A Coaching Model Created by Nesrin Everett
(Executive Coach, SWITZERLAND)
I have always been an explorer, whether hiking, travelling to foreign countries, working in my previous career as a headhunter, and now coaching. I am a naturally curious person and love to find out what’s round the next corner and to visit little known places.
Whenever I travel or hike, I don’t leave without my trusted compass. When I want to check that I am on the right track, or when I think I may be lost I can always turn to it for clarity and direction.
I believe that life is one great journey, within which are many smaller journeys. As my client’s partner and guide in the coaching journey, with my experience in exploration, it makes sense to have my compass with me, to help my client navigate. It does this by helping them understand where they are, to give them direction and also to centre them. The compass also works for me in precisely the same way. Thus, as coaching is a two way process, the compass is at tool used by both of us.
The etymology of the word compass comes from the Old French compass based on the Latin com – ‘together’ and passus ‘a step or pace’. This defines the coaching process very well, as the coach and the client come together in order to take steps forward in the direction that the client wants to go. The magnet in the centre of a compass is the energy field that makes it point towards due North. This magnet in the centre represents the client’s authentic self which when aligned with their “true North”, points in the direction that speaks most truly to them.
I use the acronym of COMPASS to define the coaching process (this can apply to the entire coaching journey, and also to each individual coaching session – which is a journey in itself):
Current Situation: what is currently happening in the client’s life, and the reason they want to be coached
Objective: what is the client’s goal? What is their desired outcome from this coaching session/the coaching process?
Motivation: what is the reason/purpose/wish for this desired outcome. Why do they want this to happen?
Pace: when do they want this outcome to happen? What is their time frame?
Action: what action steps do they need to take to achieve their goal? what do they need to do? who do they need to be?
Stocktake: what was the result of the action? what happened?
Subsequent: what happens next? What is the learning from the action and how will it be taken forward?
In my compass, the azimuths (or bearings) can move and turn, and are a representation of some of the tools I use to help move the client through each stage of the coaching process and also represent what we explore from the client’s side to help propel them forward.
For example some of my favourite tools (as shown on the compass) are:
Deep listening: to truly understand what is being said and what is not being said, in order to help ask powerful and meaningful questions and to allow the client to feel heard and understood.
Questioning: powerful questioning can open up new horizons, unlock doors, find answers to what was previously hidden.
The one who asks questions does not lose his way. (Akan proverb)
Empathy: empathy allows the client to feel understood, cared for, safe and valued. It is one of the important components that creates a safe space in which growth and real transformation can occur.
Inspiration: because inspiration is the catalyst that creates movement, joy flow and transformation. The word inspire comes from the Latin inspirare ‘to breathe or blow into’. (The word was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense ‘impart a truth or idea to someone’.) It can be defined as “to fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something”.
Together we will also explore the client’s belief systems, emotions and values.
Belief Systems: to explore and understand the client’s belief systems is necessary to ensure that they are serving them, to examine any underlying beliefs that could be sabotaging them and to ensure that their actions are indeed aligned with their core beliefs.
Emotions: because emotions are a key to our awareness. Feelings are a clear pointer to what is going on with us internally and a wonderful link to our authentic selves. By understanding and allowing their emotions, the client can create synergy between heart and mind, which will allow them to follow the path of their true selves. By increasing the flow of positive emotions they can grow, achieve and fulfil their greatest potential.
Values: is what the client holds dear aligned with their action steps and their ultimate goal? The more aligned the client is with their core values, the easier it will be to overcome obstacles and the clearer their path.
Throughout the whole process, the client is gaining awareness. It is awareness that leads to growth, self directed action and ultimately, transformation.
With any compass as we move along our journey, we use the bearings in order to help us keep going in the direction we wish to take. In my model – the ultimate direction we are going in – is “True North”, i.e. the direction that is in alignment with the client’s authentic self.
The awareness bearing is in red – just as on a real compass the red marker shows you that you are in alignment with True North, (True North being the direction that your authentic self really wants to take).
So as the bearings move the client and I can check in: what are their emotions, values and beliefs showing us with regard to their current situation, motivation, and objective? How about with regard to actions steps and learnings? As I move the bearings of my coaching tools around the compass, through deep listening, powerful questioning, and empathy I can find out their how aligned the client’s values, beliefs and and emotions are with their goals and help to inspire them to keep moving forward to True North, while staying true to their authenticity.
Each coaching experience is an adventure, for both the client and the coach. By bringing my compass coaching model with me, and my knowledge of coaching and exploring, I can partner with my client to help them navigate their own journey. By increasing their awareness through my coaching tools, I can help motivate and inspire them to continue moving forward towards their “True North”, the direction that honours their authentic self, their truth and their essence.