A Coaching Model Created by Sophie Huot
(Life Coach, FRANCE)
Impose your chance, hold tight to your happiness and go toward your risk. Looking your way, they’ll follow. René Char
At the core of my coaching practice is the belief that if we are authentic, if we liberate ourselves from the multiples injunctions, expectations that don’t belong to us if we live aligned with our values, then we will feel fulfilled.
Like anyone, I’ve been shaped by my experiences, but being an expatriate for the last year has definitely changed the person I am.
I was feeling like a blank page. Because everything, everyone around me was brand new, I was suddenly feeling allowed to be whoever I wanted, to act however I wanted, without facing disappointment, surprise or disapproval from my relatives. I experienced the benefit of taking a big step back and facing myself with trueness.
I would like to offer the same opportunity for my clients. Space where they can experience being or finding who they are, without judgement, space where they can test their ideas, their creativity, where there is no failure nor success, and ultimately find the support to dare to show the world who they are.
From my former professional experience as talent manager within a Human Resources department, I’ve witnessed, powerlessly, numerous people suffering in their work life, wondering about their next career step, struggling to find the right balance between their professional and personal lives, doubting about the right decision to make. Most of the time, they just kept going down the same road, tolerating the same dilemmas, enduring the same dissatisfaction. Furthermore, personal and work lives are closely embedded together, taking a new road regarding one’s professional life will most likely require to adjust one’s personal life as well. Therefore, holistic change is required.
My former position nurtured my belief that many individuals in companies, for multiples reasons, are excluded from the benefit of being coached.
The vast majority of professionals do not have access to company-funded coaching, and others may want to find their solution outside their workplace.
They are not top executives, they are not entrepreneurs. They are middle or senior/top managers, questioning themselves and their professional life. They need a short-term solution, a goal-oriented process, a deep transformational change.
These are my clients.
With a safe, no judgemental, confidential and supportive approach, I can help my clients with:
- Making decisions
- Getting unstuck, unleashing their potential
- Finding their own management model and own career path
- Creating their own solutions
- Taking their very own life path
To do so, the ultimate questions are: who are you, what do you really want, what are your deepest values, what is your intent in life?
I firmly believe that from authenticity and trueness will emerge fulfilment, happiness, performance, and balance (see my power tool: Authenticity vs Compliance). Being authentic, the clients will discover how resourceful, powerful, and creative they are.
However, because we live surrounded by injunctions, internal or external, DARE TO SHOW THE WORLD WHO WE REALLY ARE, with all our imperfections, is not that easy.
The chase for perfection is everywhere: women have to be perfect mothers while still being sexy; they have to be outstanding professionals but prepare homemade organic meals. Men are supposed to be ambitious and be a managing director by the time they are 40 year’s old, but they also have to be caring and available Dads.
The DARE model is then both my coaching philosophy and my process.
Be the owner of OUR solutions, paths, believes, hobbies, career, relationships, and get rid of those that don’t belong to you, is the way for self-realisation.
Define what needs to be changed.
Establishing a trustworthy relationship between the coach and the client, and a real partnership is paramount for the coaching process’s success.
My responsibility is to create a place where the client can feel safe, listened, supported, not judged, where there is a room for emotions, but also for some flashes of humour in order to brighten the session and release the pressure.
Once the coaching relationships and agreement is settled, we can start digging into what needs to be changed.
Depending on the level of awareness, the client may need help to define what needs to be changed. In any case, this search, through powerful listening and questioning, is essential to know where the client wants to head to.
- What are you tolerating in your life right now you don’t want to carry anymore?
- If you were 85 years old, and have a look back on your life, what would you like to see?
- What do you really want? What do you want to accomplish through this coaching relationship?
- How can we state your objective so it depends only on what you do, and not on the choices or actions of others?
We need to dig under the surface:
- Is the situation circumstantial, or is there a pattern here? Have you been in a place like this before?
- What do you gain from responding this way? What does it give you that you need?
Allow your true self to show up
To make a deep transformational change, meaning that this change is not based on brutal forces, being authentic is key.
Through exercises on values (Diner with values for instance), powerful questioning, and on-going mindfulness during the coaching sessions, the objective is to enable the client to let its true self showing up.
My role then is to give the client some feedback to track down the underlying beliefs, the limitation thoughts, to notice the use of words like “I should”, “I have to”, to bring up to the surface of consciousness some automatic disempowering thoughts or behaviours, some inner negative voices.
For the sake of the argument, let’s imagine a woman who is trying to find some balance between her family and professional lives.
Depending on the injunctions and the expectations she may have, the real challenge for her may be to dare to admit that she’s ambitious, that her priority is to build up her career, but on the opposite, it may be to dare to realize that the ambitiousness she’s carrying, doesn’t belong to her, that she complies to an outer expectation, or it may be to assume that she was ambitious and she’s not any more, at this moment of her life.
Allowing our self the right to change, to re-discover who we are, what we really care about, takes courage and support, including form our relatives.
But the energy we find in being authentic will support the journey.
Re-aligned your life with your values and your desires.
With the gain of awareness, a change of perspective, a new way of thinking, a new perception, the client can liberate its own creativity, and start designing new options, tailor-made solutions.
The coach is present to support this creativity.
Multiples techniques can be used (“Coaching questions, a coach’s guide to powerful asking skills”, by Tony Stoltzfus)
- The Five options Technique: “give me five options for how you could tackle this challenge?” “if you got really radical, what would you try?”
- Thinking outside the box: when you see a client functioning inside a box, we name the box, we help the client explore what might happen if they went outside it.
A box might be:
- The other person must change for things to get better
- The resources I have now are the only ones available
- There is some external circumstances I’m stuck with and can not change
- There is something about myself that I can not change
At this stage, the client is designing options, but because coaching without action is not coaching, the client has to go further: taking actions and experiment the change.
Experiment the change
The Cambridge definition of the word “Dare” is :
Put your thoughts into action; turn your will into reality; show the world you’re changing and moving forward is definitely a challenge, so the coach has to be present to support this transformation.
Through acknowledgment, accountability, support and trust, the coach will help the client to design action’s steps, to dare to experiment the change.
On the way, we may need to identify obstacles, and “the immunity of change map” exercise can be very powerful. By revealing hidden competing commitments, and big assumptions, this tool may help the client to clarify what’s holding him back to make the change.
Moreover, given that the belief that willpower is enough to reach success is a disempowering myth, the client will have to find his very own structures to support actions (ICA “creating structures” module). Sooner or later, the willpower will decrease or will be lacking, this is just being a human, but when it happens we tend to blame our self for our lack of willingness, it saps our confidence and energy.
Then, finding out structures that will help you the day your willpower will be lacking, is paramount for success.
Good structures are always there whether we are feeling focused and determined or exhausted and disillusioned (ICA “creating structures” module).
Ultimately, the client will feel energized, resourceful, powerful enough, to be the owner of his very own life, and will have learnt so much about himself along the process that he won’t need a coach anymore.