I’d like to introduce you to my favourite self-coaching model and show you how you can use it.

I learned about this tool years ago and it’s become a mainstay in my coaching ever since.

It’s actually a life coaching tool but I find it so effective I use it with my business clients in the context of topics arising in their businesses and crucially, I use it to reframe how my clients are thinking about the things going on in their business.

The Brooke Castillo Coaching Model is an effective way to reframe negative and therefore unhelpful thoughts.

The (CTFAR) model looks like this:

(C) Circumstance

(T) Thought

(F) Feeling

(A) Action

(R) Result

How it is used

The underpinning presumptions of this model are that:

  • Circumstances are always neutral (they are neither positive or negative)
  • Following an external stimuli (a circumstance) our thoughts generate feelings, and our feelings drive how we respond/act/behave.  This premise is grounded in neuroscience.

When we truly accept this, it means that if we are experiencing a negative thought about a situation or circumstance, we can choose how we think about it and therefore we can also choose how we feel and respond to it.  Generating awareness and giving space to choose how we respond is the basis for most good coaching.

Accepting that a circumstance is neutral can sometimes be a challenge for clients (and myself) when especially tough things happen. It is also next level coaching to operate 100% from this premise.  So for the purposes of now, I’m not talking about extreme negative events which create life changing consequences.  I’m framing this in the context of the day to day, month to month year to year challenges we encounter in our business.

Practicalities for using the model

The model is worked through twice: once for the “as is” (how you are feeling now) and the second for the ‘to be” reframing the current negative thought to a more positive thought. The circumstance stays the same for both scenarios.

When reframing to a positive thought, try to pick a thought that is realistic. For instance, it might be too far to go from feeling “frustrated” to feeling “excited”. But “frustrated” to “open/curious”, might be more achievable.

Download the worksheet for some worked through examples and a template for you to use for your own context.

If you would like to take your practice further and are keen to explore how executive coaching can work for you, you are welcome to get in touch:

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