By Rob Stringer, ICA Faculty
Youth Coach, CANADA
There are many great reasons to create a coaching model—to use as a marketing tool, to help you gain clarity on your personal coaching philosophy, etc. However, based on conversations in class, some students’ initial attempts seem to prove problematic. So today, let’s explore some of the common problems encountered with creating coaching models and what to do about them.
(1) Think Philosophy, not Process
The problem for some Coaches that is they try to map out their coaching process—what occurs during every session. But as we know, every session is different if we are in “pure coaching” mode and allowing the client to lead/determine where they’d like to go and how they’d like to be supported.
In class we often talk about “zooming out” and looking at our coaching from 10,000 feet (a wider perspective). What are some coaching tools or concepts that really resonate with you? What is most important to you as a Coach? What value do you bring your clients? What problems or challenges might your ideal clients bring to you? Are there symbols or metaphors that appeal to you and/or might speak to your ideal clients? (E.g. a wheel, a map, a nature-inspired theme/image, etc.) Exploring these ideas, as well as looking at other models online (Google, the ICA Forum, etc.) will likely give you a better idea of the components you might like to include in your model.
(2) Think Progress, Not Perfection
Too many people worry about getting their model “perfect”, and the problem with perfection is that it usually keeps our clients AND us, from taking action. Remember, it’s highly unlikely that your model is going to be carved into a stone tablet and remain unchanged for the rest of eternity. So, it may be helpful to remember this can be a work in progress, a living document that can change and grow as you do. You might decide to change niches. You might discover new coaching tools, a new metaphor, or a whole host of other things that might inspire changes. Consider the question, “Is it good enough for now?”
(3) Remember, YOU Determine Who Sees It
Coaches or not, let’s face it, we ALL worry about being judged at different times in our lives. Creating a new coaching model may be one of those times for you. But the good news is YOU determine who gets to see it. You may decide to post it on your website or on the back of your business cards. But then again, you might decide not to share it with anyone, and file it away. Personally, I never used my model in my marketing, but there was still great value in creating it—gaining greater clarity on my coaching philosophy.
So, there you go. If you have been struggling with the creation of your coaching model, hopefully, these strategies will have addressed the barrier. If not, bring your model to the next Coaching Models class or Lab and we can all brainstorm together.