Coaching Model: IDEATE (Understand. Explore. Materialize)


A Coaching Model Created by Doña Moleka
(Life Design & Personal Development Coach, CONGO)


There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.– Edward de Bono

I used to think that creativity was only reserved for certain people. You know, the obvious “artists” (singers, painters, writers, photographers, designers, you name it).

Until I actually asked myself what is creativity? What does it even mean to be creative?

My definition of it was: to be able to think, imagine, create, materialize and/or EXPRESS what we have imagined; it is the expression of what is within us after we have brought it up to the surface. And the tool used to express and materialize what’s within varies from one person to another, depending on what we feel more connected to and drawn towards, or again what comes more naturally to us. Having said that, I went on and did some research about what others said about creativity. Here is what I found:

  • “Creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.” (Oxford Languages)
  • “Creativity is just connecting things” – Steve Jobs
  • “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.” —George Bernard Shaw

While some research on neurosciences explains that some people’s brains are more inclined to creative thinking, I deeply believe that because we are all born with the ability to think, but most of all to imagine things (whether good or bad)as well as to exhibit curiosity, we are all creative. Indeed, I believe that creativity requires taking time to listen to our inner self and is born out of curiosity and a desire to explore, create and try out new things.

Inspired by design thinking concepts, the IDEATE Model is born out of my desire to assist you to discover yourself, grow and ignite your inner creativity to create authentic solutions to fit your needs. It’s a creative problem solving and interactive coaching model that doesn’t focus on the problem, the issue or challenge you want to solve but rather on the experience you want to live while supporting and helping you overcome barriers, underlying beliefs, or assumptions that are keeping you from attaining your goal.

IDEATE Model Explained

Life Design Coaching Model Doña MolekaThe IDEATE model is made of three principal phases (Understand; Explore; Materialize) and 6 sub-phases (Identity; Define; Explore; Assess for Action; Try it out; Evaluate & Evolve) included in the principal ones.


It is important that you (the client) and I (the coach) partner and spend time understanding your current situation, the issue at hand (the reason you’re seeking coaching), as well as your needs and real desire. In other words, the where you want to go, the who you want to be, simply put, the experience you want to live. Indeed, before you can move forward, you will need to fully understand what is it that you’re trying to solve. And you may not know exactly when you start the coaching journey, but this step is designed to help to make it clear for you.

  • I – Identify what’s going on, what’s your current situation, your current reality, your truth; what’s the issue, the feeling, the emotion or challenge you’re dealing with. Moving forward start where you are, not where you were, should, or could have been. You are here! So, let’s start just here.
  • D – Define your need, your desired state; define what matters to you, what is meaningful to you about it; define what will change for you once you get to that desired state. At this point, both you and I will start gaining more clarity on what’s really important for you as well as the destination, the goal you’re wanting to reach.


Once we’ve got a clear sense of where you are in your journey and where you’re trying to go, we will go on and explore your thoughts, your different views and perceptions about life, others, your situation, and yourself, as well as exploring possible ideas and solutions that could move you forward. Both you and I will need to be curious and open to new awareness and discovery.

  • E – Explore client’s thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, values; explore limitations, underlying fears; explore ideas as well as the many possibilities and pathways that are available for growth and progress. We sometimes don’t see all that life has to offer because we don’t take the time to explore the inner self. Yet, it’s only when we’ve learned to see with the “eyes of the soul” that we can better see the world around us.
  • A – Assess which possibilities, which ideas, which insights fit and resonate with you the most, which ones are more aligned to your values and goal. With the awareness and the learning gained, you’ll be empowered to start designing a personalized and authentic Action plan.


An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.” ―Arnold Glasow. Building on the awareness of the possibilities, opportunities, and pathways available to you, we will now partner together to bring your ideas to life. As a coach, I will support and challenge you to create a robust action plan that you will be able to commit to.

  • T – Try it out, experiment.“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”. Ever heard of this beautiful line from Erin Hanson? Fear of failure is often (if not always) what prevents us from acting. But we’re here fly, isn’t it? So, what will be your next step? And how will you hold yourself accountable? This step is about you designing both your action and accountability plan. Go ahead and test your ideas, try out this new plan of yours, act upon it and be responsible for it. And if you’re still afraid, do it afraid anyways! Rather than simply creating awareness and coming up with ideas, coaching is about experimentation.
  • E –Evaluate and Evolve. As you move forward in designing your life (whether your personal or you’re work-life), don’t be afraid to evaluate your ideas and plan. Trials and errors are part of the journey, look at them as opportunities to correct your course of action, make some adjustments and re-align some stuff along the way to make sure you attain your goal. Self-assessment is a catapult for personal growth. It allows us not only to see what needs to be corrected but to acknowledge the small victories that need to be celebrated. Allow yourself to see them and celebrate yourself for achieving them.


You are a resourceful being and your own change agent. Through the IDEATE coaching model you will embark on a journey of self-awareness and discovery that will set you up for defining, articulating, creating, and designing a life that is authentic to you and that is aligned with your truth, your belief, and your values; a life that you are happy to live.

All you need is an open mind and a deep desire to evolve and flourish.


Cox, 2013, Are some people born creative? The Guardian, accessed April 27th, 2021,

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