A Coaching Model By Jennifer Stanley, Professionals Coach, CANADA
FLOAT Model Leveling up
Leveling up is what we do when we’ve maxed out our abilities at our current level. We’ve expanded and are full of knowledge and experiences sufficient to perform well here. But we very likely have also become bored and stagnant, because we’re stuck in a holding pattern. We need to level up and FLOAT into the next phase of our journey. This coaching model builds off of the work of Nick Petrie and his concepts of horizontal and vertical growth. Adult learners need vertical growth to move to another level where more complex tasks and duties can now challenge us.
We can level up in any area of life, including our social life, a sport, activity, hobby, education, or career. We can level up where learning and development or skill acquisition is possible. My coaching niche involves career-oriented Millennials, and as such, I believe the majority of my clients will be wanting to be coached primarily in the area of vocation or career, in addition to hobbies and interests that add richness and fulfillment to their lives.
What happens when people stay at the same level without being challenged in a positive and growth-oriented way? In the case of career, they may suffer from decreased motivation, and decreased output, and may leave their job and organization. In 2021, the term languishing was popularized by Adam Grant’s article in the New York Times. Grant defined languishing as the “sense of stagnation and emptiness,” which he deemed to result from the long months of working from home and the complex negative emotions resulting from the pandemic. He hypothesized that languishing is the opposite of flourishing, and many people are in this damaging state presently (Grant, 2021).
I believe there are both direct and indirect negative effects pertaining to languishing which resulted from the pandemic. Namely, I believe the increased physical isolation and resulting negative emotions and loneliness due to the distancing protocols forced many people to re-evaluate their values, beliefs, and priorities. In the absence of the usual social amusements and entertainment at restaurants and bars, for example, people were confronted with the aspects of their life that remained – their work and those in the household who could remain around them. And if there had been denial or ignorance of something not going well before, it could no longer be ignored. Isolations have ended, and yet the sentiment of languishing remains.
In fact, a new term, the Great Resignation, describes the massive increases in employees leaving their jobs in 2021 and 2022. In Canada, job vacancies are high, and there is a widespread labor shortage (Al Mallees, 2022). Besides an aging workforce, many people seem to be holding off on rejoining the workforce. Could it be due, in part, to these workers being tired of the stagnation and boredom of their current or former level? I think this could be part of it. I believe that many Millennial and Gen X workers are lush with skills and expertise, but are not maximizing their potential as they have not leveled up sufficiently.
Whether it be from the pandemic or other factors, the fact remains. There is an epidemic of languishing, and people are being called to level up. I have created the FLOAT model, which is designed to help coachees level up. This coaching model supports my coachees to focus, level set, define the opportunity, take action, and take measures.
Float Coaching Model
First, we need to identify the area of the coachee’s life where they are stuck or stagnant. Oftentimes, there may be a general feeling of discomfort and unease, and most aspects of life seem okay but not great. There may be multiple areas or one glaringly obvious area. If the coachee is not already clear on the area of their life they’d like to level up in, I will introduce the Wheel of Life exercise to determine which areas to focus on for the duration of the coaching program.
Once the coachee is aware of one or two areas of focus for our coaching sessions, we will need to work through discovering where they are now. We will have the coachee accurately take inventory of what level they are at now, their skills and expertise, and their present state. This will also be a great chance to assess confidence, core beliefs, and values in play.
Once we’re clear on where we are, we will begin to visualize and dream up the big goal of where they want to go next. If they do not know where they want to go, this phase will require some further investigation into their values, and interests, and through this pursuit, we will aim to construct their leveled-up vision or big goal for their future.
Going from the broad vision of the future, we will work backward and create clear goals and objectives aligned with their new desired level. At the next level, there will be a lot of growth opportunities, and my coachees will need to be brave enough to go after them. From the vision or big goal, I will work with my coachees to have them create work back, and sub-goals in the SMART goal format, and I will support them to follow through and action these plans.
It doesn’t require big steps to make a big change, but steady, consistent efforts will add up. My coachees will execute their plans and we will spend the time assessing and evaluating how things are going. If they have failed, we can try again or recalibrate. If there are successes, we can acknowledge them and support more growth in the future. The only failure would be remaining stagnant. And my coachees will move and activate and execute, in many small steps or a few big ones.
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Grant, A. (2021, April 19). There’s a name for the blah you’re feeling: It’s called languishing. The New York Times. Retrieved October 12, 2022
Al Mallees, N. (2022, April 6). The labor shortage isn’t over – and employers are having to lower their hiring expectations | CBC news. Retrieved October 12, 2022
Petrie, Nicholas (2022). Vertical Leadership Development: Nicholas Petrie Consulting. Retrieved October 12, 2022