Coaching- Views and Models

“Our chief want in life is someone who will make us do what we can”



“Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance.”

-Tim Gallwey

Coaching is way of working with people that leaves them more competent and more motivated so that they are more able to contribute to their organisation and find meaning in what they are doing.

Coach does this by providing new language that allows client to make new observations.

A coach is someone who builds a respectful relationship with client, then researches the situations the client finds himself in, with particular emphasis on client’s interpretation of the events. Job of coach is to understand client’s structure of interpretation, then in partnership alter this structure so that the actions that follow bring about the intended outcome.

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Views of well-known Coaches

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 Well know coach John Whitmore, who designed well know GROW model, feels that coaching focuses on future possibilities, not past mistakes. Coach is aware of two things…


  1. He recognizes that internal obstacles are often more daunting than external ones.
  2. It may be harder to give up instructing than it is to learn to coach.

Coaching is different from mentoring. Mentoring comes from concept of apprenticeship when an older, more experienced individual passed down his knowledge of how the task was done and how to operate in commercial world. While coaching is not dependent on more experienced individual passing down his knowledge- Coach needs expertise of coaching but not subject at hand.

Coaching believes that people possess more capability than they are currently expressing, coach must think about people in terms of their potential, not their performance.

To coach successfully we have to adopt a far more optimistic view than usual of dormant capability of all people. Building awareness, responsibility and self-belief is the goal of a coach.

Whitmore says that coach should refrain from giving advice-“If I give you my advice and it fails, you will blame me. I have traded my advice for your responsibility and that is seldom a good deal.”

Our potential is realized by optimizing our own individuality and uniqueness, never by molding them to another’s opinion of what constitutes best practice.

Telling or asking closed questions saves people from having to think. Asking open question causes them to think of themselves.


Micheal Bungay Stainer a well known coach says that, “The seemingly simple behaviour change of giving a little less advice and asking a few more questions is surprisingly difficult.” He feels that -“People have an inner advice monster – a deep need to give advice and offer recommendations that’s an instinctive response to questions,”

It is difficult because we have spent years delivering advice and getting promoted and praised for it.

According to Stainer best question to ask in coaching is the AWE question- “…And What Else” It helps in getting people to generate more options

Another critical question to ask it the strategic question- “If you’re saying” Yes” to this, what are you saying” No” to?” This helps in prioritizing.


Marshall Goldsmith is one of the highest paid coaches; he feels that -“Coaches need to let clients know that they are ultimately responsible for their own lives. As coaches we need to make it clear that we are there to help our clients do the work – not to do the work for our clients.”

He feels that in setting goals with leaders it is important to be realistic about the time needed for client to produce a positive, long-term change in behavior. Habits that have taken 48 years to develop will not go away in a week.

Goldsmith works with his clients and their managers to determine:


1) Who are my client’s key stakeholders and

2) What are the key behaviors that my client wants to change?

Goldsmith is of belief that the company pays him only after his client has achieved a positive change in key behaviors as determined by key stakeholders.

Coach Henry Kimsey-House has come up with four cornerstones of coaching, which are…


  1. People are naturally creative, resourceful and whole- They are capable of finding answers, capable of taking action, capable of learning
  2. Focus on whole person- don’t look at person in isolation- person is heart, body, mind and spirit
  3. Dance in this moment-Present to what is happening right now and respond to that stimulus rather than master plan.
  4. Evoke transformation- Coach should see topic as expression of something more valuable to coachee. It should connect today’s goal with life’s potential. Shift from “aah” (satisfaction) to “aha”    (breakthrough)

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Different models of coaching

 GROW model

GROW of Whitmore is about have a goal setting session with client and add depth to coaching conversation. It consists of following steps…


  1. Coaching topic- Ask coachee what he would like to discuss. Decide on subject of discussion.

2.Coaching Goal- Agree measurable output/outcome, by asking him the question, “What is your goal?”

3.Reality- Describe current situation, uncover real issues by asking him the question, “What is the Reality?”

4.Options- Draw out all possible solutions selects preferred solution by asking him the question, “What are your options?”

5.Wrap up- Discuss possible implications/obstacles, commit to action steps, identify support, check goal achieved by asking him the question, “What will you do?”


Coaching model of Mary Beth O’Neill

 Essence of coaching is helping leaders get unstuck from their dilemmas and assisting them in transferring their learning into results for organization. The O’Neill model asks four questions…


  1. Which business challenges are you facing? How much time have you got?
  2. What keeps you from getting the results you want?
  3. What is challenging for you about this situation given the disappointing results?
  4. What specifically do you expect from your team that would directly lead to higher results; what will be required of you to produce those results through your team?

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 Clear model is a 5 step model; it consists of following steps…

 Contracting- Opening the discussion, setting the scene, establishing the desired outcomes and agreeing the ground rules

  1. Listening- Active listening as a catalytic coaching intervention helps the client develop their understanding of situation and generate personal insight
  2. Exploring- Helping the client to understand the personal impact the situation is having on them. Challenging the client to think through the possibilities for future action in resolving the situation.
  3. Action- Supporting the client in choosing a way ahead and deciding the next step.
  4. Review- Closing the intervention, reinforcing the ground covered, decisions made and value added. The coach also encourages feedback from client on what was helpful about the coaching process, what was difficult and what would they like to be different in future coaching sessions.



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