A Coaching Model Created by Simone Anzboeck
(Impact Coach for conscious business and leaders, Myanmar (Burma))
The essence of my coaching approach
I work with individuals and companies, who are on a mission to have a positive societal impact on the world. At heart, my clients care about the world’s problems and take an active role in solving them. They are intrinsically value-driven with a desire to give back.
They want to become the best version of themselves so they can do the best for others. At the same time, they are looking to integrate their aspirations – professionally and personally – with their role in helping others. Similarly, they work in a context that is constantly changing – from assignments in new countries to shifts in political or economic developments affecting their work. It is a push-pull situation that needs navigating and balancing all the time.
My clients come to me when they are stuck and are looking for answers to move forward. Through their work, my clients are the solution- and problem-oriented individuals; this makes them inherently interested to find the answers to their challenges too.
As a coach, I see it as my job to work with their unique (life) experiences, strengths, values, personality; all of the ingredients that make my client who they are, and are also the elements that ultimately will make them choose the path forward.
No coaching situation will be the same as no person is the same. We all bring our unique past, present, future ideas to the table, as well as our personality and character traits. As a coach, it is my role to pick up my client from where s/he is at and partner with them to support them to where they want to go.
Hence my approach: work with, not against (see figure 1)
Figure 1: Work with, not against –coaching approach
My coaching approach: Work with, not against
Inherently, coaching helps individuals move forward and past something that is (perceived to be) in the way. Moving forward can mean a lot of things depending on the client’s situation. It might mean finally addressing that conflict between wanting a “home base” with the global, traveling international development professional that they are. It may mean finding a balance in life that allows for personal space. It might mean looking at strengths and weaknesses in their leadership to get the most out of their employees. Along the way, the coaching journey opens new possibilities and opportunities – and often surprising ones.
At the center of this coaching-journey in the coach-client relationship. The interactions in sessions as well as work between sessions support the client’s increased understanding of self, which leads to new learnings, which then leads to the application of learnings between sessions.
The clients’ work is the ultimate focus in all these interactions. The client’s work might include:
- Assess the current situation and envision the future desired state;
- Examinethought patterns, values, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors
- Distinguish between the current reality and past events;
- Gain clarity on desired future state or way of being
- Make choices and take decisions.
This deep work leads to a greater understanding of self and to opportunities for applying that learning.
As a coach, I am the facilitator and partner in the deep work done by my client. Being an international development professional myself, I understand the push-pull situation my clients are under. I bring my knowledge, expertise, and wisdom into the coaching relationship through the choice of direction, tools, and support I provide my coachee along the way.
Every coach brings a unique lens to coaching, which determines their focus throughout the coaching journey with the client. My unique lens is this: I do not believe that there is a one-size-fits-all model to work with a client. I do not have a standard process or “formula” that each client goes through when they work with me. I use specific exercises, tools, and assessments based on the specific situation that the clients bring me.
Through my professional and personal life and my journey as a coachee, coach, and mentor, I have seen first-hand how applying a few key insights can make all the difference in navigating the constantly changing environment international development professionals face.
I apply these key principles in my coaching. They are my “lens” as to what to focus on and what to work with to help the client get unstuck and move him forward. These might be in the form of powerful questions in the session, experiments between sessions, or assessments to deepen the client’s awareness of themselves.
These four principles are:
- Play to your strengths where you can
The opportunities to contribute to the international development field are endless. While the world might be my clients’ oyster, it adds to the pressure of needing to choose. By focusing on one’s strengths, one can narrow down the options of what to go for in the future.
At the same time, playing to your strengths is a key tool when navigating change – as so many international development professionals constantly do. In times of change, stress, or big events, we naturally gravitate towards our strong suits in overcoming the situation. Knowing what these are and working with them, will make any change process a lot easier.
- Work with the brain, not against it
It is fascinating to me that we have such an important organ, but we know so little about how it influences our day to day life. Having dived into neuroscience and neuroplasticity over the last few years and its influence on change, understanding, and recognizing brain patterns and your brain will go a long way in understanding self and how our brain is sabotaging us in our thinking, feeling, and behaving.
- Build your resiliency toolkit
A lot of change is hard and difficult. A client cannot do this by sheer will power alone. In difficult situations, it is important to be able to dip into a resiliency toolkit – practices, ideas, tools, and support to help one go through the change. I believe such a resiliency toolkit is very individual. For one person this might be a key person in their life that they need to speak to daily, for another, it is daily exercise and for someone else, it’s both or more of that.
- Understand your past and learn from it
We all have events and experiences that have left a mark – whether it is a happy one or a painful one. The way we behave, we feel and how we react to situations is influenced by our past and the people around us. Becoming aware of some of these “triggers”, gives us the ability to consciously make decisions in the now. Without the work of moving things from the unconscious to the conscious, forward movement will be more difficult to sustain.
Ultimately, my role as a coach is to understand my clients’ point of view, introduce clarity to their situations, communicate openly and directly, keep looking at the context and wider picture while being laser-focused on my client’s goals.
By doing this, the coach-client relationship supports not only forward movement but also upward movement: The reality after coaching is fundamentally altered to the one you had before coaching. This is due to the change in beliefs and thought structures that happen during a coaching journey. Through coaching, my client, therefore, not only achieves the result they came into the coaching relationship with, but more than that: they have increased their base-line resilience to face similar and new situations in the future through access to new knowledge (about themselves and the world) as well as tools at their fingertip