A Coaching Model Created by L’Shawn Howard
(Academic Coach, JAPAN)
M I N D
Make the goal clear
Investigate thoughts and beliefs about the current situation
Notice how these thoughts are affecting emotions and behaviors
Discover new more empowering ways to perceive the situation
Rationale behind the MIND model:
The MIND model is based on the idea that it is the mind to which we should turn when seeking happiness, satisfaction, or fulfilment. The key to our happiness and satisfaction is in understanding how our thoughts affect how we feel about our situation, and how our mood affects whether we gauge the situation to be positive or negative, successful or otherwise. If our mood is low, it is difficult for us to move forward, and if we believe what our mood tells us about the situation, we may feel stuck or trapped, which makes it difficult to progress or to see a way out of what we interpret to be a difficult situation. Therefore, when we find ourselves feeling stuck, frustrated, overwhelmed, or confused it is better to pay attention to our thoughts and to begin to question the validity of those thoughts. The act of noticing our thoughts changes them and, our mood might shift from low to high. When we are in a high mood and we feel positive about our situation, it is easier for us to make progress in our lives. Ultimately, it is our thoughts and the interpretation of our perception of external conditions that need to change in order to help us feel better and move forward towards our desired goal.
The philosophy and coaching models that inform the MIND coaching model are the Buddhist belief that it is ultimately understanding the nature and functions of the mind that lead to lasting peace and happiness, Byron Katie’s “The work”, which encourages the individual to notice and scrutinize his or her thoughts, and the Transformation coaching model which looks at the client as a whole person and seeks to empower the client to reshape his or her perceptions and reform his or her patterns of thinking. The idea of the mood and how our low and high moods affect our outlook is in accordance with the discussion featured in George S. Pransky’s book The Relationship Handbook: A Simple Guide to Satisfying Relationships.
Explanation of the Model
Make the goal clear: The coach asks the client what he or she would like to accomplish in the session. The coach partners with the client to eliminate any ambiguities and clarify the desired outcome in specific measurable terms. The importance of the goal of the session, as well as relevant and specific measures for success, are discussed and explored.
Investigate the thoughts and beliefs about the current situation: The coach listens to the client and asks powerful questions designed to raise the client’s awareness of his or her thoughts, perceptions, and any judgments and interpretations of those perceptions. The coach also gently probes the client, asking him or her to identify and articulate his or her beliefs about the situation, and his or her thoughts. The coach offers feedback, mirrors back the main concern the client might express, listens for any shifts in mood, energy or perspective, and shares her observations with the client giving him or her time and space to reflect on what she has shared with the client.
Notice how these thoughts and beliefs are affecting emotions and behaviors: In this phase, the coach begins to ask questions about how the client’s thoughts have affected the client’s emotions and behaviors, and what the client’s emotions and behaviors reveal about his or her thoughts. The coach gives the client space to explore and experience how his or her thinking manifests in areas of his or her life not just in the situation discussed in the session. The coach asks the client what the client thinks about any revelations he or she may have as a result of his or her explorations. The coach shares her observations of any shifts in energy or mood with the client and gives the client space and silence to process those observations.
Discover new more empowering ways to perceive the situation: At this stage, the coach asks the client how he or she feels, where the client feels they are in terms of accomplishing the session goal, and what the client may have learned and how he or she would like to implement the awarenesses and insights he or she has gained during the session. At this point, if the client feels compelled to commit to one or more action steps, the coach can guide the client to specify when and how the action steps will be taken and goals accomplished. The coach asks the client to consider any obstacles he or she might face, and support structures he or she will need to insure a successful outcome.