A Coaching Model Created by Gerdi Verwoert
(Life Coach, AUSTRIA)
A metaphor for life
Hiking, especially mountain hiking, is a great metaphor for life.
Life, after all, is all about experiencing ups and downs; of walking along life’s trails and enjoying the view, while sometimes going through depressing lows and over exciting highs.
And much like mountain hiking, life is full of joy and surprises!
Be a Hill Seeker!
Most of us try to avoid hills, but what’s so good about that? Think about it: flat tyres, flat hair, flat returns – and the ultimate – flat lining. Life happens on the hills!
They’re opportunities to prove to yourself that you’re stronger than you ever imagined. If you never attempt the ascent, you’ll never know the thrill of swooshing down the other side! ~ Self Magazine ~
Hiking as a coaching model
As life can be compared to mountain hiking, so can the process of coaching be compared to a mountain hike.
On this hike the coach will be the ‘guide’. She will not tell the client how to reach his 1 goal, his ‘summit’. She will however, support him while he prepares for and goes on his hike into, perhaps, unchartered territory of his life.
When trying to decide on a ‘guide’ with whom the client wants to work, there are, of course, formal ‘rules of engagement’. These practicalities are usually laid down in a coaching agreement and concern things like number of sessions, confidentiality and roles of both coach and client.
However, the actual decision of whether or not to go with a certain ‘guide’, hinges not on these rules of engagement, not even on the coach being certified or not (although that might be a consideration). Instead the client’s decision to ‘go with a particular ‘guide’ will likely hinge on the chemistry that exists between them. He will find having a good feeling about his potential ‘guide’, trusting her and feeling a deeper connection with her is what will be the deciding factor.
Having chosen his ‘guide’ and established an agreement, the client is ready to set out on the hike of his life!
1 The client, of course, can be either male or female. For readability purposes, I have chosen to only use the male pronoun.
Step 1 – Pick your summit (or set your goals)
In this first phase of the ‘hike’ the client explores the different goals (‘summits’) he would like to set himself.
While exploring the possible ‘summits’, the client becomes aware of his motivations as well as the values and beliefs that are important to him.
Step 2 – Doing research (or find out what you already know, can do, …)
Having decided on which ‘summits’ he wants to climb, which goals he wants to accomplish, the next step can be compared to doing research in preparation for the actual trek to the summit.
The client explores (‘researches’) what knowledge, skills and experiences he already has that will enable him to summit the peak of his choice.