A Coaching Model Created by Louise Parry Gathercole
(Success Coach, UNITED KINGDOM)
Every tree is unique. Every tree has something about it that we recognise as ‘tree’, and not bird or monkey or pot plant, but no two trees are the same. There are groups of trees that are identifiably of one species – an oak, a mahogany, a redwood – but they are still not the same. They have grown in different environments, different climates and have different DNA.
Every coaching partnership is unique. Every partnership has something about it we recognise as coaching and not training or therapy or mentoring, but no two coaching partnerships are the same. There are groups of partnerships that are identifiably of one type – executive, life, career – but they are still not the same. They grow in different environments, with different circumstances and different participants.
In your coaching partnership with me, we will grow your own unique tree – the development of you as a person and as a professional.
Tree Roots – The roots of your tree are your values, beliefs, needs, strengths, skills, habits, successes, knowledge and experience.
Tree trunk – The trunk is the self-awareness and insight that you will gain through reflection and questioning in the coaching process.
Branches, leaves, fruit – The branches, leaves and fruit of the tree are the opportunities you will create, the vision of the future, the possibilities that you see opening up, the changes you plan to make, the solutions to the issues we discuss, the action you plan to take and the improvements you make in your performance.
The stake – Supporting the tree will be a stake – the helpful structures and people who support you in your development.
The coaching process
The coaching partnership will begin with a session where we get to know each other and decide what sort of tree you want to grow. We agree how we will work together and what you are hoping to achieve from the process.
The coaching process is highly flexible and you may want to begin examining the tree and encouraging growth in different areas. We may begin by digging down and understanding the roots – clarifying your values or beliefs, identifying your strengths or skills, cutting beliefs that are harmful or unhelpful.
You may feel that you already understand these things and you want to gain greater insight into your current situation, or look in minute detail at a single issue – gaining insight and self-awareness and adding a ring of growth around the trunk of the tree. You may want to visualise the future, decide on what opportunities you want to take or create, examine the possibilities open to you. Trees constantly grow and change, we can add a ring, a branch, a leaf wherever suits you. We can create a stake to support your tree by examining the structures, people and habits that support you.
The coaching session
Each coaching session will be different but will follow a similar structure.
- We will begin by reviewing actions decided upon in the last session, celebrating successes and briefly discussing areas to examine further.
- We will then decide on a focus for the session and an intended outcome. Do the roots need some attention, do we need to add a ring to the trunk, or envisage the leaves you will be growing.
- We will then examine our area of focus in more depth and see what insights and issues come out of it, focussing more tightly on one aspect of the tree.
- Towards the end of the session we will begin to think about what actions you might want to take, what branches and leaves you will be exploring, to create further growth in your professional or personal development.
Your role as the client is to think deeply, be focussed on the process during the coaching session, be open to change, to be honest with yourself, to stick to the commitments you make to yourself and to take ownership of the process.
My role as the coach is to be completely present in the coaching conversation, to listen attentively to what you say, to give you chance to think and reflect, to ask you open questions that help to structure your thinking, to reflect your ideas back to you and to highlight themes in what you are saying, to hold you accountable to your commitments, to encourage and support you in finding the solutions yourself and to respect your confidentiality at all times.
Together we can create a bespoke partnership and grow a unique tree for your self-development.