A Coaching Model Created by Erica Cote
(Transformational Coach, UNITED STATES)
Many people believe that actions and plans must be perfect in order to act on them. Yet this can hinder clients from moving into action. This is where imperfect action coaching can keep you in a place of expansion and forward momentum.
I often coach small business owners on bringing their beliefs, ethics, and values into their organization or brand. This includes the integration of values like diversity and inclusion. These are not always easy subjects to infuse into areas that are forward-facing and subject to criticism and judgment by the public. Deciding to embark on this journey can be challenging for the business owner when they are not sure where to start, or what actions will get them to their goal effectively. This is where the Imperfect Action coaching model will support clients in a way that keeps them in the driver’s seat, yet gives them a co-pilot that can successfully get them to the finish line. This is important to keep the client willing to execute, yet keeping them connected to their “why”, the reasons that prompted them to take this step in the first place. Here, magic and amazing shifts can happen to create the change they are looking to create in the world.
When a client seeks support with an area that can feel daunting, they have the awareness that it is more than they choose to handle on their own. The goals they want to achieve are clear, but how is fuzzy. They have awareness of what they believe the current challenges are but are not sure about how to move forward to achieve their goals. When the client partners with a coach they are given new space to inquire into what is going on, how they feel about it, and what it is they want to achieve. Arriving at a session open and ready to dig deeper will always yield the best results. Allowing the space to have a concern, yet be flexible enough to shift if they see something else that is more important is the goal for clients.
This is where the client considers what they will address or leave in the awareness received. When partnering with a coach, the client is now receiving support on how to evaluate the situation from and for multiple angles. A singular or linear view could possibly miss some important aspects pivotal to the process. Assessing if the perceived challenge is the real challenge comes first to ensure that the client isn’t focused on something that won’t serve their goal, or possibly having a goal that isn’t truly what they want. Sometimes we can think one thing is our challenge, and really it is something else we need to address. This is possible because the client was aware there was something going on, inquired into what they were noticing, and now choose to dive into what the challenge is that they choose to act on.
Once the challenge that’s in the path toward the goal is found, then the client is guided through questions like these to create a plan. This includes going through and addressing any possible barriers to reaching the goal and how they and be minimized or avoided.
- How will I address the real challenge?
- What actions will I take?
- How will I execute these actions?
- What hurdles could be in my way and how can I prepare for them?
- What support systems and/or people can aid me in reaching my goal?
At the root, the client identifies why this is important. The client’s why is the base for all subsequent choices and helps to anchor their actions. Without it, challenges could derail their actions and progress from maintaining the forward momentum.
Once the plan is created, it is important for the client to move into action. Coaching and its benefits are only concepts until they are paired with action. This is where the client can use the newly acquired knowledge and support to move toward their goals and use the learning as a base to propel them forward. Without being aware, there is nothing to evaluate and discover more about. Without choosing to evaluate your challenge, you have nothing to formulate a plan around. Without moving from formulating a plan to acting on that plan, there is no imperfect action. These three things together are how a client can move into a place of action that allows for learning and expansion. Perfection can create procrastination and hinder progress. This is the root of why imperfect action is necessary and the preferred choice.
Coaching is designed to support healthy, functioning individuals to uncover impactful pieces of awareness that supports their goals and expansion. Imperfect action provides an opportunity for momentum to build by simply moving from awareness into action. This is the primary goal for which I hold space for my clients.