A Coaching Model Created by Johaina Samaha
(Transformational Coach, FRANCE)
I spent most of my life trying to figure out how to adapt myself to a situation that can be a professional situation like working with people from another background or a personal situation like making new friends outside my home country. It was not easy to understand this as a child or as an adult, because each age group has its own challenges: culture difference, loneliness, language, job search, finding a good school for my kids…
I learned over the years that there is one important thing that can help to solve these challenges: it is to be open. Open to new cultures, open to new ideas, open to new projects, open to new insights, open to a whole new experience! Being aware of that “openness” made my transitions smoother and helped me manage my shifts, including being a mum…
Now here I am, thinking about my coaching model and about trying to visualize it. All I can see is a clear blue sky, so wide and open that I can imagine whatever I want and achieve whatever I decide on.
Minds are like parachutes, they only function when open – Tommy Deware
OPEN is my coaching model and my lifestyle. It implies being open to new journeys and interactions, be open to new opportunities, be open to new encounters,… it also means feeling free and being my true self, with less judgment, towards oneself or others, and thus being more self-confident and having more self-esteem.
I believe that in order to be open, it is important to look at our mindset because it determines how we react to successes and failures. It influences how we interpret experiences and then how we react to those experiences. The more we have a growth mindset, the better we are prepared for change. So trust yourself and OPEN up!
Objective: What would you like to “open”?
The first step is to understand what the client wants to discuss. This very important question is related to ICF competency number 2 “establishing the coaching agreement”. While the client may find it easy to define her/his coaching objective, it is the coach’s role to dig deeper to understand what the client really wants.
I will support my client to understand what is going on; what needs to be unlocked. Someone once told me that coaching is about coming out from the dark; imagining ourselves in a dark room holding a candle and starting to discover what is around us. This is the aim of this first step.
Seek in your achievements to reach your objective. This will help the client find and connect with her/his confidence.
One thing I have noticed while coaching is that the clients don’t have an idea of their potential. What they have already achieved seems to be “normal”. So they cannot build on it to reach what they want. They are not aware of their skills and capabilities.
In this phase, I will help my client to better understand what their achievements are by asking the following questions:
- Think about your achievements? Think of times when you have been most happy / rewarded/satisfied?
- How did this feel like an achievement for you? What was it about that experience that made you feel this way?
- What skills did you use?
Explore the possibilities:
From the client’s achievements, we will explore how a change in her/his life could happen. How this change can support the client reaching her/his objective. I like the “Miracle question” exercise for that:
“Imagine a totally normal weekday evening. You go to bed, sleep normally and while you sleep a miracle happens and your life is exactly as you’d like it to be…
In this new world:
- What has happened?
- How do you first realize a change has happened?
- How does the change make you feel?
- What are you doing differently?
- What elements are in place which was not present before?
- What are you able to do that you could not do before?
- What one change could you make today to bring the miracle state closer?
Once the client is clear about her/his objective and aware of her/his achievements and the way she/he can use them to reach her/his objective, it is important that she/he commits.
From my own experience and also what I have noticed while coaching, I can tell that committing appears as one of the most important and complex things to do.
Examples of questions I would ask:
- What could happen that would enable you to feel fully engaged and energized about (your specific situation)?
- What needs your immediate attention going forward?
- If your success was completely guaranteed, what bold steps might you choose?
- What improvement would make the biggest difference to you?
- What one action will you take to improve?