THE SUCCESS LADDER
According to Eric Parsloe (1999) “Coaching is a process that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve. To be successful a Coach requires a knowledge and understanding of process as well as the variety of styles, skills and techniques that are appropriate to the context in which the coaching takes place”.
“The Success Ladder”, my coaching model works as a framework for me as a professional coach to help my clients in recognizing and overcoming any challenges they have to face. It can be used successfully at any field of coaching, Life, Career, Health, Sports, by any professional coach. “The Success Ladder” suggests a strategy for me, or any coach, in approaching the task of helping my clients develop in the area he/she sets as priority at the time that the coach/coachee relationship is established.
STEP 1: EARNING TRUST
Trust is vital in the coach – coachee relationship. In order for the coachee to open up and share with me his innermost thoughts and feelings, especially those that he/she considers are the reasons for not accomplishing his goals, trust must be built. According to the ICF, one of the Core Competencies of a Coach is “Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client”. ICF suggests that a coach, “Shows genuine concern for the client's welfare and future, continuously demonstrates personal integrity, honesty and sincerity, establishes clear agreements and keeps promises, demonstrates respect for client's perceptions, learning style, personal being, provides ongoing support for and champions new behaviors and actions, including those involving risk taking and fear of failure and asks permission to coach client in sensitive, new areas”.
During this stage I commit in being there for the client throughout the journey of coaching, while at the same time building hope and optimism for the process of coaching and the results it can bring.
STEP 2: GOALS AND FEARS
At this stage the exploration begins, both for me and the client. I will ask the client questions about his current state, how content the client is with it, and whether there are any aspects in his/her life that he/she would like to change or improve. While getting the answers, I will identify in what areas the client has major concerns and help the client elaborate in these areas to identify their effect on the overall picture of the client.
It must be my intent not only to familiarize myself to the client but also to make the client more aware of his situation, his wants and needs, his current actions, and how these actions create opportunities or obstacles for him in achieving his life’s goals. I must encourage, explore and reinforce the client’s expression of feelings, perceptions, concerns and beliefs, through which both can understand what will be the object of their cooperation.
Through powerful questions, the client’s goals and fears can be listed, and they can be the starting point of each coaching contract. Some suggested powerful questions that can be used at this stage are:
It must be noted that, what is considered a powerful question will vary according to what each client wants to come out from the Coaching relationship and must be adjusted accordingly.
STEP 3: OPTIONS
At this stage I will set, always in cooperation with the client, the options that will efficiently and effectively help the client reach the agreed upon goals set in Step 2. I can help the client identify his Options through:
The end product of this stage will be a list of the major areas in which the client wants to achieve major change.
STEP 4: THE WAY FORWARD
Stage 4 is the setting up of a detailed action plan that will incorporate step by step approaches that will help the client achieve all his major goals, simply by achieving the smaller steps that will be initially agreed. More specifically, at this stage, I will:
The accomplishment of every single step must be recognized by me and the client, and celebrated accordingly. In the same respect, when the client does not fulfill the agreed upon actions, I must positively confront the client, recognize the reasons why this happened, and adjusting the Coaching Plan, if necessary, accordingly.
STEP 5: THE DESTINATION/VISUALISATION
Step 5 is an amalgamation of the final destination and a “technique” that will be used by me throughout all other stages of the Success Ladder.
Creative visualization is a mental technique that uses the imagination to make dreams and goals come true. Used in the right way, creative visualization can improve one’s life and attract success, prosperity and anything that a person sets his mind on. It is a power that can alter ones circumstances towards desired results.
I must introduce the term to the client very early in our relationship. On one hand, visualization will provide an image in the client’s mind, as if he/she has already achieved everything he/she has set out to achieve, which will initially help in the setting of his/her goals and it will later on facilitate the effort of working towards these goals. On the other hand, by visualizing “Our Thoughts become Things” according to Mike Dooley. And by introducing this concept to my clients, ensuring him that the whole Universe will be working on his side to make all his wants happen, the whole process will be facilitated.
THE SUCCESS LADDER IN SPORTS COACHING
In sports, a coach is usually considered an individual that provides supervision and training to the sports team or individual players. Sports coaches are involved in administration, athletic training, competition coaching, and representation of the team and the players.
However, many major athletes, in various sports have their own life coach that helps them achieve their biggest goals both professionally and in their personal life. A major example is Serena Williams, 21-Time Grand Slam Tennis Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, who says about Tony Robbins “Tony Robbins’ coaching has made a remarkable difference in my life both on and off the court. With Tony's help, I've set new standards for myself, and I've taken my tennis game—and my life—to a whole new level”!
As mentioned above, the Success Ladder Coaching Model can be used in any field of Coaching, and Sports can be one of them. It can help an athlete, set goals for his practice to achieve greater results in his field, overcome times that for various reasons his performance has diminished, cope with extensive competition in his field and deal with any challenge that the demanding field of sports sets on athletes.
I have already coached several athletes, having as my framework my coaching model, the Success Ladder. Step 1 is a very important phase in the coach-coachee relationship, since athletes are used to the idea of sports coaches, and are very skeptical to the idea of a life coach and how one can help them achieve greater results in their field. Earning their trust was fundamental in setting a good foundation for the coaching work that follows.
Setting goals is routine for athletes. However, many of them, face a difficulty in turning their spoken goals into actions that will lead them to the desired results. Steps 2 to 4 has helped me guide athletes in setting smaller goals that has helped them reach higher levels of performance bit by bit, while staying focused at the end goal at all times.
Furthermore, through visualization, the athletes I coach manage to see clearly in their mind their success at the end of the road. And this mental image, helps them face any fear of competition, any fear of failure, and cope with the intense practice that is running parallel to our coaching sessions. Every obstacle and every excuse that was once in their minds is vanished through the Success Ladder Process.
It is vital to state that a life coach for athletes might need to cooperate with the sports coach, in order to help set a Coaching Plan that will be in line with the Coaching Plan set by the sports coach, and both coaches must work together with the athlete, in order to achieve the desired results.
Empowering individuals in getting the life of their dreams, can be on one hand the object of a specific coaching contract, but most importantly, it is a competency that every individual must master throughout his/her life, in order to cope with any challenge that comes in their way.
I believe that the Success Ladder Coaching Model is a successful tool in supporting me in my quest to help people see the infinite power that lies within them.
Ever since I was a kid I remember listening to adults, my father, my mother and many other people saying “We should be glad that we have our health and we can work”. Without realizing it, that became my way of thinking, my way of life. Even as a kid, I was working during summer holidays in constructions with my father. Since the age of 20, up until I was 35 I always remember myself doing two jobs, eventhough I did not have any major financial needs to do so. Someone might say that this is not a bad thing, but it was certainly not ideal for me. I wasn’t even doing things to spend the money I was making in a memorable, or at least fun way.
I was doing two jobs, and I didn’t liked neither. I wasn’t even paid a decent salary from them. For 10 whole years I was doing what was engraved in my head “I was “glad” I had my health and I could work”. At the time, I could not see the negative impact that this way of life had on me. I am not sure if I was depressed, however, I was living in the dark, not knowing there was a better way of life out there. But feelings don’t lie, and no matter how much or how little you know, feelings will overwhelm you eventually.
I am sure many of you, if not all, are familiar with the feeling of work stress, feeling unappreciated at work, not recognized no matter how hard you try. That is what I felt for ten whole years. For ten years something within me was yelling that something was missing, that something was wrong and that the way I was living could not be called a life. However, I could not define it, I could not clarify it in my head…and years passed by, day after day, with me doing the same thing over and over again, day in day out.. Until one night…
I think it was a Monday morning, around 3:00a.m., and as I was sleeping, I woke up, sweaty, with unbelievably strong back pains. I felt like someone was pulling all of my bones trying to break them. I had never had this feeling before, and up until now, it is certainly the most scary feeling I have ever felt. For 20 seconds, every possible assumption about what was happening to me passed through my mind, and they were all negative. I was trying to find something pleasant to think about my life, and I could not identify one single thing…
I don’t know how long it took me to recover, but during that time, a phrase stuck in my head. And I felt that I could see things more clearly after that. The phrase was “NO MORE”!
For 10 years I was doing what everyone else wanted. NO MORE!
For 10 years I let others make my decisions. NO MORE!
For 10 years I was living an unmotivated life without one single goal. NO MORE!
How could I have let 10 years pass by so miserably? Even though I do not like the blame game, I have to say that I was never told what it means to dream, to set goals, to expect the future full of optimism, to know that you can accomplish anything if you put enough effort in it, to know that we set our own limits, and to overcome your limits and become better in any field in your life, is the greatest feeling of all. It is a feeling of abundance, abundant happiness, abundant joy, abundant excitement.
After that night, I only had one thing in mind. That I would create the life I wanted for me. And everything magically started to change. One decision was enough. I started to change, I was seeing things more positively, I believed in myself and the power within me. I started saying NO to whatever and whoever tried to take me out of my way towards all my goals. One tiny step at a time, I managed to accomplish so many things for me, that a few years back I was under the illusion that they were for anyone else but me.
That wakeup call a few years back, which thank God was not related to any health issues, was my spiritual awakening. It took me out of my dark, and drove me at a new direction, the direction to my best life. Since then I have accomplished so many things, and every day I know that I can and I will accomplish any other goal I decide to set for myself.
I see everyday people that remind me of my past self. I have come to realize that most people are imprisoned in a life that does not fulfill them. If you are one of them, please allow me to tell you, that LIFE IS ALL ABOUT:
OVERCOMING PERSONAL LIMITS
Stop finding excuses, stop thinking about everything that could go wrong. 80% of most people’s thoughts are negative thoughts. And there are those other people that think that they can do anything, nothing can get them out of their way towards reaching their goals and achieving their dreams.
Which one do you want to be?
Visualise yourself as if you are already living your dream. You are on this earth only to live your best life. Just take the first step. It is the most important one for reaching all your goals. Just take it!
Stelios specializes in coaching you through your personal and professional lives. After many years of experience in many fields, as an employee, as a manager, as an entrepreneur, and involvement in many sports including athletics, basketball, volleyball and muai thai, he became a professional coach in his quest to find a way to help people. He considers his love for life and people to be his niche. His vision is to make the world a better place through helping people achieve their full potential and achieve extraordinary results"