A Coaching Model By Manuel Guerreiro, Executive & Life Coach, PORTUGAL
Explore Where You Want to TRAVEL
After 19 years working in multinationals such as Barclays Bank, Philip Morris International, Liberty Mutual, and Arrow Global, where I worked and lived in Portugal, Italy, Spain and Romania, I felt the need to stop and reflect on my career.
During my career as a Human Resources professional, where I was HR director of multinationals in Portugal, Italy, Romania, and Albania I had the opportunity to coach and mentor executives of more than 30 different nationalities within the scope of my functions (mainly senior executives). During this period, I focused on Coaching for performance, leadership, and change management essentially.
I’ve accumulated the management of 8 companies simultaneously and in different countries, I was responsible for the entire human capital development strategy of a multinational and was part of the executive committee’s half of my career. Something I believe gives me an understanding of the day-to-day life of an executive, his challenges, responsibilities, and difficulties that sometimes only those who have been through it can understand.
In addition to my background in psychology and human resources management, I have invested over these years in coaching training (Performance Coaching for Leadership: Executive coach training by ILM; Advanced Professional Program at International Coach Academy – 14 months), leadership (at the Portuguese Catholic University, Universidade Nova, BTS) and even in neuroscience (Neuroscience for Leadership at MIT Sloan School of Management), training that allowed me to improve my skills as a coach.
In these years working in large companies, I have been able to experience extremely positive things such as a great intellectual stimulus, organizational and financial recognition, gratitude from colleagues, the feeling that I have helped in the development of many people, and being able to be part of their growth.
But I have also experienced antagonistic feelings such as the feeling of not having time to focus on other activities that I also love and cultivate myself as a man beside the profession. I felt at times I have neglected other spheres of my life at the expense of my career. I felt enormous pressure from constant evaluations and experienced key moments where failure was not accepted, and extreme tiredness due to overwork. I have experienced an urgency to accept more responsibility without reflecting deeply on what would really make me happy. All these and other things that we can explore when we get to know each other. I think it was very important to have gone through these not-so-positive experiences as well as the positive ones because, by having explored them, I will have a deeper understanding of what you might be feeling too.
Just like on a trip to an unknown and mysterious place, that naturally makes you feel insecure or even afraid, wouldn’t you rather do it with someone who’s been there before?
This is what I propose to be your travel partner. Someone that can accompany you to the most incredible and bright places, but also to the darkest and most complex. If you decide to go to these places, isn’t it good to have at your side a person that can deeply understand your experience and who might have the resources you need to allow you the best and most productive journey?
In fact, during all these years there has always been a passion parallel to my professional activity, my escape, which allowed me to dream and reinvent myself, learn and change perspective sometimes – Travelling. It is an almost universal passion that unites us all and seems to me to be the perfect metaphor for what we will do in our coaching sessions.
Coaching, like a trip, is moving from our current reality to a different one that makes us feel better. Imagining this new reality can sometimes seem like an unrealistic and distant dream. As for some of our dream trips, discussing and identifying where you would like to “travel” and what the purpose of the trip is will help these goals become more real and attainable.
Our sessions will give you the opportunity to explore where you want to travel while encouraging you to think of ways to make it happen. Discussing your options, goals, and potential obstacles within a coaching session can provide you with the motivation and confidence you need to finally put those plans into action.
This reflection resulted in the model I developed and we will put it into practice in each of our sessions:
Target Your Destiny
In each session, you will define a specific goal for the session but also you will define a greater target that you are heading towards through our sessions. As important as defining the objective, is to define how you will know you have achieved each of your objectives. We will spend all the time needed for you to feel confident that the objective of the session is what is really important for you. I will bring no pre-conception or judgment as to what you should want out of life or where you should “travel”. I will act as a facilitator of change and a channel to unravel your potential.
Recognize Where You Are
You will look to the current challenge, where you currently are, the context/environment, your current ways of thinking, current beliefs, and all the efforts you’ve done so far. The better you understand where you are, the better you will identify what you need to do to get to your target destination.
To get from where you are to your target destiny you will explore all opportunities that exist. It’s an exploratory phase where you’ll use all your creativity and all your skills. You will define everything you need to make each option happen, you will explore resources and support needed and timings you would like to respect. This part of coaching is where you get to flex your creative muscles to identify ways forward that you hadn’t fully appreciated before. It isn’t about committing to each new idea but exploring possibilities for progress. As a coach I will ask you different open questions to support you in expanding your reality, challenging the status quo, exploring ways of thinking, and developing your full potential.
Venture (Dare to)
In this phase, it is time to evaluate the cost and benefits of the different options and decide. As in a trip, we can reach our destination/objective in different ways, with different budgets, and therefore it is important to define the cost and benefit of each option and decide based on that. After this analysis, you will have an accurate notion of what option you want to follow and you will be committed to following it and experiencing it.
Now that the decision is made it is time to make it happen. You will develop an action plan and define the structures you need to put in place to achieve what you want. In this phase, it’s important to reflect also how you will celebrate when you get there. How will you reward yourself? What things will you do to stay positive during the pursuit of this objective? How will you continue to focus on this objective? How will you keep motivated and be sure you will do it? How will you make sure you will remain accountable for your decisions?
Land in Your Destination & Learn
This last part is all about review and reflection. After all the hard work and effort, you’ve put in, these final questions enable you to highlight your insights and learning to yourself. As in travel, if you reflect on what you’ve learned, you will become a better traveler and this will allow you to explore more and better in the future. It will help you to solidify your learnings and identify how you can use them in your future. As a coach, one of my objectives is for you to develop your skills, realize your potential, and have many more resources to overcome your future challenges. Throughout our coaching conversations, you’ll find that I don’t provide advice or guidance. I help you to learn and grow into a better version of your own self.
Our coaching sessions will become catalyst moments of greater happiness, change, and understanding of yourself so that you become the best version of yourself. I don’t know anyone who has regretted traveling or being coached!