A Coaching Model By Georgina Bartels, Transition Coach, GHANA
The pattern of our lives is essentially circular. We must be open to all points of the compass; husband, children, friends, home, community; stretched out, exposed, sensitive like a spider’s web to each breeze that blows, to each call that comes. – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
WEB – Find Meaning in the Complexities of Life
As an African (Ghanaian) and a woman, I have learned through experience, folklore, advice that all aspects of our lives are intricately woven together. Something on one side affects something on the other side. Having balance or identifying the points where the points of our lives connect and what we can do to make them connect better helps us to live fulfilled lives at work, home, with relationships, dreams, interests, etc.
All things are interrelated and interdependent; nothing exists in isolation. The entire universe is one ecosystem, similar to a spider web—if one part is touched, the entire net shimmers. – Matthew Flickstein
In Ghanaian folklore, the spider web is depicted by the Adinkra symbol- Ntentan.
This symbol signifies wisdom, creativity, knowledge, and the complexities of life. Wisdom is associated with knowledge, experience, and sensible judgment when it comes to making decisions and taking actions. Creativity involves using imagination and unique, original ideas to create something different and new. All this is required when building something as complex as a spider’s web, which is the idea behind this symbol.
Since the spider’s web is woven into an intricate pattern to trap tiny insects easily, it encourages the Akans to emulate the creature’s wisdom as well as its creativity to achieve its goals. Therefore, the Akans use the symbol as a reminder to think wisely in the complex and difficult journey of life.
This coaching model WEB is aimed at helping coaches to guide clients to find meaning in the complexities of life, to apply different ideas and solutions in the achieving of goals, to work with a single-minded purpose, and be action-oriented. This model is to be used as a transformational tool for people going through changes either in career, relationship, or life situations.
The model focuses on the interconnectivity of life, decisions, actions, and outcomes.
- E– Empower
- B– Become
W – Want
Want is defined as the desire or wish for something or to do something. At the core of every change or progression, is the desire to have something, be something or do something. This may be because some link in our web of life may be changed, touched, or broken and there is a desire to fix or create.
First, the coach guides the client to identify the exact want or wish, find clarity as to why that want or wish is needed, what role it plays in the web of life, what achieving that want or wish will do and its impact on the client’s life. Some questions that can help gain clarity are:
- What do you want to achieve?
- Why do you want to achieve this?
- Which parts of your life does it affect?
- What will your web of life look like should you achieve this?
These help to establish the goal that needs to be met, the situation that the individual finds themselves in, what achieving the goal would do for them, and what it would look like when they do achieve the goal.
E – Empower
To empower is to have the ability to do something. It is also defined as the process of giving a person the knowledge, skills, and confidence to overcome obstacles and make free choices, create change, and achieve their fullest potential. Another definition is that empowerment refers to the process of improving one’s life through fostering feelings of strength and confidence. It truly focuses on the feelings of improvement and elevation of one’s current state of living. Usually, when one is in a situation that they want to change or improve, there are thoughts of self-doubt, of feeling out of control or uncertain. These thoughts are disempowering and curb one’s ability to make decisions or see things from a positive perspective.
The coach after partnering with the client to establish the want or wish and its impact go on to guide to explore and identify ways to empower the client to move forward. This could be a change/flip in perspective, identifying previous ways in which they successfully confronted the issue, identifying and naming their feelings, having a clear view of the situation, calling out limiting beliefs, and challenging assumptions. These will lead the client to a place of awareness and the ability to begin to formulate actions that would move them forward. This stage focuses both on inner thoughts and outward actions. The linkages of past actions, present beliefs, assumptions, and possibilities are explored and how they link with each other to produce the desired outcome. The use of open-ended questions and visualizations will help at this stage.
- What has informed your actions or beliefs about the situation?
- How do you feel about the situation?
- What would you do differently?
- What are you learning about yourself?
- What has worked in the past?
- What would empower you to move forward?
- What is limiting you?
- Is this choice moving you closer to your goal?
B – Become
The Free Dictionary defines becoming as to grow or come to be. According to the Framework of Doing-Being-Becoming, “Becoming- means how people redefine their values and rethink their priorities to prepare transformation of their new roles. This concept of becoming may change continuously over time, reflective of how a person sees his or her future.”
Here a new state of mind and awareness is created by being empowered to visualize and put in place actions to build a new future state. Actions that will lead the client to a state of “becoming” that person or creating that situation that is fulfilling to them. The wish or want that was established at the beginning of the coach-client relationship will inform the actions which are powered by the new self-awareness and change in perspective. A clear action plan based on what is achievable can now be put in place. Being empowered creates an awareness of what could stand in your way or limit you and what resources you can leverage or utilize to help you stay the course.
Some questions to be asked are:
- Which option do you choose?
- Specifically, what will you do to achieve your goal and when?
- When will you start?
- What can derail you?
- What can support you?
- How will you celebrate?
- When will you evaluate progress?
The coach will need to guide the client to draw connections between their situation, actions, beliefs, and feelings. These are all intricately woven together and the realization of this accelerates the path to self-awareness. This understanding of the connections and connectivity of life once understood can cause a great shift.
Teach them that a spider does not spin a web. Spiders spin meaning. Cut one strand and the web holds. Cut many, the web falls. With the web’s fall, so too falls the spider. Break the web. Break the spider. So breaks the circle of life. – Frederic M. Perrin
This self-awareness aids in empowering the clients and making them aware of what is in their control and what can move them to the desired state. Using this model can be quite a simple and effective tool to cause a change in perspective and help clients manage a transition in their life.
Empowerment – What does it mean? | Silver Linings (wordpress.com)
Framework of Doing-Being-Becoming | OT Theory