A Coaching Model Created by Joanna del Pino
(Life Coach, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO)
Coaching Sessions are dedicated to supporting clients achieve goals. In an effort to formulate a systematic approach to guide my coaching process, the image of a bow and arrow aimed towards a bullseye kept coming to mind. In my research, I noticed a lot of similarities between the two approaches to meeting targets and decided to explore how best I could utilize recommended tactics for shooting a bow and arrow to add value to my future coaching sessions with my clients.
My “Bullseye” Model can be broken into five steps which I will detail below:
- Stance: When shooting an arrow, it is important to maintain the proper stance before your target as it affects your body’s alignment towards it and ultimately impacts your level of success.In the same way, it is very important at the beginning of the session to have an understanding of what your client would like to achieve in the session and how they feel about what they want to achieve. Are they confident about achieving it? What’s important about achieving it? It is essential to uncover the ‘stance’ they are taking towards the “bullseye” target before proceeding.
- Grip: Experts state that a relaxed grip on your bow handle is necessary for success. A “death grip” will not allow the arrow to leave the bow smoothly and as such will limit success. I have noticed in some coaching sessions, that the client may have some anxiety around achieving the goal. While it may be something that they want to accomplish, the anxiety can paralyze them and impede them from moving forward. The coach needs to guide the exploration around the anxiety and its source and possible options for using the anxiety to catapult the client into action, rather than keeping them stuck in the process.
- Placement: With the correct stance and grip on the bow, the archer’s next important step is the placement of the arrow on the bow, followed by how his/her fingers are positioned on the bow strings. While it is the arrow’s job to meet the target, it cannot do it without the support of the bow. So too is it important for the client to think about the support that he/she may need to put in place to help achieve his/her goal. Quite often, I have noticed that clients do not sufficiently explore this area on their own and a coach can add value by assisting the client come up with a “To Do” list (what do I need to do or what do I need to have in place to help me achieve my goal) which helps make the commitment towards the goal, a reality.
- The Draw/ Pulling back the string: In order for the arrow to forge forward, it must be pulled back using the bow strings. During coaching sessions, often times, when looking at achieving a goal, it has proven valuable to look at similar situations that the client may have experienced in the past. Questions including the following have helped clients explore what learnings they can take from their past to ensure greater success in the future: What has worked before? What didn’t work? What can you do this time to make the results better?
- Aim, Release and Follow through. The final steps for the archer are to aim and release the arrow while maintaining his/her stance. The archer must then assess the success of his/her efforts as the arrow hits its target. He/she can then re-visit the target, all the steps taken to get there and determine what needs to change for the next attempt. Similarly, at the end of each session, the coach and client must agree on the next steps and takeaways as the client commits to start/continue the process. The coach can offer to support the process and ask the client his/her preference in terms of the ways that he/she can be of service in this regard.
The use of this model has enabled me to guide the coaching session to provoke thought and provide support to the client in a structured way.