerful listening, reflecting, acknowledgement and assessments are useful to help the client gain awareness about their strengths, core values, underlying beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, desires and limitations.
The next step for the gem cutter is to evaluate the information gathered about the internal characteristics of the stone. Not every stone is suited to be cut into a particular shaped gemstone. Many are much better suited as either a round, square, oval, marquis or pear shape because of the unique inclusions, crystalline structure, color and composition. The coach helps the client to evaluate the unique internal characteristics and limitations discovered in the gathering phase. This process continues to use the tools of powerful questions, powerful listening, and reflecting but also implements tools to shift the client’s perspective such as best/worse case scenario, challenging perspectives, pro/con list, and truth vs. fraud. The client will see and sort through which parts of life are working and which parts aren’t.
In the third step, the gem cutter maps a plan for cutting the gemstone to maximize its value while minimizing its imperfections, all based on the unique internal characteristics. In the coaching process, the coach helps the client to create a map for their life that works with their unique strengths, core values, and desires and limitations. Useful tool in this stage are powerful questions, powerful listening, reflecting, visualization, brainstorming, structures, and tracking. At the end of this stage the client will have a clear course of action for the future.
Sawing is the last step in gem cutting and it’s when the gem cutter finally starts cutting! The rough stone slowly becomes the sparkling gem as the gem cutter takes action with his saw. The cutter knows his stone inside and out and consults his map to cut away the rough parts that aren’t adding value to the stone. In coaching, the client sets out with their map in hand and wields their saw to cut through the rough areas that keep them from aligning their internal values with their external life. They cut out disempowering attitudes, perspectives, commitments, beliefs and relationships. During this time the coach uses the tools of powerful questions, powerful listening, reflection, encouragement, acknowledgement, and accountability to enthuse the client to continue shaping their life to reflect their internal characteristics.
The GEMS Coaching Model is laid out to follow the gem cutter process but in life, we have flexibility. The model works well when the steps are followed in the order presented but often times you’ll find yourself in and out of the steps in different order a different order that works better.
People are like faceted gemstones. Each facet on a stone is a different window or point for light to enter and be reflected from the stone. The facets give gemstones sparkle and brilliance. As human beings, we have different aspects of our lives that function as facets to allow the world to see us shine and radiate what is on the inside. A skillful coach can use the GEM coaching model to help the client transform from a diamond-in-the-rough to a brilliant gem.