What Is A Coaching Methodology?

Life Coaching

When distinguishing between the methodologies that coaches make use of in the workplace, we are able to safely divide them between two broad methodologies. In other words, one which is focused on bridging gaps and then the other on developing strengths.

  • The first group of methodologies follows an approach which focuses on developing recognised learning gaps. A coach concentrates on working with a client in order to target development areas while – at the same time – supporting them in setting and managing a goal-oriented process. Usually, such methodologies follow an established coaching model (e.g., GROW or CLEAR).
  • The second broad category of methodologies concentrates more exclusively on strengths. These coaching approaches could also utilise a goal-setting process. However, they actively emphasise increasing an individual’s strengths as opposed to highlighting and addressing gaps. The idea of these methodologies is that, even though developmental areas are not to be ignored, importance should be given to further promote strengths over trying to address weaknesses.

A coaching methodology is essentially the coaching technique or coaching model you utilise in order to deliver transformations for your clients.

What Are the Different Coaching Styles?

Like counsellors, coaches have a different range of backgrounds, such as psychology, management, education, sports together with health. And of course, how coaches operate with clients is associated with this background. In addition, how coaches operate with clients is linked to the coach’s personality, experiences as well as their history.

Parenting styles and coaching styles are different concepts

However, there are some similarities and overlaps between the two. In general, coaching can be viewed as a style of communication and leadership that emphasises personal growth, self-awareness, and empowerment, while parenting involves guiding and nurturing children’s development.

When it comes to parenting styles, the classic typology includes four broad styles: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and neglectful. The authoritative parenting style is often considered the most effective and balanced, as it combines high levels of warmth and support with clear expectations and boundaries.

In the context of coaching, a style that shares some similarities with authoritative parenting is sometimes called the “coaching leadership style”. This style of coaching is characterised by a focus on supporting and empowering individuals to attain their full potential, while also providing clear guidance and accountability. A coach who uses this style is warm and empathetic, but also firm and directive when necessary.

Coaching-related research pinpoints styles which are similar to those in classic parenting style literature. For instance, coaches may vary regarding the degree to which they control the sessions (e.g., authoritarian/autocratic) as opposed to allowing the client to have input regarding the coaching process (e.g., democratic/authoritative).

In addition, coaches may differ in terms of whether they take a more particular focus or consider a lot of connected facets of the client’s experiences (e.g., holistic coaching). Additional approaches include laissez-faire, developmental, mindfulness as well as intuitive coaching.

GROW Coaching Model

Probably the most widely known and utilised model is the GROW coaching model. This was originally identified by Sir John Whitmore. Sir Whitmore was a prominent figure in the field of coaching and leadership development. He was a co-founder of Performance Consultants International (PCI), a coaching and consulting firm that specialises in helping individuals and organisations to achieve high performance.

Whitmore was a former racing driver and later became a successful entrepreneur, founding several businesses in various industries. He became interested in coaching and leadership development in the 1980s and trained with some of the early pioneers of coaching, including Timothy Gallwey and Robert Dilts.

Sir Whitmore authored several influential books on coaching, including “Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose” and “Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World”. Also, he was a prominent speaker and trainer in the coaching and leadership development fields. His work has influenced countless coaches and leaders around the world.

In recognition of his contributions to the coaching field, Whitmore was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association for Coaching in 2016. The GROW model was introduced in many coach training programmes as well as mentioned in many coaching books.

GROW represents four stages in the coaching conversation. These are the following:

  • Goal
  • Reality
  • Options
  • Wrap Up


The TGROW Coaching Model

The TGROW coaching model is a variant of the GROW model. It was adapted by Myles Downey and was described in his book Effective Coaching. Downey is a highly regarded executive coach, author, and educator. He is the creator of The School of Coaching, which provides coaching education and certification programmes to individuals and organizations.

Downey has a background in business and management, having worked in senior leadership roles at various organisations, including the BBC, Pearson and Hay Group. He became interested in coaching in the 1990s and went on to become a certified coach and founding member of the International Coach Federation.

Downey has authored several books on coaching and leadership, including “Effective Coaching” and “Enabling Genius: A Mindset for Success in the 21st Century”. He is also known for his coaching model, which emphasises the importance of creating awareness, generating responsibility, and taking action.


In addition to his work as a coach and author, Downey is a sought-after speaker and trainer in the coaching and leadership development fields. He has worked with a very diverse range of clients, including large corporations, non-profit organisations, and individuals looking to develop their coaching skills. His work has had a major impact on the coaching industry, and he is widely regarded as a thought leader in the field.

In Downey’s model T stands for Topic. In other words this is the broad area that your coachee would like to address. It would make sense, at the beginning of the conversation, to understand as well as clarify the topic and its scale. This will help you, the coach, to understand the larger picture in terms of why this is important to the coachee and possibly their longer-term vision.

At this stage you could uncover issues that are different to those that the coachee comes to the table with. The focus of the conversation could be re-prioritised.

By having this Topic stage prior to, and separate from, the Goal stage it assists with differentiating the bigger picture from the specific goals which may arise from it. Also, It helps to form a solid foundation and make sure that goals are not set prematurely before the bigger picture being clarified. For instance, setting goals before the motivation behind it is checked could very well lead to irrelevant goals which the coachee could not be committed to.

OSKAR Coaching Model – A Solutions-Focused Approach

Deriving from the Solutions Focused Approach, the OSKAR coaching model is a very powerful framework and goal-focused approach to help your coaching sessions focus on solutions as opposed to problems. The model was developed by Paul Z Jackson and Mark McKergow in the early 2000s.

The five stages of OSKAR are:

  1. Outcome: This element focuses on identifying the desired outcome of the coaching session or programme. The coach helps the client to clarify their goals and identify what they would like to achieve.
  2. Scaling: This element involves using a numerical scale to measure progress and identify what has already been done to move towards the desired outcome. The coach and client work together in order to identify where the client is on the scale, and what steps can be taken to move them closer to their goal.
  3. Know-How: This element focuses on identifying the client’s strengths and resources. The coach helps the client to identify their existing knowledge, skills, and abilities that can be used to achieve their goal.
  4. Affirm & Action: This element involves recognising the client’s progress towards their goal and celebrating their successes. The coach also helps the client to identify specific actions that they can take to move closer to their goal.
  5. Review: This element involves reviewing progress towards the goal and identifying any obstacles that may be preventing the client from achieving their desired outcome. The coach helps the client to identify new strategies for conquering these obstacles and continuing to make progress towards their goal.

The OSKAR Coaching Model is a practical and solution-focused approach to coaching that emphasises progress and success. It is designed to help clients achieve their goals quickly and efficiently, while also building confidence and motivation.

What Is Co-Active Coaching?

Co-Active Coaching is a coaching methodology developed by The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) that emphasises a collaborative partnership between the coach and the client. The approach is founded on the idea that people are naturally creative, imaginative, and whole, and that the coach’s role is to help the client tap into their own inner wisdom and strengths.

The Co-Active Coaching model consists of five key principles:

  1. Fulfillment: This principle focuses on helping the client identify their core values and what brings them a sense of fulfillment in life.
  2. Balance: This principle emphasises the importance of finding balance and harmony between different aspects of life, such as work, family, and personal pursuits.
  3. Process: This principle recognises that personal growth and change are ongoing processes that require time, patience, and perseverance.
  4. Presence: This principle emphasises the importance of being fully present and engaged in the coaching relationship and the coaching process.
  5. Possibility: This principle focuses on helping the client to explore new possibilities and potential outcomes, rather than being limited by past experiences or beliefs.

Co-Active Coaching involves a flexible, non-directive approach to coaching, in which the coach and client work together to co-create the coaching relationship and process. The coach listens actively, asks powerful questions, and provides support and guidance to help the client achieve their goals. The approach emphasises building a strong, trusting relationship between the coach and the client, and helping the client to tap into their own inner resources and creativity.

A coaching methodology provides a structured approach to coaching that can be adapted to meet the unique needs and goals of individual clients. Coaches often use a combination of different methodologies, tools, and techniques to help clients achieve their desired outcomes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common coaching methodologies?

Some common coaching methodologies include the GROW model, solution-focused coaching, Co-Active Coaching, narrative coaching, and many others. Each methodology has its own unique principles and techniques for guiding the coaching process.

How do coaches choose a coaching methodology?

Coaches often choose a coaching methodology based on their own experience, training, and personal coaching style. Some coaches may also use a combination of different methodologies to meet the unique needs of their clients.

What are the benefits of using a coaching methodology?

Using a coaching methodology provides a structured and focused approach to coaching, which can help clients achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively. A coaching methodology also helps coaches to stay focused and organised, and to ensure that they are providing consistent and effective coaching services.

How important is it to use a coaching methodology?

Using a coaching methodology is important because it provides a structured and professional approach to coaching. It helps coaches to guide the coaching process and ensure that they are providing effective and high-quality coaching services to their clients. Using a coaching methodology also helps to establish credibility and build trust with clients.

How do coaches adapt their coaching methodology to meet the needs of their clients?

Coaches may adapt their coaching methodology by being flexible and responsive to their clients’ unique needs and goals. This may involve using different coaching techniques or tools, adjusting the pace or frequency of coaching sessions, or modifying the coaching process to fit the client’s learning style or communication preferences.

Coaches may also collaborate with their clients to co-create the coaching relationship and process, ensuring that it is tailored to the client’s individual needs and goals. By adapting their coaching methodology, coaches can help clients achieve their desired outcomes in a way that is most effective and meaningful for them.