TREK – A Coaching Journey


A Coaching Model By Donald Borg, Transformational Coach, AUSTRALIA

TREK – Quest to Be a Better Version of Themselves

I love the great outdoors. I love traveling, exploring, and experiencing the beauty of a new place. I dream of having all the time in the world to do exactly just that!

I’ve traveled extensively. Over time I learned that it’s not always about the destination. In fact, on several occasions, the journey was equally if not more rewarding than the actual destination. I discovered that enjoying every moment of the journey made the destination somehow less important.  

However, the biggest learning I’ve had of all, is that everything in life is ultimately what you choose to make of it. Appreciating every moment on the journey towards achieving your desires and dreams for me is the key to a fulfilling life.

It sounds easy and straightforward, right? Not quite! Easier perhaps if we have the right mindset, the right tools, resources, and support network to help us along the journey. Occasionally we all need some help in figuring out what is it that we’re exactly chasing, where we are headed, or even perhaps the path to take.

Enter Life Coaching. From the outset, it ought to be spelled out that the Coach is not a tour guide nor the GPS! The coach is like a supportive friend and a trusted advisor rolled into one. International Coaching Federation defines coaching as ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership’.

I discovered the power of coaching through the course of my last role in the corporate world and later it was also what helped me gain clarity on my bigger Why, my values, my beliefs (including the limiting ones!), as well as what supported and got me through the toughest times of my life.

Coaching for me now is about giving back and helping others be the best version of themselves. My clients tend to be driven individuals from all walks of life mostly in their 30s and 40s who are looking for that buddy to transition to that next chapter in life, further push them along and hold them accountable in their quest to be a better version of themselves.

I’ve found that my desire for travel, and for helping others grow have somehow merged into my new calling. For me, the excitement of an adventure is exactly like that of a journey of self-discovery. I selfishly take pleasure in seeing others experiencing those Aha moments and discovering new heights that they perhaps didn’t think they could ever reach.

The TREK Coaching Model

I have summarised the coaching journey in four stages and each stage is as important as the other.

  1. Take stock of your current situation. The What.
  2. Realize the bigger picture in Life. The Why.
  3. Establish the way forward. The Where.
  4. Know what it is going to take. The How and Who.

Take Stock

Where am I at? What is happening? What do I want? We all find ourselves from time to time and in situations by choice or otherwise, where we are left wondering what exactly is going on. What is happening at home, at work, or perhaps in the different communities that we form part of. It’s not always clear as to why we’re feeling the way we’re feeling. One could be at the top of their game yet feeling a great sense of unfulfillment. Or one could be in their dream job yet not feeling the same sense of satisfaction that they thought they would be experiencing.

This is the start of a journey for the client which is also the most important as it’s the beginning of something. When partnering with the client the coach needs to recognize and support the client in understanding What is. At this stage, the client is unclear or perhaps even confused, emotional, and unaware of what is at play such as their own beliefs, values, meaning, purpose, and goals. This is the stage for the coach to support the client, be comfortable with the current situation, and start formulating what it is exactly that they want to achieve through this partnership or this conversation.

It is of great importance that both the client and the coach have a very clear understanding of the actual goal the client wants to achieve.

Realize the Why

This is less so about the Why the client finds themselves in where they are today as coaching is NOT about dwelling on the past. If the client is stuck in the past and they’re unable to move past a significant event perhaps then coaching may not be the right solution for them at this time. This phase, therefore, is more so about the Why this is such an important topic for the client. This stage is where the client establishes clarity on their meaning and gains a deeper and broader understanding of their values and beliefs system. Life without meaning is like setting out for a trek at night with no lights on. As Victor Frankl said,

The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her own life.

The role of the coach is to support the client gain awareness of the bigger picture of their life. During this stage, there is a deep exploration of the client’s thoughts by the client themselves. The coach does not lead, judge, or jump to conclusions, but simply listens attentively, mirrors back the client’s own words, and asks powerful questions that help peel the onion. Only then the client is ready to move to the next phase of the journey.

Establish the Where

A lot of work would have been done already and the client would be starting to feel a shift of energy as well as perspective. Most probably they are now looking at themselves through a different lens, one of possibility rather than doubt. Like heading out on a trek, this is the stage the client identifies their desired destination and their goals.

The role of the coach at this point is to help the client harness this newly found state of possibility and empowering mindset. The client is at this point imagining the future, the future that perhaps previously they didn’t think was possible.

It is important that during this stage the coach supports the client in cementing the importance of achieving and /or arriving at this newly discovered desired state.

Know the How, and Who

I like to think about this stage as the practical and logistics phase. The client is now looking at the map starting to identify rest places, highlighting parts where the path may be slightly more challenging, and working out what they are going to pack as well as what to leave behind. They will also be thinking about who will be supporting them in the lead-up as well as whilst they are on this journey.

This is also the step where Accountability comes into play. It is very easy to fall into the old ways of thinking that can lead to procrastination or perhaps even giving up. It is imperative that the client establishes a clear plan of who and how they are going to back themselves up to stay the course.

Learn How to Create Your Own Coaching Model

Your Coaching Model reflects your values,
philosophies and beliefs and must communicate who you will coach
and the problems you will solve.
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