A Coaching Model Created by Sarah Viana
(Life Coach, UNITED STATES)
Over the past two decades as a Human Resources Professional, the most rewarding moments have involved working with talented, driven individuals as they experience a personal or professional transition. These transitions have been full of pivotal moments, admirable levels of determination, and meaningful breakthroughs. The circumstances have been vast including transitioning from college to career, becoming a working parent, pursuing a flexible work arrangement, exploring a new career interest, considering relocation, preparing for a promotion, balancing personal interests with work demands, and growing into a community leader. I have personally experienced many of these transitions in my life and career, which though I am open to sharing I have found that adopting a mindset of discovery rather than advice–giving has been the most impactful in coaching others.
As I started my journey of becoming a Certified Professional Coach I realized that I have been enthralled with understanding individuals throughout my life what lights them up and how they can deliberately choose to thrive. As I reflected on my purpose as a coach and this honor of being part of a client’s life, an image of a lighthouse continued to come to mind. Lighthouses symbolize a way forward. A lighthouse represents strength, resilience, guidance, and hope.
I see my clients like ships embarking on deliberate journeys to create the life they truly want. The length of each journey varies; some take more time than others to make the most out of the experience or to reach the desired destination. I think about it as the difference between an afternoon excursion versus a week-long cruise or even a six-month voyage. Each provides an opportunity for reflecting on the impact of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Each journey gives space to understand progress, motivators, and obstacles as well as to plan for what they would like to do more of and what they would choose to adjust in the future. Similar to how a lighthouse helps to guide a ship on its journey, as a coach I commit to supporting, raise awareness, tackle barriers, and keep my client focused on the topic at hand.
Clients entering into coaching commonly want to identify a specific direction, get unstuck to get to their desired destination or have a specific storm to weather. This is fueled by personal interests or external circumstance to:
With the focus identified, we can cohesively explore and establish a synergetic course for the client to obtain their desired results.
My reflection on the meaning and image of a lighthouse sparked the creation of my coaching model: Signal • Explore • Set Your Course.
A client’s signal can be described as something drawing their attention; it lingers on their mind through daily life, attracting and occupying their attention to various degrees.
To support the client in understanding this “signal,” I may ask my client:
- What aspects of your life would improve by focusing on this?
- How will achieving this help you?
- What would you like to think/feel instead?
I invite my client to stay curious to explore, discover, and acknowledge the additional possibilities and opportunities.
To support the client to “explore,” I may ask my client:
- What is driving you to move this forward?
- How is this discovery aligned with your personal values and beliefs?
- What do you need more of right now?
- What descriptors would you use to name this feeling/thought?
Set Your Course:
Through the client’s exploration, they now take their awareness and discoveries to “set a course” through committing to action.
To support the client to “set your course,” I may ask my client:
- What is your preparation level to get started?
- When would you plan to get started?
- What will this look like?
- What obstacles may come up? How would you address them?
Through coaching clients with my model I create an open and encouraging space for the client to explore purpose, possibilities, and potential – all while gaining awareness, experiencing clarity, and committing to the next step. It’s about embarking on a journey of deliberate living. Through coaching clients, they recognize that they always have choices and the opportunity to make active decisions to achieve their best life!