Coaching Model: The Dragonfly

For Coaches

A Coaching Model Created by Donna Horn
(Executive Coach, CANADA)

Executive Coaching Model Donna HornMy Tagline:  People finding their power.

My Mantra:  Creating a space for people to see who they are and what they are capable of.


The dragonfly has been an important symbol and source of inspiration in my practice for many years.  I connect to the wonder of dragonflies and therefore it is a perfect fit to use this glorious creature in the model for my coaching practice.

My coaching model encapsulates my values, beliefs, and commitment to my coaching practice.  I believe people have the capability of being whatever they want to be and having whatever they want to have.  Through my coaching, I support them on their journey, creating a space where they can identify a goal or vision, explore their current internal and external state, choose what they might want or need to shift, and move intentionally and confidently towards their vision.

My model is my own and reflects my life learning and experiences.  I am a Landmark Forum© graduate and took many additional courses with Landmark Education. I am a graduate of the Pacific Institute’s Investment in Excellence© program and have used the tools and perspectives of these programs in my own life for over fifteen years.  I have worked for several years with the boutique leadership development firm Roy Group, whose work supports clients to establish coaching cultures within their organizations.  Through my learnings and associations in my life rubbing shoulders with these impactful experiences, I am well versed in many concepts valuable in coaching. These learnings and experiences as well as others have shaped my approach and beliefs and are interwoven in the fabric of the model I have developed.


The Dragonfly symbolizes change, hope, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization. Seeing dragonflies in nature is a sign of a healthy ecosystem; because they eat insects, they are present only when the surrounding area is free of toxins and pesticides.   Dragonflies have approximately 28,000 individual telescoping lenses as eyes, which cover most of the head and provide the dragonfly with almost 360-degree vision[1]

That a dragonfly symbolizes the health of an ecosystem is an important aspect of my model.  Coaching is a healthy practice.  Coaching supports each of us to articulate our dreams and move toward them.  Coaching is an art and a life practice.  It is a point of view.  It does not need to be encapsulated in a professional coaching relationship to be practiced; the art of coaching can be applied by anyone, anywhere at any time to support others.  What could be more wonderous than having a space held by a friend, family member, or co-worker, who at a fundamental level believes that you are whole and complete and capable, listening and asking questions of you in support of you realizing your full potential and what you dream of?  That a dragonfly has a nearly 360-degree vision is also very symbolic of what is possible for an individual through the skilled support of a coach.


The components of my model are as follows:


Head of the Dragonfly

Represented by the head of the dragonfly, this stage of the model is focused on what the person wants to achieve, or the possibilities they want to move towards.  This may not be fully clear to them in the beginning, and it is something I will help them to continue to revisit and adjust as the process unfolds.  It may begin with a small goal and then transform over time as alignment increases into an overall vision of where they want their life to go. 

Possible Questions

  • Where do you want to be in six months?
  • What do you want to accomplish through coaching?
  • How do you see yourself in the future?
  • How might you align your life to the values you hold?

State of Being

Tail and back wings of the dragonfly

Represented by the tail and the back wings of the dragonfly, this is the process of assessing where the person currently is, and where they want to be.  Because actions always correlate to beliefs, the ability of a client to take action and realize their goal or vision will be contingent on the beliefs they hold.

Possible Questions

  • What is the current state, what are their current beliefs, values, perspectives, strengths?
  • What might be in the way of them achieving the goal or possibility they have identified?
  • What is the clearing that they need to create for themselves to move forward?
  • What is the headspace that might be needed?
  • What alternative perspective might be valuable?
  • What strengths can they leverage on their journey to get there?
  • Where might they need to develop resiliency?
  • What emotions are they experiencing?
  • What are the thoughts behind those feelings that could be explored?
  • What intelligence is available behind those emotions?


Forward wings of the dragonfly

Represented by the forward wings of the dragonfly, this is the process of supporting the client to assess and confirm the responsibility they see for themselves in moving toward their vision or goal, the actions they want to take, the commitments they want to make. 


  • What structure do they need to ensure they can take the steps they want to take? What support from others might be needed or available?
  • What might get in the way?
  • What does their creativity tell them about how to overcome obstacles, either internal or external?
  • What skills or strengths might they need to develop or leverage?

Executive Coaching Model Donna HornCoaching Process:

The coaching process and space that I hold for my clients are represented in the body of the dragonfly, supporting them to move along their own process from tail to head. 

Dragonflies have segmented bodies, which represent steps along a coaching journey. Each smaller goal traverses this path, and a client may make the journey multiple times, or loop back to a previous segment for further exploration, as they move towards the vision they have for themselves.



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