Career Coach, SINGAPORE
This coaching model “OSCAR” has been developed with several considerations – ICF competencies, ease of application and values and beliefs that I believe are essential to both the coach and client to ensure a successful and fruitful coaching relationship. I have termed the model as such as an analogy to a glorious winning outcome (“Oscar Award”) with each alphabet representing a key stage in the coaching process. The 5 key stages are as such:
O : Openness
S : Self Awareness
C : Courage
A : Action
R : Review
On a visual representation, the model does not operate in a linear fashion. The stages operate continuously in a cyclical manner and all elements take place concurrently till the end of the coaching process. This happens as the coaching process is a journey in itself and often needs to be refined along the way, adapted to best interests of the client. To make this more interesting, I will reveal the visual representation progressively as the 5 stages are explained, and I hope that this will be something interesting to you.
The first stage of the coaching model starts with Openness. Openness is a value that I hold strongly to my heart. To me, this means being receptive to new ideas, new experiences. For a coach, this means a willingness and ability to embrace varying viewpoints, cultures, and styles in learning and communication. When we are open, and believe in the client, we can listen better and refrain from making judgments which can affect the process where client attempts to uncover their real intent. The minute we start to impose our thoughts, we stop listening because we go into trying to provide a solution as a response towards our clients based on our personal assessment of the client’s situation.
Openness is facilitated by embracing humility and having a curiosity towards diversity. This also means wanting the best for the client, and has to come from heart. Only when we are open, and non-judging, a trusting space can be created between the client and us. They should feel free to explore their challenges, beliefs and fears openly without worries of being judged. The honesty from the client is a crucial element in self-awareness and will move the client towards their goals in a stronger manner as if the fears/ beliefs can revealed, discussed and worked upon.
Being a coach, being open also means that we embrace that we do not have all the answers at all times. This is the true spirit of coaching where we are constantly learning from our clients, coaches and other sources. This is a value that is important to share with clients to prepare them for the journey. Clients come into a coaching relationship because they are ready for changes and to take action. The coaching process often requires time and the journey requires them to embrace new perspectives including having to let go of those that are hindering them. Having an open mindset will prepare clients for the next stage which is self-awareness. Self-awareness is a critical process as the client extensively reviews and uncovers their intent and outcomes they desire.
During this stage, the client may sometimes be confused and overwhelmed by perceived resource, environmental constraints and their weaknesses. It is very important for the coach to be extremely attentive and leverage on powerful questions to help client clarify their intent, based on the language and observations made on the client. The coach has to facilitate to enable the client to assume ownership and responsibility for this discovery process, because it will shape the actions they want to drive. As a coach, one need to be mindful and practice self-awareness at all times, especially with sensitivity towards the clients’ language and emotions. These need to be taken as facts and observations to help the client and not internalized or judged as truth or fraud in any way. At the same time, the coach needs to be very careful with questioning and avoid asking leading questions that will steer the clients towards a conclusion arising from the coach’s perspective.
During this process, it is also important for the coach to work with client to seek out the values and beliefs of the client that will align with their goals. Conflicts need to be discussed to clarify intent and perspectives that may need to be reframed. At the same time, the coach should discuss the strengths of the clients, leveraging on their past successes and also identify supportive structures that can be enhanced to help them progress towards the goals. This process is critical with the client also internalizing the support that they have (or need to garner) to boost them along the journey. The coach will also need to ensure that positive energy is present during this stage, facilitation using relaxation techniques may be adopted to help client relax and stay focus and regain mindfulness and self-awareness. The coach has to focus on what is important to the client, and help them in the process of revelation. Part of this process includes leveraging on visualization by client on the achievement of the outcome to improve the sense of empowerment and energy to move forward.