Effective Coaching Models To Structure Your Coaching Sessions

There are various effective coaching models which some coaches choose to use to structure their coaching sessions which you may find helpful to guide your coachee through a logical sequence and provide a framework for your coaching session.

Solo Build It!

Using a model helps in a number of ways. It helps to provide a purpose to the session by defining an outcome at the beginning preventing it becoming a 'chat' with no clear purpose. It can also be a prompt to ensure that the session stays 'on track'. The skill of the coach is in knowing what your client needs at a particular moment so a toolkit of different models is helpful to draw upon and use as appropriate.

Probably the most widely known and used model is the GROW coaching model This simple model helps you as a coach take your coachee from goal setting at the outset of the session through to exploring where they are now in relation to their goals, exploring options they have to moving forward and concluding with a commitment to action.

Adaptations of the GROW model have evolved and new models created such as TGROW which support different coaching approaches. Another example is the OSKAR model has been created as part of the Solutions-focused approach to coaching.

Some coaching approaches do not use models at all and some coaches would argue that models are constraining. Instead emphasis is put on the coach responding entirely to the coachee and their needs at a particular point in time, more emphasis being put on the process of coaching itself – raising awareness,deepening learning, generating responsibility and building self-belief in the coachee.

Having coached for a number of years and because I tend to follow the Co-active Approach I personally don't tend to use a rigid structured model. Although, if my sessions were to be analysed there are some key components. The first few minutes is spent 'clearing' allowing my client to get anything 'off their chest' and we'll usually review their progress since we last spoke. I will then help my client to identify what they want from the current session and then the rest of the session will be fluid, me as coach 'dancing in the moment' (a Co-active term which describes in essence going where the client wants to go), until we conclude the session which will usually involve the client identifying action they would like to take.

But there is a time and a place for using models. I will sometimes use a model to structure a team facilitation session as it can help a team to follow where they are going. And if I am developing managers in coaching skills who are having ‘coaching conversations’ in the workplace (as opposed training them to become professional coaches) then this is when I would introduce them to them to a simple model to help them structure and get the most from this dialogue.

If you are a coach your results will be enhanced if you can respond flexibly to your coachees depending on their needs and these effective coaching models may help you. Try the different approaches and see what works.

GROW Coaching Model

TGROW Coaching Model

OSKAR Coaching Model

CLEAR Coaching Model

Effective Coaching Approaches

Implicit Explicit Formal Informal Coaching

Seven Eyed Model of Supervision

Further Reading:

Coaching for Performance, 4th Edition: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose (People Skills for Professionals) by Sir John Whitmore (Paperback - 12 Mar 2002)

Effective Coaching: Lessons from the Coach's Coach by Myles Downey (Paperback - 15 Nov 2003)

Co-Active Coaching, 2nd Edition: New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and, Life by Laura Whitworth, (Paperback - 15 Feb 2007)

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