Coaching Model: PLACE

For Coaches

A Coaching Model Created by Audrey Mark
(Strengths Coach, CZECH REPUBLIC)

A Holistic Approach

I chose “place” as my model’s representation because, through my coaching journey, I have come to appreciate more than ever the value of each human being, their uniqueness, and capacity for growth and goodness. For me, place recognizes that each one of us has a place in this world that must be recognized and respected. Appreciation for our differences and varied contributions should be celebrated. This, I believe, would be a positive force in the world and beget tolerance where now there is division.

On a smaller scale, the PLACE model has been articulated to apply in a workplace or individual setting. It revolves around the holistic approach to coaching where each person is recognized for how they matter within a group (family, society) or organization, given the value each person has to offer. It places the impetus on the employer and the organization (society) to help each articulate and achieve their best self, aligned with the goals of the organization.

Holistic coaching is centered around the tenant that everything is connected and each person is must be considered as a whole, not simply the personas we might encounter at work. So, to achieve growth and help someone achieve their best self in the workplace, concern for the balance of the whole must be addressed.

This includes within the organization as well. Holistic coaching implies fostering a greater appreciation for how one’s contribution impacts the organization as a whole and the people within it. This connectedness provides a wider perspective and allows for the optimization of resources.

As well as giving employees a sense of their role in your team, it can give perspective on their place in the wider business, helping them feel more connected and showing them how they matter.

It can shine a spotlight on personal stumbling blocks and repetitive behaviors that might be negatively affecting work, as well as offering solutions like stress management, and relaxation techniques. This type of coaching can take time to achieve results, and there’s the possibility that deeper, emotional problems may be triggered.

Each letter stands for the pillars which sustain the foundation of this approach, it does not reflect a guided process to follow. I chose this approach to a coaching model because I am still finding my niche and focus. This model stems from what I heard time and again in mentor coaching, labs, and observed – believe in your client, believe that they are smart, believe they know what is best for them, appreciate them and their capacity for growth and greatness. This may seem obvious to the rest of my peers, but for me is an important key to becoming and remaining a good coach. I thought it would serve me well to have this reminder always with me so I never take it for granted.

The attributes of the model are cross-competency compliant. They support the coaching process and work within the coaching framework to remind the coach to appreciate and support the client’s own personal journey wherever it may take them.

Strengths Coaching Model Audrey Mark

Perspective

The place model starts with requiring a deep focus on the perspective with which we initiate a coaching conversation. This means we recognize the individual as different and celebrate the richness that these differences can bring. This requires letting go of our preconceptions and personal biases; clearing the way for a fruitful collaboration. With perspective, a coach can appreciate the point of view of the client.

The client may also benefit from examining different perspectives. Our coaching questions allow us to discover these perspectives supporting, or not, our client’s desired outcomes.

Without an empathetic perspective, we are not setting our relationship up for success from the beginning.

Life-balance

It’s important to include the whole individual in the coaching process, even if the focus is professional. This means we should encourage and embrace an employee’s search for balance in life because a balanced individual is happier, more productive, and more creative. We recognize that an employee is the sum of all the aspects of his/her life and neglecting to nourish the whole self will result in a lack of balance that will affect demeanor, relationships, communication, health, productivity, creativity, etc.

The importance of finding balance has often been traditionally played down or overlooked. In these times of distance and disruption due to covid-19, we have a unique opportunity to see this lack of balance play out on zoom screens across the world as parents, and non-parents alike, have openly struggled to cope with a lack of resources and support that we once took for granted before the pandemic.

Achieve

To achieve means:

To succeed in finishing something or reaching an aim, especially after a lot of work or effort.[1]

In coaching, the achievement is defined by our client.

  • What is important to you?
  • What do you want to achieve from this coaching session?
  • What would you like to happen with ______?
  • What do you really want?
  • What would you like to accomplish?
  • What result are you trying to achieve?
  • What does success look like?
  • What do you need most right now? 

The alignment of personal and professional goals need not conflict and can allow the client to reach their full potential. Here again, values or strengths assessments can help a client understand their patterns of thought, feeling and behavior to avoid disconnects between who they are and who the company, or colleagues, or family members expect them to be.

Connect

Connection is the glue that keeps society together, on small and large scales. All human beings year for it; love is based on it. It is a deep need that no one can deny, for extroverts and introverts alike. Studies have shown that a lack of human connection can be more harmful to your health than obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure.[2] It is crucial to not neglect the importance of connection when coaching the whole individual.

In coaching, we aim to achieve a connection with the client to offer our best coach-selves. We listen actively, we watch for physical cues, we clear our minds to receive all of what they are giving.

With covid restrictions imposing distance for many, loneliness is on the rise and human connection is ever hard to maintain. These new challenges will require coaches to be ever more attentive to these needs.

Encourage

A coach is by the very definition one who encourages – growth, success, change – whatever our client’s goals are, we are there to encourage them. We encourage by creating trust and intimacy, through our presence and listening direct communication, and accountability through planning, goal setting, and managing growth. We are there solely to encourage our clients to reach their full potential as they define it.

We must use the core competencies to support and nourish, and feedback new learning into the cycle of growth and development.

Resources

[1]Definition of achieving from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press, retrieved 10 February 2021

[2]Science  29 Jul 1988: Vol. 241, Issue 4865, pp. 540-545 DOI: 10.1126/science.3399889

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