A Coaching Model Created by Lauren Butler
(Transition Coach, UNITED STATES)
To create is to bring into being, to produce, to make by applying the imagination in some artistic technique, according to Webster’s Dictionary. The Create Model is a creative, imaginative and flexible way to create an environment of open communication. An environment where the coach and client work together in working toward the goals that lead the client to creating a more ideal life for themselves. In the Life Coaching process, flexibility and creativity need to be present for the process to progress. Imagination, when present in a creative open environment can bring about enlightenment and changed perspectives. As a coach you will encounter many different types of individuals who will all have different goals and dreams, altogether different perspectives. When the Coach brings creativity to the process the process develops energy. When an energetic environment is present, the coaching process is progressive. Through encouragement, trustworthiness, and acknowledgement the Coach creates a progressive environment for creative growth.
The following is the supportive structure for the CREATE MODEL:
C– Create a safe environment.
R– Respond through feedback.
E– Explore with open-ended questions.
A– Action in order to move forward.
T– Trust in the process.
E– Encourage through acknowledgement.
Create a safe environment. Inform the client that every word spoken during the session is confidential. Ask them how they are doing today. Ask what they would like to be coached on today. Then acknowledge their intention with a positive upbeat tone in your voice. Respond to them with enthusiasm. Be genuinely curious.
Respond through feedback. Listen carefully to what is being said. Repeat back to the client what you heard them say. For example; your client tells you that they are overwhelmed by daily chores and that nothing is accomplished. You offer feedback with; “I hear you saying that you are overwhelmed by chores and that you don’t feel that anything is being accomplished. Is this correct? Can you tell me more about your feeling of overwhelm?”
Explore with open ended questions like, tell me more about yourself. What do you like about what you are doing? What do you dislike about what you are doing? I’m curious tell me more. What else? What could you do differently? This kind of exploration question can help the client and coach get to know one another better; thus creating the atmosphere for the coach to better help the client reach their goals.
Action is developed as part of the coaching session in order for the client to “move forward”. The action plan is established by the client with the help of the coach. Once the plan is put into action the coach is there to encourage and hold the client accountable. The plan incorporates the client’s ideas of their own ideal life. When a coach uses tools, such as Strength Finders 2.0 they can support the client in their endeavors.
Questioning them on past successes and how these were accomplished is a very powerful way of reminding the client of their successes and how they creatively moved forward. Another powerful source of questioning is asking the client what qualities they may possess that will help them reach their goal with intention.
Trust is one of the most important aspects of the coach/client relationship. In order to gain trust, the coach must be diligent in confirming the confidentiality of the coaching sessions. Listening to the client actively and paraphrasing what they have said in an open friendly way, then asking them to verify creates trust. Mirroring them in their tone of voice, keeping your voice calm and friendly keeps a safe space open for them. Reinforce that the client’s goals are the focus of the session. Keep your agenda out of the session keep it open for the client. Smile during the session, it can be heard in your voice and is reassuring for the client.
Encouragement is essential if the client is to move forward. Acknowledge them whenever the opportunity arises. It can cause a major positive shift in the energy level of the session. Keep a cheerful tone in your voice and an upbeat air about you. Listen carefully to the words that are being said and how they are being said. Praise the client when you hear the energy shift. Go into that energy shift with them and express your pleasure at their new energy level. Keep your energy level positive and be there fully for your client. Acknowledge them for their commitments and accountability. With encouraging guidance and support the process progresses.
The Create Model is an open, flexible plan that is not unlike the process an artist uses to create a work of art. First there is the concept, then the decision how to create the conceptual vision; for our purposes, a painting. The artist readies the blank canvas, sketches in the subject. Then the tools are gathered that will be used to develop the idea/concept the artist has decided upon. The tools used to paint are paints, palette, brushes, and the canvas. Once the tools are readied the artist carefully observes the subject to be painted. Observation is key in artistic creation. You observe all of the dimensions and perspectives of how the subject occupies the space it is in. You observe how the light and shadow plays on the surface and study the structure. Then the artist begins to paint. It begins with mixing and blending the colors that the artist sees. Then with one brush stroke the painting is begun. The artist has an idea of the outcome, and knows that changes will occur throughout the process. Shadows will be discovered along with light and shape, color will intensify or lighten it is all up to the artist. A painting is an exploration in observation, conceptualization. The process has its own way of progressing with the artist coaching the concept along. Although the artist may not want to put one more brush stroke to the canvas, a painting is never really done. It has a life all its own and will be frequently considered by the artist.
The comparison here is that the artist is the coach as in a coaching situation in that the artistic creative process is similar to a coaching. Observation is important to the coach and the client. The need to really see what is occurring and where they are going. There is mixing and blending of ideas and concepts in coaching and the process is also very alive and never really completed like an artist’s creation. When the tools are gathered and the canvas is prepared the Action Plan, for the artist, is the execution of the painting. In coaching the tools are gathered the client is prepared and the search for the Action Plan begins. Goals may be met, but once the coaching process begins it continuously progresses. Neither the artist nor the client can look at their world in the same way again. Their perspective and way of thinking have changed and they are moving forward.
So gather your tools, create your intention and begin developing your concept. There is always space for new goals, achievements, and creations. Both artists and clients will continue to strive for the ideal. Create and be as pliable and flexible as a paint brush and paint. Work together for a common goal.