A Coaching Model Created by Rackel Correa
(Executive Coach, BRAZIL)
Values and Principles
The Iterative Coaching is designed to help people transform their lives in personal and/or professional aspects, moving to a space of satisfaction and fulfillment.
It is based on the principle that any transformation needs to be aligned with the personal values, the essence of each individual, thus ensuring that the choices done by the individuals lead to the best realization of their potential. The ultimate goal of the coaching process is to help people maximize joy and wellness in their life journeys.
By exploring desires, obstacles, beliefs and perspectives during the coaching process, the client gains clarity and awakens the inner ability to choose actions and behaviors that will lead to success – be it personal or professional, in its more essential meaning.
Being an evolutionary process, the Iterative Coaching Model is not a predefined sequence of steps. We call it Iterative based on the concept of Iteration, defined as “the act of repeating a process with the aim of approaching a desired goal”. In our model, client and coach move back and forth through development phases in the coaching journey, embracing bigger contexts in each iteration, as the process evolves.
Figure 1: Iterative process
The Coach/Client Relationship
The coaching process is based on the relationship between coach and client.
Formally, there are important rules of engagement, usually stated in the coaching contract. These rules define practicalities like session times, regularity and length of the process. They are also useful to clarify the coaching process scope, confidentiality rules, and to set up the client’s expectations about the overall process.
However, what really determines the quality of the relationship are subjective aspects which involve intuition, perception and chemistry. These things influence the potential to build a trust partnership, essential to allow the client to feel comfortable to explore personal issues during the coaching process. This trust-based environment is essentially what determines if the coaching process will be successful.
The coach approach allows for the creation of the rapport between coach and client, so that this trust environment is built.
In the coaching process, it is the coach role to help the client to be self-aware, self-decisive, and to take self-directed actions. To accomplish this, the Iterative Coaching uses effective tools in different contexts of each session.
- Powerful Listening:
The first and essential tool used by the coach is the powerful listening. All human beings need to feel heard and understood, to keep a sense of self-worth. In the conversation between client and coach, the focus is all about the client. Offering empathetic and non-judgmental active listening, the coach allows for the client to feel welcome and understood.
During the process, the coach does not listen only to what the client is saying, but also to how they are saying it – emotions being expressed or withheld. The coach notices and interprets the client’s tone, rhythm, pace and breathing during their speech, as well as changes in voice, changes in subject and avoidance of questions. Also, the language used by the client and certain expressions used may indicate unconscious hidden messages. All these aspects unfold the client’s
- Effective Questioning:
Combined with Active Listening, the effective questioning is used from end-to-end in the coaching process, to promote reflection, reveal core values, tackle blocks to change, improve problem-solving thinking, establish goals, develop and track action plans.
Self-awareness is the first stage of change. It creates the opportunity to see the underlying beliefs and assumptions that drive our behavior. These beliefs are usually below surface, they are thoughts we hold on to about ourselves and the world around us. And sometimes we fall into situations or have outcomes that we don’t consciously choose, because we are being driven by these deeper thoughts.
The approach of curiosity and inquiry used in the effective questioning supports the client to unlock the beliefs that stop them to achieve their goals.
On the other side, there are also underlying beliefs that support positive behavior, and bringing them to surface empowers the client to consciously rely on positive beliefs, by reinforcing their connection with positive outcomes.
- Appreciative Inquiry:
Coaching is a strengths-based model of bringing about change, growth and goals achievement. Appreciative Inquiry is a discipline that aligns with this model, and is used in the Iterative Coaching process to identify what is working well in the client’s context, and capitalize on strengths to create positive change in performance and professional development.
By accentuating the positive, the coach encourages the client to explore how they can build on those qualities or skills. This moves the client from disempowering places of fear and doubt to a more empowering place of self-confidence.
Appreciative Inquiry supports the client to remember challenging situations where he/she was successful, where he/she used skills similar to what are needed now, which the client may not be seeing in themselves at the present. With different techniques, the coach can help the client to recognize hie/her own strengths and use them as tools to take advantage of opportunities and reduce eventual weaknesses or threats. This feeds the client’s self-confidence and empowers him/her to to achieve his/her goals.
- Non-judgemental Feedback:
The feedback in the Iterative Coaching is an observation, an information noticed or discerned by the coach from what the client is saying. It is non-judgmental, on the sense that it is not based on opinions, but rather neutral and objective.
Constructive feedback provide insights, opens thoughts and expands vision. For instance, the coach may have observations on the language the client uses when talking about some specific point, or some patterns (repetitions) the client uses in their speech, which might indicate that there is more to explore on that.
In the visualization process, the coach drives the client safely to another time and space, defined by the client future vision.
This tool is used to get the client familiar with achieving their goals, by the exercise of “living” in that place for a while. It is a powerful strategy to help the client get more clarity on their values and life vision, but it can also be used to bring smaller goals to a concrete experience for the client.