A Coaching Model Created by Lauren Flaherty
(Life Coach, UNITED STATES)
Accept, Create, Transform
Coaching is all about communication and presence. It’s about listening to what your client is saying and offering their words and feelings back to them as a gift. Reflection involves processing their feelings and noticing the nuances…the long breath, the laugh, the pause. A coach and client are partners in this journey. In order for the partnership to work, trust must be built, goals must be set and a desire for change will allow transformation.
The presence in a coaching session is very similar to improvisational theatre. When you are working with others, it’s important to really hear what they are bringing to space, you take it in and then build on their gift in a “yes and” way. Through the rule of “Yes and” the improv scene becomes more detailed, more exciting and definitely a shared experience.
The same happens in a coaching session. As the coach and client share the space. The client brings a topic, the coach “yes ands” the client by hearing what the client brings. The coach reflects back the client’s language, asks powerful questions, the client reflects and continues the conversation and the coach follows the flow of the session. A pattern emerges—client shares, the coach listens, the client shares more, the coach reflects and offers observations, asks for deeper meaning, the client reflects some more and awareness leads to goal setting and inevitably the client begins to uncover where they really want to go.
My coaching model is the “ACT” model. The acronym stands for Accept, Create and Transform.
Accepting where you are in the world and in your life is an important first step towards making a decision as to where you want to go. Understanding your strengths, your weaknesses, your values, and your beliefs is essential. If you value creativity but are in a job that doesn’t offer much creative license, you have to decide if you want to stay in that job because it provides you with an income or takes the leap and change jobs to one where you will be happier each day.
If you are a teen and have been making choices at school and with friends that have gotten you into trouble, you have to decide the significance of those choices, why you made them and what you want to do moving forward. You have to start to look at the relationships in your life and what you want for yourself. Breaking down what is really important to you—your values and beliefs– is an essential first step for you on your coaching journey.
Once you accept where you are, it’s time to create where you want to go. Let’s use the two examples above to talk about creating your journey towards change. Using the example of the new job, you can think about what kinds of jobs would offer you the creative space you’re looking for. You can also decide if there are any jobs out there that will provide you with the income and creativity that you need.
In the case of the teen, this might be a time where we look at the relationships that are supporting important values and beliefs and what it would look like to create more relationships like those. Brainstorming is often a valuable use of time during this part of the coaching process.
Often times people feel stuck in their lives as if no solution exists. The beauty of coaching and through “yes anding” is clients often discover solutions that they hadn’t thought of before. Sometimes the shift is subtle, other times more concrete. Once that shift is made and awareness is there, a goal is created and a client has direction, transformation is inevitable.
This step in the process often involves a plan of action. You have figured out what your values are and where you are, you have brainstormed all the possibilities of where you want to be, now is the time to get there. During this stage in the coaching process, you get to make a plan. Here is where you set attainable goals for yourself and a timeline to hold yourself accountable. This is where you reflect on the people and structures in your life who can support you in making this change. Your vision for your life is in your reach. All your hard work is moving you forward, you have momentum and support- you are transforming.
Each stage of the process takes commitment and patience. As we trust in each other and work together, you will find out that anything is possible.
Now is the time to ACT!!!