@TimHJRogers TimHJRogers@AdaptConsultingCompany.com

There are mamy different approaches to coaching depending on the needs and intended outcomes of the coaching process. Below are a few examples with a short summary to explain the format, content and application. Of course the best coaching is the combination that best serves the needs of the client. The summaries below are therefore to indicate the breadth and depth of possibilities and client experiences.


Our stories of home, growing-up, relationships and work help us understand what has shaped us into who we are and key memories, thoughts, feelings, and aspirations help understand the emotions, thoughts and actions that drive us.

Isolating and examining each thought, feeling, sensation or action can help gain control of how each effects the other, provide clarity on cause and effect and relieve anxiety or confusion. This helps us gain confidence when dealing with challenged or making choices.

Not everyone wants to explore the past to understand WHY in order to identify strategies for WHAT and HOW to develop. For those that value introspection using psychodynamic coaching may be the right approach.

The benefit of better self understanding, dispassionate observation and thoughtful reflection is better control of our feelings, thoughts and actions to help us respond rather than react and provide better outcomes for ourselves and others.


How we think affects how we behave and faulty thinking (eg mind reading or fortune telling) and wrong assumptions (eg perfectionism or all-or-nothing) or unhelpful beliefs (eg blame, guilt or feeling an imposter) can have an adverse effect.

Cognitive coaching offers a variety of structured models to analyse the difference between who we ARE and what we DO. For example failing a driving test means I need to improve my skills not that I am a bad person!

Coaching helps the move from Performance Inhibiting Thinking (PIT) to Performance Enhancement Thinking (PET) typically using frameworks like SPACE, CLARITY, ABCDEF as practical step-by-step means to think, try and learn better approaches.

The THINKING + DOING approach is future orientated and goal focused, easily adapted and applied in many scenarios including self-coaching and teams.


SPACE = Social, Physical/Psychological, Actions, Cognition, Emotion
CLARITY = Context, Life Event, Actions, Reactions, Images and Identify, Thoughts, Your future choice
ABCDEF = Activity (event), Belief, Consequence, Dispute (change belief), Effective new response, Future focus


Solution Focused coaching focuses on the current actions and future goals rather than the past.

Knowing the problem does not necessarily help us fix the problem. For example: If you crashed your car fixating on when, how and why you crashed is not helpful whereas a more positive approach may be: What are the many different ways we can travel to work?

The focus is therefore more practical than theory and more about what works than what does not. Usually the client is the expert and the coach role is facilitation (to ask rather than tell) using models like PEEP, and MAPS

The aim is co-ownership of the process with the goal set by the client and measured with questions like: What does success look like? And On a scale of 1 to 10 how are we doing? The emphasis is on the client to experiment to see what is practical and works.

Sometimes this is achieved by an insightful question: If A is bad and B is good, describe the difference and what actions and resources would achieve that change?

This approach can be used for skills, performance and development. The aim is self directed learning with each session ending with the question: Do we need to meet again or do you feel like you have done what you needed to do?


PEEP = Preferred outcome, Exceptions (when is this not a problem), Existing resources, Progress so far
MAPS = Multiple options, Asking how (action) not why (philosophical), Problems into possibilities, SMART steps
SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound

PDCA = Plan,Do,Check, Act
DMAIC = Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control
GROW = Goal, Reality, Options, Will


Do you ever feel you just want to talk? To be heard? To have someone listen? To express our ideas, thoughts and feelings and clarify your goals.

The person centered approach puts the client in charge and the coach listens with empathy and understanding. Occasionally they may seek clarification but the focus is on active listening rather than asking and never telling. The client decides the discussion and the direction. This may at times appear like counseling rather than coaching.

This is part of the Self Determination Theory: That people will grow like acorns into oaks provided they have the right nurture and care. They do not need to be fixed, they just need to be supported with empathy and regard. The emphasis is not WHAT happens but HOW it happens. Typically the coach echoes the clients inner voice and helps them hear, understand and make sense of their own thoughts.

The coach role is to support, not to direct, tell or advise. It is not about fixing or healing it is about therapeutic, empathetic and supportive listening.


Coach and Coachee may see the same thing but may think, feel and act very differently because of past experiences or assumptions. However it is not the past that is at issue, but the current effect. Coaching is recognising and updating old patterns with new patterns using a simple process: Scan/Awareness; Energy/Action; Contact; Resolution/closure; Withdrawal

The focus is on hear-and-now and describing what is happening using the coachees words, meanings and experiences help us understand how they are perceiving and why they are acting.

Obviously they see things differently because of past experiences, bias, assumptions etc. However it is not the past that is at issue, but the current effect. The focus is on NOW. Typically the focus is on R-reality of the GROW model.

The emphasis therefore is to recognise and close any unfinished business, bottled-up feelings or avoidance but not to dwell on it, but instead use the new awareness to create a new and more constructive pattern. This is not therapy: Nobody is broken. This is recognising and updating old patterns with new patterns.

The circular & repeated steps and components are Scan/Awareness; Energy/Action; Contact; Resolution/closure; Withdrawal

See also


What are you? Are you your body? Are you your thoughts or feelings? Existential coaching is useful at a time of life crisis or change where it not about a problem to be fixed but a life to be lived. It is about describing (what and how) rather than explaining (why) it is to be you. It is an exploration with a view to discovery.

Are you like a ball with clear boundaries where you end and the world begins, and can be pulled and pushed? Or are you like a beach where the sea meets the shore but the boundaries are always changing. You are flexible according to the ebb and flow of circumstances?

Existential coaching is about the relatedness, uncertainty and excitement or anxiety of the flexible you. Like water over land you can embrace the world many different ways and still be you. The focus is on being not doing and coping rather than changing. It is about describing (what and how) rather than explaining (why) it is to be you.

It is useful at a time of life crisis or change where it not about a problem to be fixed but a life to be lived. It is an exploration with a view to discovery.


Ontology (Our way of being) effects communication and behaviour, which effects results, which affects our quality of life. Coaching in all three areas of language, emotions and body has the potential to be transformative. Moods (Fear, Anger, Surprise) Attitudes (Acceptance or Non-Acceptance) and Language (Assertions-past, Assessments-present Declarations-future) affect our identity and our outcomes. Control = Awareness + Choice.

There are links with the SCARF model of five human social experiences: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness

The dynamic interrelationship of language, emotions and body can generate profound learning and deep constructive change.

Control = Awareness + Choice
Trust = Sincerely, Competency, Reliability, Involvement

It is highly effective because it is based on a new deeply grounded and practical understanding of language, moods and conversations for behavioural and cultural transformation.

see also


Narrative Coaching is about understanding people's stories. Sometimes people do not need to be 'fixed' and do not need a problem to be 'solved' but instead need to be heard and feel listened to. This can help them think through their story, the plot, the people, the processes and the outcomes. It can help to reflect, to examine new perspectives, different choices for the future, and consider how to live the next chapter of their story, perhaps putting new viewpoint on the past.

A model for narrative coaching

01 HOW ARE THEY SITUATED (in the story, in life, in the room )- description not analysis

02 WHAT ARE THEY SEARCHING FOR what is the story, who are the characters, what is said and unsaid, what is expressed or hidden)

03 WHAT NEEDS TO SHIFT OR CHANGE (faulty logic, old experiences, flawed beliefs, perceptions, culture,assumptions)- focus on experience not explanation on the object (attribute) not the subject (self)

04 HOW WILL THEY SUSTAIN THE CHANGE what is the amended story, new context, new thinking, new behaviour,new role, new outcome)

Key axiom
  • Trust that everything you need is right in front of you
  • Be fully present to what IS without judgement
  • Speak only when you can improve on silence
  • Focus on generating experiences not explanations
  • Work directly with the narrative elements in the field
  • Stand at the threshold when a new story is emerging

    see also


    There is an argument that development happens in stages and you need to be good at the basics before you can really master the advanced. Coaching can help development within each stage, and also from one to the next.

    1.Unformed ego: Dependent, Rule-bound, Social acceptance
    2.Formed ego: Independent, Conscientious, Personal goals
    3.Reformed ego: Inter-Dependent Self-managed, Self-fulfillment


    Trans(beyond)personal(ego)coaching(finding solutions and establishing resourcefulness) works with the whole person — body, mind and spirit.Transpersonal coaches help people to resolve issues in their life, by facilitating processes that enable them to transform limiting self-constructs and debilitating beliefs into whole new ways of being.

    Traditional coaching methods typically involve a dialog between a coach and a client aiming to address thinking, feeling and doing issues. Transpersonal coaching works with the unconscious processes.

    1.Body (physical health & performance)
    2.Mind (mental health & performance)
    3.Emotion (motivations & reactions)
    4.Shadow (unconscious aspects of the personality)
    5.Connection (relationships & inter-relatedness of phenomena)
    6.Soul (subtle essence of individuals & groups)
    7.Spirit (causal & non-dual realms)

    see also