When I take on a coaching client and we embark on that adventure together, there are a few things that will happen for and in my client throughout the process, regardless of the intent of the coaching relationship. I love to use the acronym R.O.A.R for the process, because that is truly what happens to the client–whom I will call a “he” for the sake of this blog post:
RECOGNIZE: My client will identify where he is and where he wants to go in the future. For this to happen,I as his coach will help him look at himself as a whole person (spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, social, vocational) and ask hard questions as to which areas are neglected or focused on. It is my job to point out how all areas are related and to assess personality, natural gifts, life experiences, etc. It’s his job to recognize his need for change… As a coach, I listen closely for passion in the “recognize” phase, because it is a true window to my client’s soul.
ORGANIZE: Once my client has recognized his need for change, he and I together will organize the challenges he will face and the choices that need to be made; we’ll strategize; we’ll organize problems and look at options and then prioritize. We’ll move from information (head) to application (hand) by motivation (heart). My job here is to help my client realize and stay focused on skills, talents and strengths. This might involve figuring out who the people are in his life who can help him. We will map out a general direction but we won’t be able to plan every step. We’ll just go one stepping stone at a time.
ACCEPT: This is where my client accepts the challenge of change, making a clear commitment for it. Sometimes, we shake on it, or we sign a contract, or write a letter of commitment, or find another way to make the commitment more real. There will be deadlines and we design a way to keep him accountable, keeping the goal always in sight and protecting energy by balancing time to focus, rest, relax, exercise, connect with people, etc. We all know that a battery does not stay charged up without an alternator, right? If things go wrong, we’ll step back, analyze situation and build on strength, making adjustments if necessary. Pain is most often a normal part of the growing process and my job will be to help my client work through the pain and stick with the goal by keeping him accountable and giving him a new perspective if necessary, keeping his dream alive. I love to rememeber that it’s the dream that is tested, not the dreamer. Pushing through takes work and perseverance, and this is where strength and character are being built. This is where true growth is experienced.
REALIZE: The change is happening or has happened, and now my job is to help my client sustain the changes. What is he going to do to continue the growth, and what is he willing to do to overcome any setback that might come? Because as we realize our dreams, there are always places to grow… and that is wonderfully exciting!