A Coaching Model Created by Theresa Custer
(Leadership and Business Coaching, UNITED STATES)
Why an Iris?
The iris is a beautiful and hardy flower that loves light. During the Middle Ages, irises were used by French monarchy to represent “perfection, light and life.” The delicate flower stands atop of a hardy stem giving it a firm foundation. Another type of iris is a part of the eye. It is the colored disc inside of an eye. The color, texture and patterns of each person’s iris are as unique as a fingerprint. It is responsible for controlling the diameter and size of the pupil and thus the amount of light reaching the retina.
The word iris is derived from the Greek goddess of the rainbow, due to its many colors. A rainbow is one of the most beautiful artistic creations that Nature herself can paint for us. All four of Nature’s elements participate in the creation of the rainbow: fire, earth, air and water. It is created by the first rays of sun (fire) piercing through the heavenly dew (water) which is still suspended in the sky above (air) after a rainstorm. And the rainbow touches the ground below (earth) at both ends of its majestic arch. As a rainbow only appears after storms, it is the symbol of the cleansing process which heralds in new life and new creation. A rainbow represents the Divine, God’s handiwork, His creation, and a promise or covenant with His people that He will not again destroy the entire earth with flood.
So much symbolism in an iris, light, perfection, color, life, creation, a promise, the beauty after a storm… All of this symbolism can be directly related to the stages and process of coaching. It is an awareness, a reflection on one’s self and others, the trust and covenant between a coach and a client, and the transformation to something truly beautiful.
THE IRIS COACHING MODEL
Discover the desires, aspirations, and goals of the client. Where would they like to be? What would they like to change? Establish the parameters of the coaching relationship such as confidentiality, frequency of coaching sessions, duration of each session, and boundaries. Build a rapport with the client so they may feel at ease. Establish an environment of trust and comfort for the client to speak freely and without judgment.
Meet the client where they are. Be completely present for them. Effective listening will help the client think through situations on their own, with the coach providing complete objectivity, undivided attention and unparalleled support. Help them to visualize where they see themselves when they’ve achieved their goals. Help them to self-reflect, to understand their true values and to identify the obstacles in their way. Support them to discover perceptions and ideas on their own to overcome the obstacles.
Inspire the client to push themselves to achieve their goals. Motivation and acknowledgment is needed from the coach in order for the client to commit to specific courses of action. Support them in making life changing decisions. Passion drives and inspires people to move forward. A passionate coach is engaged, enthusiastic and eager to help others. Celebrate the client’s successes and capabilities for future growth.
A shift in thinking takes place. The client is able to develop and stick to a plan. They become “unstuck” and move forward toward their goals. They feel empowered to take charge and be accountable for achieving their goals.
Just as an iris reaches for the light and grows to a beautiful flower, and the iris within the eye allows enough light in to witness such beauty, so as the client will be transformed by reframing their perspectives to achieve their goals and desires. It is a beautiful transformation of the human spirit.
Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream,
Really do come true.
Written by E.Y. Harburg & Harold Arlen