A Coaching Model Created by Tan Nguyen
(Executive Coach, AUSTRALIA)
A Journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step – Lao Tsu
This statement is so true no matter the circumstances. It embraces simplicity, clarity, and power.
It’s simple and clear, we don’t need an explanation, in fact, each of us has experienced this with or without us realizing it. Be it crying for the 1st time in our life when being born, learning to speak the 1st word, take the 1st step, writing the 1st sentences, becoming father/mother…and each of us transforms into such wonderful individual, achieving wonderful success in life, being a great parent, a great composer, successful businessman or simply a kind human being.
It’s simple and clear also because all we need is the 1st step and repeat that 1st step every day. To me, simplicity and clarity are essential to begin any transformation, to achieve our goal and maximize our potential.
Yet, the statement is so powerful in a way that it focuses on the action of moving forward. It’s powerful in a way that it connects with our emotion. Acknowledging that each of us constantly fighting with our fear and also realizing that once we take the action, fear will disappear AND, the moment we hesitate / unsure, fear is creeping back into our mind. Fear stops us from the action, and thus stop us from realizing our goal of becoming “better me”. And yet, if our desire for“better me” is strong enough, that desire will be translated into action and will bulldoze the fear. This is a constant battle and realizing this requires that each of us have a solid structure to encourage “better me” side to win and eventually creating a “better me” habit, this is when transformation begins.
Yet, the statement is powerful in the way that it looks forward. It forces us to refuse to look back and beneath this statement is a powerful question “what are you willing to give up to enable better me to flourish?”. It says that knowing what we want and the action is simply not enough, we must be willing to give up something in order to give a “better me” chance to be realized.
How many times do we hear people complain about not being able to wake up early for exercise, provided all of them have an alarm, commitment, gym membership. This is because we miss the “giving up part”. If I am not willing to give up Netflix, not have the courage to say NO to someone, etc. in order to go to bed earlier, we can’t just wake up for the gym. And even if we go to bed early, there is no guarantee that we wake up willing to go to the gym, that will need support too and most importantly, every time.
All we need is to take a simple step and clearing the way so that the simple step can be taken. And never forget this process repeat every day (Déjà vu).
To more effectively help the client moving forward and realizing their “better me” goal, the coach would focus on being curious about 3 things: Clarity – Simplicity – Courage
Clarity: How can we help the client have clarity of their goal / “better me” goal
Simplicity: How can we help the client develop their own activities based on the principle of simplicity. A simple action that if taken long enough will lead to their “better me” / goal
Courage: How can we help the client to acknowledge the need to have courage, not only to take the action but also to give up other important things so that this action will take place and therefore they will have a better chance of achieving their “better me” / goal
Help client have clarity of the goal of becoming “better me”
- How does that look like
- How would that make them feel
- What are you willing to give up in order to achieve this “better me”
Support the client in identifying a simple step that is simple to take but if taken repeatedly, will lead them to “better me”
- What needs to happen
- How is it going to happen
- What might stop it from happening (every day!)
- How do we “make space” for the action side to win every time
Support and encourage the client to realize we need the courage to realize our dream of “better me”
- The courage to give up something important now in order to achieve something greater
- The courage to believe: to take a small step and believing that it will lead to your “better me” in the long term
This model reflects my personal belief and experience going through a transformation in my life that helps me become much happier in life and take on a career challenge with a much more open-minded and thus having better result. Looking back at those experiences, one critical point I learn is not what we decide to do but what we decide to STOP doing. The courage to let go of things that hold us back.
This model is developed with support from my peer coaches: Margot Ling, Elizabeth Tuleja, PeterTavernise who have supported me with enthusiasm
Last but not least, this model can not be finalized without people I coach (either successfully or not yet). Reflection on what has worked and not worked helps to make my vision of the model clearer.
My commitment is to continue reflecting & modifying this model through future works.