A Coaching Model By Vernée Smith, Life & Career Coach, UNITED STATES
The “OZ” Inspired by the Book and Film the Wizard of OZ
My “OZ” Coaching Method was inspired by the book and film The Wizard of OZ by L. Frank Baum. Dorothy’s story is a familiar one, a story of growth, acknowledgment, and transformation. Dorothy’s journey throughout OZ is so relatable to many of us. Personified by the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy had to learn to use her brain, heart, and courage to find her way home. And so, it is with the “OZ” Coaching Model. Coaches will work with clients to examine the Brain- their thoughts and beliefs, the Heart- their values, and Courage – their brave steps forward.
It is easy to get lost in thought or distracted by the story of the client when coaching. The “OZ” Coaching Model allows both coach and client to stay focused on key points, the outcome, and steps forward. Let’s break down each section.
My “Oz” Coaching Model
For I consider brains far superior to money in every way. You may have noticed that if one has money without brains, he cannot use it to his advantage; but if one has brains without money, they will enable him to live comfortably to the end of his days.– The Scarecrow
The Scarecrow coveted brains because he believed that he did not have any. When in truth he was the most insightful of them all. That is often the case with clients. They believe that they cannot find a solution or see their way clear of a situation when they really have the answers. As coaches, our role is to help them discover their own answers.
In the Brain stage of the model, the coach will assist the client in examining their current thoughts and beliefs around a certain situation or decision. Limiting thoughts and beliefs can derail clients if not addressed early on. Focusing on their beliefs around the topic helps coaches from getting too in the weeds with the story.
To begin to explore a client’s beliefs, we may ask questions such as:
- What about that thought feels most true to you?
- When do you speak of that thought what comes up for you?
- If you were to engage with an opposing thought what might that sound like?
Once the coach examines the thoughts and beliefs of the client and both acknowledge the messaging underneath the topic or repeating themes, the coach can then move the client to the Heart stage of the model.
You people with hearts, have something to guide you, and need never do wrong; but I have no heart, and so I must be very careful. – The Tin Man
Just as the Tin Man said, our hearts can be our guide when faced with a difficult decision or situation. You may have a client that has forgotten or is unaware of what is most important to them. Sometimes what we want to do can overshadow or conflict with our core values. So, our clients may be chasing something other than what they truly want.
In this part of the model, the Heart is represented by the client’s values.
Exploring a client’s values can help them get to the root cause of the decision or change that they want to make. When we examine our values, especially in relation to our beliefs, we can begin to understand what is really important to us around a certain topic. As coaches, we may ask questions such as:
- What value does this decision bring up for you?
- Do your beliefs around this topic match your values?
- Does this decision align with your values?
- Where do you see your values appear in this situation?
Assessing a client’s values can be instrumental to understanding root causes and motivations. After we have evaluated the beliefs and values of the client, we can then move them to the Courage stage.
If I only had the nerve.– The Cowardly Lion
Isn’t that the truth? Fear is a powerful motivator as well as a demotivator. So much of what gets in a client’s way when attempting to achieve a goal is fear. As coaches, we help our clients understand how their beliefs and values may be causing fear and apprehension. In the Courage phase, we help our clients get brave and start to plan action steps.
To get the client to this action step the coach might ask questions such as:
- What would success look like?
- What would be a step you could take toward this goal?
- How soon could you implement this step?
- How would it feel to take this action?
However, if the client is unable to answer these questions or if the client is not ready to take action steps, the coach should ask if the client would like to end the session and revisit a later date. If the client would like to continue, the coach would return to the Brain phase and run the model again.
The “OZ” Model Brought Great Awareness and Reflection
When testing this model with a peer coach, I found it brought great awareness and reflection. The client was able to dig into their beliefs around the topic and clearly define their values and the importance of those values. The client was able to apply their values to the solution. It also led the client to come up with multiple solutions while still fulfilling the agreement terms.
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. Read more about creating your coaching model
Baum, L.F. 2013. The Wizard of Oz: The First Five Novels. Fall River Press.
Fleming, v. (Director). 1939. The Wizard of Oz [Film]. Metro-Goldwyn-Myer.