A Coaching Model Created by Ilim Guner
(Transformational Life Coaching, TURKEY)
As coaches one of our most significant attribute is asking the right questions. So after I have started my coaching training I developed this habit of questioning myself. I ask myself many questions during the day about my everyday routines, about my struggles, about how I think and why I think that way, about how I feel and why I feel that way. One of the questions I keep asking myself is what attracts me the most in coaching. My answer almost all the time is I am passionate about coaching as it creates the right platform for assisting people to feel good.
When do people feel good? When they are in ease and in peace with themselves. When they are aware of who they are and when they can accept themselves as they are, when they feel empowered to make the changes they choose in their lives and when they feel valued in their relationships, valued at work, most importantly valued by themselves. People feel good when they have a Purpose and Passion in their lives.
How can I contribute to people as a coach so that they feel good, better, in ease and in peace? By listening wholeheartedly, by asking powerful questions, by genuine care, by creating a trusting platform, by having a non-judgemental attitude regardless of the subject we are working on. Last but not least by offering a structure, a path that they can follow.
My model “Path to IDEAL Self” summarised below is aimed at offering a structure to clarify and simplify the path to achieving our goals and shaping our future.
- Start by Acknowledging “Current Self”: What are our strengths and natural skills. What do we enjoy doing, what are our passions in life? What are our core values? Is our current lifestyle in harmony with our core values and skills?
- Accept and Appreciate “Current Self”. This does not mean that we need to think that we are perfect and there is no room for improvement. It simply means that we are aware of our strengths and development areas and we are also aware that we are unique and valuable as we are. We can choose to build our life on our current strengths or we can choose to change or improve certain areas in our lives. The crucial bit is to be aware that we are free, empowered, and fully capable of making the choice: the choice to design our life. Accepting and appreciating our current self, feeling gratitude for who we are and what we already have are important stepping stones on the path to our IDEAL self.
- Analyze and Prioritize : Who do we want to become, what do we want to accomplish, what do we want to change or improve?. This step is not about having more (more money, more assets, etc) but rather about becoming more. Therefore listening to our inner voice, inner wisdom is encouraged at this stage. Tools such as visualization, meditation, writing letters or articles about our ideal future would be helpful to use. If there is more than one area to be worked on, it is important to prioritize and focus on one objective at a time.
- Once we complete the above pre-work, we can start working on the next step on the Path to IDEAL Self which includes gaining clarity on our objective, putting our objective into action and execution.
- Identify the gaps between our current self vs our IDEAL self. Let’s assume a client who wants to live a more balanced life. The role of the coach would be to dig into and analyse what balanced life means for the client, how she can live a more balanced life and assisting the client to visualize her life when she attains her goal. Let’s again assume she currently spends on average 60 hrs a week at work including commuting to and from work (current self) and wants to limit this at 50 hours and allocate the extra 10 hours to her kids and to her own well being (IDEAL self).
- Design our plan to eliminate gaps. Once we are aware of the gap that would take us from our Current Self to IDEAL Self, we need to create a realistic and measurable plan with a time frame to eliminate this gap. Coaches play an important role in the design of the plan by asking the right questions and supportively challenging the client. For the above example this would be a plan to work 10 hours less and allocate that time to the kids and her own well being. So the first part of the plan could consist of delegating more, prioritising her work, effective time management, being able to say no when needed. For The second part it could be incorporating daily activities that could be done with kids, i.e. reading together, cooking together, playing a game, going to a cinema etc. For the self wellbeing part, spending time on a hobby, yoga or any other physical activity of preference, having a nice dinner with partner or friends and many more could be options.
- Execute the plan. Unless we execute our plans they remain as nice paper works which create even further pressure in our lives. So it is vital to have a realistic plan with specified target dates that we are keen to take action on. Coaches support the clients by actively following up each and every step of the plan. It is important to ensure a nice balance between encouraging and challenging the client at this step.
- Appreciate and celebrate our achievements. As we follow our daily routines or complete challenging milestones for our goals, we usually tend to forget to acknowledge ourselves for our achievements and completed tasks. However feeling good about what we do and who we are is very important to energize ourselves to do more. We as coaches should remind ourselves and our clients to appreciate and celebrate our achievements, big or small.
- Live through and Enjoy. Our lives usually are in the form of continuous rush and struggle. Once we achieve a certain goal we tend to search and strive for more which is good in one way as we continue to develop ourselves. However we also need to sit back and enjoy what we have achieved, feel gratitude for what we have and who we are. This will not stop us from striving to develop further, on the contrary will energize and empower us to willingly do more.