How can you make diamond sparkle more? - SPARKLE Coaching Model
It is a common fact that most coaching frameworks originate from the English-speaking world. People are often keen on acronyms, especially if the initials form a relevant and positive word (like the most well-known GROW) or if every word has the same initial (e.g. the 7C’s framework from Mick Cope). The framework Laura Komocsin from Hungary has created is called the “SPARKLE Model”. Similarly to other process frameworks, this model also demonstrates the typical stages of a coaching process, but if you review this short description you will see the difference. To make this model more attractive not only for coaches but clients as well, we collected songs for each stage to add value to the coaching process.
The author, Laura Komocsin studied and worked in the Netherlands for a few years. In Amsterdam she saw how enthusiastically diamond polishers work and realized how similar it was to the coaches’ job. They start out with a piece of diamond in the rough and we all know how beuatiful the end result is; the diamond sparkles like nothing else. We also ”polish” our clients to help them achieve their goals and really sparkle… That is the reason why this model is called ‘SPARKLE’.
Naturally, as we say, “Nobody coaches the way I do.” (A motto of the Hungarian Organizational Development Society, see www.szmt.hu ) No coaching model should be viewed too rigidly, and neither should the SPARKLE Model. This framework was designed only to assist in understanding and constructing the stages of the process and to serve as a reference on what a coach can do and what tools can be used in each stage as well as what the client can expect. The SPARKLE Model divides the process into seven stages:
1. Situation2. Positioning (yourself)
5. Key Obstacles
Below you will find a short description of each stage and a song recommended by Andrea Szabados who strongly believes in applying music in coaching processes. Obviously, coachees can leverage the most power from the music they really like.
S - Situation: in this stage, the coach and the coachee assess the starting point and the challenges faced by the client. To properly evaluate the current situation, you can choose from among multiple methods and a vast number of tools. First of all, however, it is essential to win the client’s confidence so that they know that they are not being badgered with questions (Questioning Technique), ”spied upon” (Shadow Coaching), ”investigated” (360 Degree Assessment) out of sheer curiosity, but rather this is all done to help them.
The song to listen to at this stage might be e.g. ‘Feeling good’ by Michael Bublé.
The Situation stage should include assessing the coachee’s openness and secret zones that are best avoided (for example, in business coaching, the coachee may stipulate that no personal issues should be covered). If you are aware of taboos, then you can employ opening methods and later perform detailed research based on this. Coaching tools coupled with psychological background as well as different creative writing techniques may be utilized in this stage. Withall means at his or her disposal, the coach will effectively use the tools of Active Listening and Questioning Techniques.
P - Positioning (yourself): In the next stage, the client, assisted by the coach, defines his or her desired vision, sets the direction and the aim. Here, the coach basically helps the client decide upon a reasonable objective that can be achieved (a SMART goal). Tools used in this stage can be divided into two large groups depending on how visual the client is. For instance, resuming the previous stage, Montage, Wheel of Life, Old House - New House techniques or Coat-of-Arms may be used. However, there are clients who bring to the first coaching session their individual SMART goal summarized in a few words.
This stage can be supported by listening to ‘Perfect’ by Fairground Attraction.
A - Alternatives: In this stage, coachee and coach focus on identifying and outlining options and possibilities to be able to determine how the goal could be accomplished. The importance of this stage lies in consideration. Instead of jumping to make a decision, the client should be able to consider several options and make a well-informed decision and Route in the next stage. The coach can inspire brainstorming using various tools such as Magnification, Consulting the Encyclopaedia, Ideal People, Action Plan, or the CREATE Model, although he or she might also achieve a satisfactory result using spontaneous Questioning Technique.
To add value to working out alternatives, you could listen to ’Something Got MeStarted’ by Simply Red.
R - Route: In this stage, the coach will support the client in making a choice from among the available alternatives. The best way to help may be applying Pros and Cons Analysis, but other options in the coach’s toolkit should be also offered. You can deploy the Mercedes Symbol or the CHOICE Model if you have not used them in a previous stage, but it might be sufficient to project yourself as a challenging and/or “confrontational” coach. At the end of this phase the coachee will have an action plan describing what to do, when and how.
This stage can be made more attractive with the song ‘Walk of life’ by Dire Straits or ‘10/10’ by Paolo Nutini.
K –Key Obstacles: In this stage, the coach supports the client in going the distance on the selected route to ensure that he or she would accomplish his or her goal instead of retreating upon meeting the first obstacle. Until this point, clients usually enjoy the coaching sessions. In general, neither the diagnosis (Situation), the goal-setting (Positioning), the working out of alternatives, nor the decision making (Route) are “painful” for them. No later than at this point, however, the client is required to leave his or her comfort zone. He or she may even start cancelling regular appointments. In this case, a coach should not take offense. It is a completely natural process, and it is advisable to make the coachee aware of it. To do so, a skilled coach has his or her tools, such as the Sailing ship, Magic Shop, Rubber Band, Buckets and Balloons provided they were not already deployed in the Positioning stage.
Why don’t you use the power of music and listen to ‘Everybody's Changing’ by Keane?
L - Leverage: In this phase coaches support their clients taming self-defeating behaviors. There are plenty of useful tricks and tools to utilize when clients start thinking about giving up but there is no excuse they have to go on if they want to reach their desired outcome.
The dedicated song for this phase is ‘Strongenough’ by Cher.
E -Evaluation: Coaching engagements ideally come to an end when clients have accomplished their goal. In this case, the coach celebrates the accomplishment together with the client, and this is the point where (in a corporate coaching situation) they both report to the Sponsor (if any) on the joint efforts taken.
The song relating to this stage could be ‘Weare the Champions’ by Queen.
Laura Komócsin and Andrea Szabados