A Coaching Model Created by Floor van Baal
(Life Coach, NETHERLANDS)
The client who comes to coaching, in general, is not fully satisfied and comes to coaching to change the current situation. My client, in particular, is an employee on sick leave for a longer period and needs to work in his or her reintegration back to work. Reintegration [in Dutch re-integratie] means working towards full recovery (if possible) and is the main objective during the Sickness Absence.
This process of reintegration back into the workforce is often not easy. The employee was not able to work for a longer period because of work-related or non-work-related issues or causes. Often also a combination of these two. Back to work implies to work on yourself first! Coaching can be of great support for this matter to make clear what you want or need and what the obstacles are to look at to move forward (and back……to work! J).
When referring to her or her this could also be he or him.
My model is based on the principles I learned at ICA and mixed with my favorite coaching tools. In this way, my Model was created. I call my model the WVV model which means the Wheel, Values, and Vision model. I love to work with the wheel of life for goal setting and also exploring values are for me an important step in the process. I experience great awareness with clients by focussing on values and also on their strengths. When the client likes to be creative, I will have the client create their vision board. Or we will work on visualization differently. In the next few paragraphs, I will explain the model.
At the beginning of the coaching relationship, I will ask the client to keep a reflection journal. A regular progress and reflection journal helps to develop and gain self-awareness. Write down emotions, experiences, observations, challenges, success, thoughts, and feelings. Writing down your plans and goals is also the first step towards making them a reality. It commits you to take action. Especially when they are shared with someone else (like with their coach). Writing is perfect to slow down the process and help clients recognize their progress and to express feelings or thoughts. Milestones become visible and an inner dialogue gets initiated. It is of course up to the client to share with the coach whatever she likes.
Step 1: Goal setting (long and short term)
First, we speak about what the main objective of coaching is and what the client wants to achieve. The overarching goals or I like to call it the bigger picture, need to be clear to have a sense of direction (long term goal). In this stage creating clear coaching, the agreement is important. The wheel of life is an excellent tool to use for goal setting.
TOOL: Wheel of Life
Questions the coach may ask after the Wheel of Life exercise:
- Are there any surprises for you?
- How do you feel about your life as you look at your Wheel?
- How do you currently spend time in these areas? How would you like to spend time in these areas?
- What would make that a score of 10?
- What would a score of 10 looks like?
- Which of these categories would you most like to improve?
- How could you make space for these changes in your life?
- What help and support might you need to make changes and be more satisfied with your life?
- If there was one key action you could take that would begin to bring everything into balance, what would it be?
We will also work together to identify the desired outcome of each session. These short-term goals will all be related to the overarching long- term goals or the big picture. Ask questions to get the coaching agreement crystal clear.
More questions to ask could be:
- How do you currently feel about your situation?
- What would you like to work on (area of life)?
- What is it you would like to achieve from this session?
- What is important about this goal?
- What is it going to give you? Or what will be different?
- Once you have reached your goal, what does it look like? What does it feel like?
- What do you need to address or resolve to achieve this?
- What is the biggest challenge? Or what is stopping you?
Step 2: Creating Awareness
To start working on yourself and moving forwards towards your goal, we now focus on the second important step in the process. I support the client to gain awareness and understanding of the current situation and very important to create self-awareness. Creating a safe space while having empathy and respect for the client is important for the coach. And by listening actively I will tell the client what I hear and notice and ask powerful questions around this. The client might discover something about herself which she was not even aware of.
Trough the wheel of life, the awareness process has already started but it is now time to dig deeper.
The client investigates thoughts and feelings about herself and the situation. And how she feels her current situation is impacting her life. She recognizes what she would like to change and why. She identifies what might be coming in the way. The client has gained awareness about where she is, where she wants to be, and what is coming in the way of reaching the goal.
Questions to ask around creating awareness:
- What have you learned about your situation?
- What have you learned about yourself?
- What happens when you put your learnings into practice?
- How will you use this awareness?
ExploringValues and Strengths
The next step in creating self-awareness is to explore values, beliefs, and strengths. Values and beliefs are two important concepts that influence our behavior and attitudes. Focusing on our values and strengths is important to our wellbeing and our sense of being our best selves. If we build our decisions on these foundations, we can flourish and make our unique contributions1.
Exploring your Values – exercises
An exercise helps to find out what your values and strengths are. Knowing your values helps understand what motivates you, uncover resistance to change, and take action that is congruent with what is important to you.
The client discovers that some values and beliefs have not been consciously owned. It is also important to see if these values are your values or someone else’s. The client examines whether these beliefs serve her cause any longer. The client also examines the causality between her values, beliefs, and behavior. She can identify the causality between her behaviors and the dynamics of what is happening or not happening and how others are reacting. We will explore alternative mindsets and behaviors and explore what different effects these would have.
If the values are aligned with what the client is wanting to achieve, she is likely to be happier. In this way, we feel content, confident, and satisfied. A person’s life will be less stressful and more productive.
A coach can help a client to dig deep and find their values by asking powerful questions:
- What is most important to you in life?
- What makes things valuable for you?
- Where do you spend the best of your time and energy? Why?
- What are your deep concerns? Why?
- What most excites you in life? Why?
- What guiding principles or standards do you live by that create the choices you make?
- Think about your actions. What decisions have you made to get you to where you are today?
- What personal values resonate most with you to live a great life?
TOOL: Values Identification
Questions to ask after the value exercise:
- Do your values resonate with what you thought you wanted to achieve?
- Do you live your life in alignment with your values?
- How are your values reflected in your daily life?
- Are you spending your time on things that matter to you?
- What is the connection between your values and your goals?
- What impact has this value on your life or goal?
- Are you living your values or are these values of someone else?
- What would you like to change around your values?
- Or would you change your actions or decisions to better match your values?
- Where are you now in terms of your goals?
Finding your Strengths- exercises
One of my favorite tools to help the client find out what their strengths are is the ten-minute VIA Survey2. Created by a team of leading social scientists, the VIA Survey identifies your character strengths. These positive personality traits reflect what is good (moral), practical (valued outcomes), and authentic (existential) about you. The 24 strengths fall under six broad virtues including:
- Wisdom (strength of head): Creativity, Curiosity, Judgment, Love of Learning & Perspective
- Courage (strength of heart): Bravery, Perseverance, Honesty & Zest
- Humanity (strength of others): Love, Kindness & Social Intelligence
- Citizenship (strength of community): Teamwork, Leadership & Fairness
- Temperance (strength of self): Forgiveness, Humility, Prudence & Self-Regulation
- Transcendence (strength of spirit): Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence, Gratitude, Hope, Humour& Spirituality.
Ask some people who know you well, to name the 5 strengths that characterize you. Most often, there is a great overlap between the strengths that others believe you possess and your main strengths as you have assessed yourself.
Another way to get to know your strengths is by answering the following questions3.
- Childhood memories: What do you remember doing as a child that you still do now – but most likely much better? Strengths often have deep roots in our early lives.
- Energy: What activities give you an energetic buzz when you are doing them? These activities are very likely to call on your strengths.
- Authenticity: When do you feel most like the “real you”? The chances are that you’re using your strengths in some way.
- Ease: Which activities come naturally to you? The ones you tend to excel in without a lot of effort are likely to use your strengths.
- Attention: See where you naturally pay attention. You are most likely to focus on things that are playing to your strengths.
- Rapid learning: What are the things that you have picked up quickly, learning them almost effortlessly? Rapid learning often indicates an underlying strength.
- “To Do” lists: Notice the things that never make it on your “to-do” list. The things that always seem to get done often reveal an underlying strength that means we never need to be asked twice.
Step 3: Picture your goal
Now the client is moving forward to her goal and gained more awareness about her situation and herself, the goal becomes more clear, realistic, and attainable. A powerful third step in the process now is to visualize how the goal or change will look like. Visualization is the practice of affecting the outside world by changing your thoughts and using imagination to experience new behaviors and new events. You are creating awareness about your ideal situation. It is a powerful mental tool that you can use to help achieve your goals.
What is it you see, hear, or feel? I ask the client to close her eyes and imagine as if she has what she wants to achieve (goal). I ask the client to imagine she is in a new situation. Let the client imagination work and ask powerful questions like:
- What do you see?
- What are the most important things you see?
- What have you accomplished?
- What did you do to reach that?
- What do you hear?
- What do you feel?
- What clarity do you have?
- What is learning?
- What has come up for you?
Another exercise that is more active, creative, and time-consuming is to support the client to create a vision board. It is very powerful and one of my favorite coaching tools.
TOOL: vision board
Now it is clear what to change, we will continue to explore specific actions to reach this outcome. We will also consider what might come in the way and how to resolve it. Is there any support that she needs? And make the action SMART(specific, measurable, accurate, realistic, and timely). When will the client complete the action?
All actions should be motivational enough that the client will strive and work towards them. All actions should have realistic deadlines so that she is motivated to work and has points at which she can measure progress. An example of action could be signing up for a training course. Any support that may be required during the process should be identified. Questions to ask are:
- What current options for action are available to you?
- If you thought outside the box what could you do?
- Which one would you like to pursue?
- How might that help you?
- What is telling you this is a good idea?
- How would that support you towards your goal?
- What might get in the way?
- What would encourage you to do this?
- What type of process may help you?
- What resources could you use?
- What exactly will you do by when?
- How will you hold yourself accountable?
- What immediate actions will you take?
- When are you going to take those actions?
- Who is going to provide the support for you throughout the process?
- How motivated are you to take these actions?
References and resources