A Coaching Model Created by Julien Lefort
(Business Coach, ROMANIA)
When I started thinking about my own coaching model, I remembered the early days of my career and an image I always have in my mind when it comes to developing others. As a trainer I always associate my work with others with one of a diamond polisher. People would join my sessions as rough diamonds; they may be young graduates with little experience in the workplace and an eagerness to learn as much as they can or more experienced individuals with a knowledge gap on a specific area. But my role was always to use the tools in my trainer’s toolbox to have them come out of the room more knowledgeable and experienced as before. It was my duty and pride to recognise each and every one of them as having that diamond within a rough shell – then turning them from that rough diamond into a beautifully polished precious stone.
So when it came to coaching, I could really feel the same passion about the diamond within. And about my role in enabling people to shine.
Every single one of us is a hidden gem, a diamond that may require support to be revealed to the outside world. Some of us come polished or partially polished through our past experiences, our learning, our knowledge and how much we have invested in ourselves through the years – others may look more like rough diamonds and we still have much to discover about ourselves. But as a coach, my role is to take the person – the diamond – as a whole, in its entirety and as they come, with all these experiences that have made them the way they are today.
Polishing the diamond is the first step to the coaching journey. The rough areas are those beliefs, mind-sets, fears, and negative emotions and energies that surround us. The coach focuses on who they really are and has a duty to bring the internal beauty out so they can enjoy their true self. Although this is a long-term process, that requires patience and preciseness, it will all be even worthier in the long term to achieve the client’s goals.
As a coach, my role then becomes about being the light for the diamond. Similar to a candle on a dark night, I need to project a warm stable flame that will enable trust and reassurance to the person across from me. I create a strong relationship and a durable one.
I am also aware that I have a diamond in front of me. I strongly need to recognise and value the worthiness of any precious stone that I am coming in contact with and treat it as such.
However, as a coach, I also need to bring my own self in the relationship. Some days, the flame will shine strong and others it may need to be soft and short as I adapt to the person I am working with. Some days I will need to light an entire room and others I will need to focus on a corner of that room and expand as we go through our discussion. Some days, I will need to focus the light on one facet of the diamond and work through the others one at a time and others I will light up the entirety of it.
Using the light
The ray of light going through the diamond is the metaphor for the coach to be asking the right, powerful questions. By illuminating the right facets at the right time and the right moment, it enables for the relevant areas of the individual as a whole to be revealed. This may include beliefs, values, inner critics and create the perfect awareness to move forward. It is a dance – with all areas lighting up carefully – in the now.
At a session level, as coaches, we are directing our lighting to one area that will enable the client to get unstuck. We ask the right questions and get the client to discover areas they have not thought about. As we continue directing the light in different directions, the spectrum is changing; bringing awareness on things the client was not necessarily conscious about. We keep moving from the now, where they currently are to where they want to go. We start shifting their perspective on:
- their beliefs – by reframing their perspective and bringing to them other spectrums,
- their mind-set – by increasing the map of their world,
- their fears and inner critics – by lighting up the dark areas and
- their negative emotions – by focusing on the strengths that energise them.
On a long-term level, we help the client create a spectrum on light that starts from deep inside them and continues along an infinite path. This is the path that will allow them to go and achieve their goals. The path may change along the way as we go along but it gives them that perspective of long-term vision and goal.
The spectrum – coming from them – is theirs to own which also means they will be more committed to it and more motivated to follow it and to making a change happen. The path is the transformation that they go through as they discover themselves and create their own self-awareness. On that path, they slowly discover and bring to the surface their personal values. The path is the mechanism that will anchor these values that will lead their decision-making. The close connection they have to the path and spectrum they have chosen means they are more committed and in parallel they are also anchoring a change in behaviours about previous mind-set, beliefs and fears they may have had.
As the bond is created and the relationship evolves, a transformation happens. From colourless and transparent to a multitude of colours and shades, individuals engaging in a coaching process start moving from darkness to lightness.
They start being clearer and clearer about where they want to go, what holds them back and how they can overcome their own challenges. They start using their creative mind and open to new possibilities where they are the core element of that change.
Once they have found the perfect light, choosing the spectrum and the path becomes the right thing for our client because it comes from them. The diamond is actually the one creating the spectrum based on the things that are important to them.
Finding the right ‘ray of light’
Starting from a specific goal or vision, that will be refined through shining onto the right elements, the coach uses the tools in his/her toolbox to move the ray of light by adjusting it and widening it so to figure out all the options, opportunities and possibilities available to be pursued. The individual becomes aware of all different perspectives and different approaches present in front of them.
The choice is theirs to follow the path that will suit them best.
An infinite spectrum
The beauty of the coaching relationship lies within the fact that the individual always looks forward from where they are, from themselves as the centre of the relationship. They can continuously focus on the future and on a clearer path ahead.
As they are moving forward, they start discovering other unknown areas and continue increasing their self-awareness.
At any point in time, they can decide to modify the direction of the spectrum of light they wish to follow and find the one that suits them best.
However, the variations that spectrum can take remain at all-time infinite and the spectrum itself also never ends. The possibilities are endless and each and every relationship can take the turn it needs to arrive where it needs to.
The Diamond model takes the individual, our client, from darkness into the light. The client starts by bringing clarity and awareness to themselves as they bring their own self into the light. They then become true to themselves and create a renewed vision. They can trust themselves and have renewed positive feelings. They shine their true colours and become at peace with themselves, accepting who they really are. From this state, they can fully focus towards the future and leave nothing behind. They focus on themselves, in the present moment, and look into the future.