A Coaching Model Created by Wayne Farrell
(Business Coach, UNITED KINGDOM)
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.—Chinese Proverb
Result is an acronym for:
R– Reason for being there
S– Self awareness
T– Time to reflect
As a coach it is important to have an attitude of curiosity and to use powerful questions to get to the deep structure of what is going on in the client’s life. So the questions we ask as a coach serve a purpose, and need to be well thought out. The questions will depend on the client and the situation, so you may have some standard type of questions, but it is important not to limit yourself as a coach by only having a set of questions set in stone. Your curiosity as a coach will also help guide you as to which questions may be pertinent to the situation.
In using these powerful, probing, thought provoking questions it is very important for the coach to be actively listening and to be present. Being totally there with the client and not being lost in other thoughts not relating to the client. That does not serve the client and will also not endear you to them as it will become obvious to the client that you are not fully there for them. An easy to read book which demonstrates very well the importance of being present is called “Fish Tales” by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul & John Christensen.
So bearing this in mind, let’s look at what we mean by each of the parts of this model.
The following diagram is a visual flow chart of the model and means to illustrate that the steps are all interconnected and yet independent of each other. The coach is in flow and can dance with the client and although the individual steps stand and are important by themselves, the process is not totally linear. As a coach we do each of these steps, although not bound by rigidity. We may do a number of steps, not always all, in each coaching session.
Reason for being there
Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have given concrete form to the intangible desire. – Napoleon Hill
I have experienced people calling to start a potential coaching relationship and at the first meeting it is evident that they don’t actually want to be there. They have either been told by their boss or by the significant other person in their life that they need coaching. It may even be a young person that has been told by a parent to have coaching. They had no intention of actually taking up the services of a coach as it never crossed their mind that they needed one. In their model of the world they were doing great.
What is the potential problem with somebody being told to go for coaching? For one, if somebody does not want to be there or in a “coaching relationship”, they will make you suffer for it. They will not do their homework, be late for sessions or do something that is going to make it extremely hard work to coach them. They may deliberately sabotage the coaching sessions.
In a coach- client relationship, the client needs to ask to be coached and they need to want to achieve results. They need to have a vested interest in making it work. Thus it is very important to understand the client’s motivation for actually meeting with you or being there.
Another potential problem may be that the client is actually looking for a therapist, mentor or somebody other than a coach. So it is very clear to understand why they are there to meet with you. Often people think that a coach is there to tell them what to do. I have experienced this on a number of times with business coaching clients. Some business owners think that it is the coach’s responsibility to come in and turn their business around. To show them how to manage their staff or set up contracts etc.
In the same vain, a coach is not a therapist and although a therapist may use coaching skills in their interaction with their client, the coach is not a therapist. Some coaches may have a therapy back ground and be in a position to help the client and in those instances it is important to explain what it is you are going to do for the client and what type of relationship you are entering into. As far as the ICF is concerned, in a true coaching relationship, the coach does not do any therapy, but rather refers the client to somebody else if the need arises. The water can become muddied if clear boundaries are not drawn up at the start of the coaching relationship.
I never cease to be amazed at the power of the coaching process to draw out the skills or talent that was previously hidden within an individual and which invariable finds a way to solve a problem previously thought unsolvable.– John Russell Managing director of Harley-Davison Europe
When we talk about establish it serves to encompass a number of things. Establishing a coaching agreement, establishing rapport with the client, establishing what the client’s goals are.
As part of the ICF requirements it is a requirement to establish a coaching agreement. This will lay out the terms of the coaching relationship. What both the client and coach can expect and what the responsibilities of each will be. Each client will be unique and as such the coaching agreement may differ depending on the client situation. An example of this may be a life coaching client may have an initial agreement term of 6 sessions, where as a business coaching agreement may be from 6- 12 months. The price you charge a life coaching client may be different to what you charge a business coaching client. Essentially the agreement will lay out the terms and conditions etc. of the coaching relationship, so that both parties know what is expected of them and what each other’s role is.
Establishing Rapport is extremely important with our clients. Interesting prior to NLP, rapport was only mentioned in hypnotherapy circles and it essentially meant, “The magical state where in the client hears only the hypnotherapists voice and accepts what the hypnotherapists says to be true.” NLP turned the Rapport into a process and now we have the ability to create and break Rapport with practically anyone at any time. This is essentially achieved by matching and mirroring the client. There is a whole lot more to be said around the process of Rapport, although it is not the aim of this tool to explain that in detail.
The reason for mentioning Rapport here is to say that people, who are like each other, tend to like each other. So utilizing Rapport can help to break down barriers and is very valuable in working with clients. It also serves to establish trust and intimacy with the client. Helping to create an environment that is conducive to the client feeling safe and empowered to achieve their goal.
Helping the client to establish a clear understanding of their goal is of course paramount. Often clients will come to a coaching session not really knowing what their actual goal is.
They may realise that the goal they thought they wanted is not really the true goal.
Some questions to ask here could be:
- What would happen if you got it?
- What wouldn’t happen if you got it?
- What would happen if you did not get it?
- What would not happen if you did not get it?
These questions may almost sound the same, but go ahead and try them on one of your own goals and experience the effect when you truly consider each question.
Another thing about their goal is that the goal they have may be the end goal and yet there may be goals they need to achieve before they achieve the end result. An example of this may be somebody that wants to lose 100 pounds. They currently do no exercise and their eating habits are detrimental to their success in losing the 100 pounds. For some clients this goal may be too big and that may be a REASON why they have not yet succeeded at it. Breaking the goal into smaller chunks that the client can succeed at, helps to build the clients confidence that they can achieve their greater goal. As an example, their mini goals may be broken down into the following parts:
- Go buy the right clothing to go to a gym. They may need to go buy the right type of shoes, depending on the exercise they wish to do.
- The next goal may be to actually join the gym.
- The next goal may be to sign up with a personal trainer and set up the exercise regime.
- Followed by a meeting with a nutritionist as the next mini goal.
- Losing the first 10 pounds could be the next mini goal and then increments of weight loss targets.
- And so on until the end goal is achieved.
Thus it is very important to establish what the goal or goals are and to establish the action plan to achieve them. Again ensuring goals are SMART. It is not the purpose of this document to explain what SMART goals are.
Whether you think you can or you can’t – you are right. Henry Ford
Working with the client and helping the client to become self-aware is enormously important. Through powerful questioning and active listening, the coach can create an environment in which the client can become self-aware. As a coach it is important to really hear what the client is saying and what they are not saying. To help the client understand what they believe about themselves and others. Also how that may impact on the client and their situation.
The coach should use mostly open questions so as to help the client really explore new ideas and avenues. This will also assist the client to become aware of things about themselves which they may not have been aware of before.
The use of closed questions obviously also have their place and an example of that would be when we want the client to commit to something. So the coach could ask a closed question like, “Do you commit to doing …?” Asking a closed question can be powerful in getting a clear deliberate commitment.
It is important to be able to help the client to become self-aware about what is really going on. That self-awareness can lead to understanding.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. – Eleanor Roosevelt
Helping the client to become self-aware and understanding things about themselves can be very empowering for the client. This is also very useful for the coach as it can help in the coaching process. As an example, helping the client understand what their values are and how that may be impacting on their life. Let’s say that the client has come to you as a coach, because they are not happy at work. They do not get on with the boss and the other people they work with. The client may feel conflicted. They are working in a casino. The client knows that something is not right, but they just don’t know what it is. As they discover their values, they realise that the fact that one of their top values is they believe gambling is wrong. Now as they understand how their values conflict with their job, they are in a better position to create the change in their life that they truly want. This is a very obvious example and something that you may imagine client’s being able to resolve for themselves, but you would be surprised. Often clients are so close to their problem that they just can’t see them. Values in and of them self are actually out of consciousness and are one of our most unconscious filters along with our Meta programs. Using tools like Meyers-Briggs personality profile can assist in understanding personality types, but is not meant to put the client into a box. Again it is not the intent of this document to explain personality types.
Helping the client understand their own beliefs can be very useful. Beliefs can either empower or disempower us. Helping the client to understand what they believe and where their beliefs come from can assist in changing the beliefs which are disempowering. An example here could be the client who believes that it is impossible to lose the 100 pounds form a belief that it is possible. By achieving the little interim goals in between and building on those successes can assist in changing what they believe to be possible.
The level and types of understandings will be dependent on the client and their goals. As will the learnings that they make.
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning. Albert Einstein
From an NLP point of view we believe that the client has all the resources they need to achieve to succeed and achieve their desired outcome. To paraphrase what Carl Jung said when talking about perception is projection, is that it is not possible to perceive something that is not already within you. Even though it may be at a very unconscious level. That is not to say we carry all the skills and knowledge to achieve it. It simply means that we have the resources available to us and it is the role of the coach to help get in touch with those resources.
The coach helps the client to identify their strengths as well as areas for learning and growth, and what is most important to address during coaching.
So in sticking with our person that wants to lose 100 pounds, they may not know how to do it just yet. So what do they need to learn to assist them in their goal? Well we said that they may need to see a personal trainer who may teach them what the right way to exercise is for their goal. They may learn from the nutritionist what type of fat burning food to eat and what quantities of food would assist them in their goal.
So the client may have to learn new skills and the coach can assist the client in getting in touch with those resources through questions like:
- Have you ever been your ideal weight before?
- Do you know what to do to be your ideal weight?
- Do you know anybody who has achieved the goal you are going for?
- What do you need to learn to achieve the result you want?
Exploring the things that the client may need to learn will also increase the client’s self-awareness and can increase their belief in their chance of success. It is of course important to manage expectations. We have all heard the saying, “You need to learn to crawl before you can run.” The client did not add the extra 100 pounds over night, so they cannot expect to lose the 100 pounds over night.
A great resource that both the client and new coach may find useful is reading a book like “The Compound effect” by Darren Hardy, in which he explains the effect of consistently doing a little. The concept is applicable to so much in life when we draw the parallel to it. The learning and new skills can come from many resources and again is client dependent. This then leads us to the following step which is time to reflect.
Time to reflect
If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. – W.0 Fields
One of the ICF core competencies is that the coach helps the client to make plan adjustments as warranted by the coaching process and by changes in the situation. So if something is working great. If it is not, or the goal has changed, then the plan needs to be changed. In identifying where the client is in relationship to their goal the coach can ask questions like:
- What is working?
- What is not working?
- What do you need to adjust to assist you in achieving this goal?
The coach must also hold the client responsible and promote their self-discipline for the tasks that need to be done as part of the plan whilst leaving the responsibility to the client to actually do the tasks. If the client has not done the required tasks then the coach must positively confront the client as to the fact the intended tasks have not been completed.
This accountability on the clients side can have massive impact on the client as many people have either never felt trusted to complete tasks on their own, whilst others may come to the realisation that it ultimately is up to them to achieve the result they truly want and to stop giving all the reasons as to why they have not yet achieved their goals.
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing. Abraham Lincoln.
In the client achieving success in any measure it is important to celebrate those victories, big and small.
Not only the major goal, but also the little goals in between. Often clients can feel overwhelmed by the tasks at hand and this can lead to an inability to actually even get started. People also beat themselves up because they do not achieve their goals quick enough or they don’t see the small changes happening. They are so focussed on the end result that they may get dismayed and often stop just short of achieving their goal. This could be the example of our person who may already have lost 60 pounds, but because their focus was on the 100 pounds, they may feel they are never going to achieve their goal. So they give up, not realising that they have already achieved 60% of their goal. Often that final push can be the hardest and it is important to reflect on how far they have already come.
By helping the client to realise that they are reaching certain milestones on route to their overall goal, not only refocuses their attention, but also builds and strengthens the belief in themselves that they can actually achieve results.
When you become a leader success is all about growing others.― Jack Welch