20 coaching models

20 Coaching Models that Get Results

Coaching models act as roadmaps for personal and professional development. They provide a structured pathway to achieve desired goals.

Whether you’re a life coach supporting coachees in their personal growth or a leader using it on the job, there is a coaching model designed to guide your journey toward success.

But what exactly are these models, and how do they differ?

Let’s explore the captivating world of coaching models and their intricacies.


What is a coaching model?

A coaching model is a structured methodology a coach uses to facilitate coaching sessions.

It provides a clear outline or sequence of steps to be followed in the coaching process.

Coaching models are often used as blueprints by coaches.

Coaching models are:

  • A specific, step-by-step process.
  • Roadmaps used in actual coaching sessions.
  • Structured but also adaptable to individual client needs.

Let’s delve into some of the most popular and widely used models.


GROW Coaching Model

G: Goal – The desired outcome or objective the coachee wants to achieve.

R: Reality – The current situation or circumstances of the coaches.

O: Obstacles/Options – Potential challenges standing in the coachee’s way or possibilities to consider.

W: Way Forward – The specific actions the coachee will take to reach their goal.

When to use it
The GROW model is very effective when the coachee has a clear goal but needs guidance. It’s instrumental in business or professional coaching, where measurable objectives are common. It can be used for performance improvement, career development, or personal growth. The model encourages self-reflection and action-oriented solutions. It is a powerful tool for enhancing self-awareness and addressing challenges.

grow coaching model

TGROW Coaching Model

T: Topic – This model defines the topic or context before setting a goal. What is the broader issue or challenge that needs to be addressed?

When to use it

The TGROW model is an expanded version of the GROW model. It is designed for situations when the coachee lacks a clear understanding of the issue. Starting with a ‘Topic’ sets the context before setting goals. It is helpful in personal coaching or counseling for complex issues. Like the GROW model, it promotes self-reflection and action-oriented solutions.


OSKAR Coaching Model

O: Outcome – The desired result or goal the coachee wants.

S: Scaling – On a scale of 1-10, where does the coachee currently stand in relation to their goal?

K: Know-How & Resources – What skills, knowledge, and resources does the coachee already have that can be used to achieve the goal?

A: Affirm & Action – Positive affirmation of the coachee’s abilities, followed by determining the actions needed to reach the goal.

R: Review – Regularly reflect and assess the progress towards the goal.

When to use it

The OSKAR model, created by Mark McKergow and Paul Z. Jackson, is a solution-focused approach to coaching. It is best used when the coachee understands their issues but needs help finding solutions. It emphasizes the coachee’s existing strengths and resources, making it an empowering tool. The OSKAR model can be used in different settings. These settings include business, education, and personal development coaching.

solution focused oskar coaching model


CLEAR Coaching Model

C: Contracting – Establish the coaching relationship’s terms, expectations, and framework.

L: Listening – The coach listens attentively to the coachee’s situation to understand it fully.

E: Exploring – Delve deeper into the coachee’s situation, challenges, and aspirations.

A: Action – The coachee commits to particular actions to achieve their goal.

R: Review – Reflection and evaluation of the coachee’s progress and any changes in their situation.

When to use it

The CLEAR model, created by Peter Hawkins, is an interactive approach to coaching. It explores the coachee’s situation, making it a suitable option in various coaching contexts. The process begins with a contract agreement. It highlights open communication, thorough exploration, and proactive actions. It is particularly effective in creating long-term strategies and addressing complex issues.

STEPPA Coaching Model

S: Subject – Identify the subject the coachee wants to address.

T: Target – Assist the coachee in setting a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) target or goal.

E: Emotion – Explore the coachee’s emotional response to the issue and target.

P: Perception – Examine the coachee’s perception of the situation, challenges, and available resources.

P: Plan – Help the coachee to create a detailed plan of their actions to achieve their target.

A: Act – The coachee puts their plan into action.

A: Assess – The coach and coachee assess the results of the action and adjust the plan as necessary.

When to use it

The STEPPA Model was developed by Dr. Angus McLeod. The model takes a comprehensive, action-oriented approach to coaching. It focused on the coachee’s perception and emotional responses. This model is useful when the coachee has a complex issue, and the issue often brings up strong emotions. It is also helpful when the coachee needs to change their perception to make progress. The STEPPA model works well for different coaching contexts. It can be used for life, business, and sports coaching. It blends well with other coaching models and provides a structured approach that ensures the coachee maintains progress toward their goal.


ACHIEVE Coaching Model

A: Assess – The current situation is thoroughly analyzed, including the coachee’s strengths, weaknesses, and resources.

C: Creative brainstorming of strategies and solutions – The coach and coachee collaboratively brainstorm possible approaches to achieve the coachee’s goal.

H: Hone goals – Assist the coachee in refining their broader goals into specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) targets.

I: Initiate the action – Work with the coachee to implement strategies and steps identified in the brainstorming session.

E: Evaluate progress – Regular check-ins are conducted to monitor the coachee’s progress toward their goals.

V: Validate and revise plan – Based on the evaluation, the coachee’s plan may be validated or adjusted to better align with their goals.

E: Encourage momentum – Motivate the coachee to maintain their momentum and continue working towards their goals.

When to use it

The ACHIEVE model is a flexible coaching model that fosters self-awareness and personal growth. It encourages active participation from the coachee in brainstorming solutions and refining their goals. This model is beneficial in personal and professional coaching settings. This model is great for motivation, self-confidence, and achieving goals.


GIIFTS Coaching Model

G: Goal – The coachee identifies their specific goal or objective.

I: Ideal Outcome – Imagine the ideal scenario after achieving the goal, thereby strengthening the motivation to pursue it.

I: Impediments – Identify potential barriers or challenges that could hinder achieving the goal.

F: Facilitators – Recognize the resources, skills, or people that can aid in reaching the goal.

T: Tools – Use various coaching tools to assist the coachee in their journey towards the goal.

S: Success – Set up the coachee for success with a well-structured action plan that outlines the steps to achieve the goal.

When to use it

I, Ayisha Amatullah, created the GIIFTS model. The model offers a comprehensive coaching framework. This model is effective because it focuses on envisioning the ideal outcome. It also uses facilitators and tools to overcome impediments. Its success lies in its adaptability. It can be used in various coaching settings, including business, performance, and life coaching. The GIIFTS model fosters a proactive and resourceful approach in coachees. Making it a valuable tool in their personal and professional growth journey. This is one of the many models we teach at Universal Coach Institute.


ABCDE Coaching Model

A: Activating Event – Identify the event or situation that has triggered the coachee’s emotional response.

B: Beliefs – Explore the coachee’s beliefs or thoughts about the activating event.

C: Consequences – Understand the emotional and behavioral consequences of the coachee’s beliefs.

D: Dispute – Challenge the coachee’s beliefs and develop more rational, adaptive beliefs.

E: Effective New Belief – Help the coachee establish a new belief that is more aligned with reality and beneficial for their emotional well-being.

When to use it

The ABCDE model is based on Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Therapy. This is one of my favorite coaching models that I love to teach my coaching trainees and use with my clients. It is a cognitive approach to coaching. It focuses on the coachee’s belief system and its impact on their emotions and behaviors. This model is instrumental in managing emotional distress and promoting mental well-being. It helps the coachee identify irrational beliefs. They can then challenge and replace them with more positive and adaptive ones. The ABCDE model is ideal for coaching individuals who are facing emotional challenges. It helps them enhance their emotional intelligence and build resilience.


GATHER FAME Coaching Model

G: Greet – The process starts with a welcoming and open dialogue. This sets a friendly yet professional tone for the coaching.

A: Ask – The coach asks open-ended questions to understand the coachee’s situation, goals, and challenges.

T: Tell – The coach provides feedback, shares insights, and suggests potential solutions.

H: Help – The coach aids the coachee in devising strategies and action plans to achieve their goals.

E: Explain – The coach clarifies any uncertainties and ensures that the coachee understands the steps they need to take.

R: Return – The coach revisits the coachee’s goals from previous sessions to ensure they are on track.

F: Follow-Up – Conduct regular check-ins to monitor the coachee’s progress. Provide ongoing feedback and address emerging challenges.

A: Apply Coaching Techniques – Use coaching tools and techniques to facilitate the coachee’s learning and development.

M: Monitor Progress – Keep a close eye on the coachee’s progress toward their goals. Encourage them to stay motivated and committed.

E: Evaluate – Evaluate and allow for adjustments to the coaching approach if necessary.

When to use it

The GATHER FAME model presents a holistic and cyclical approach to coaching. The coaching process (GATHER) is a practical model. It emphasizes ongoing support and evaluation for effective coaching. The follow-up (FAME) is also important in this model. This model is ideal for coaching contexts that require regular check-ins and continuous support. It is best used in performance, leadership, and personal development coaching. The GATHER FAME model promotes a collaborative relationship between the coach and coachees through continuous learning, growth, and improvement.


LASER Coaching Model I

L: Learning – The coach facilitates the coachee’s learning process. They help them gain insights about themselves and their situation.

A: Assessing – The coach and coachee collaborate to evaluate the coachee’s current reality. This includes assessing their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

S: Story-making – The coachee is guided to create a new narrative about their life, career, or situation. This shift from a problem-focused perspective to a solution-oriented one is transformative.

E: Enabling – The coach empowers the coachee to take ownership of their actions and decisions. This enables them to navigate their path towards their goals.

R: Reframing – The coach assists the coachee in reframing their challenges into opportunities. This fosters a positive mindset and builds resilience

When to use it

The LASER model empowers the coachee to create their narrative and approach their challenges with a positive, solution-oriented mindset. This model is effective when the coachee is stuck in a negative narrative or is facing significant challenges. The LASER model fosters resilience and self-efficacy in coaches. It’s beneficial for personal development, career coaching, and resilience coaching. The LASER model emphasizes the coachee’s agency and active role in their journey towards their goals.


Laser Coaching Model II

Laser coaching is a targeted, focused style often used to address an immediate and specific issue. Laser coaching is different from traditional coaching models. Traditional coaching models can take many sessions. Laser coaching is short and direct, lasting 5 to 20 minutes. I modified this model and teach it to my students at Universal Coach Institute.

Get Permission to Coach: The initial stage requires obtaining the coachee’s consent to proceed with the coaching process.

Define the Outcome: The coach helps the coachee clearly articulate the desired outcome or goal.

Identify Importance: Together, the coach and coachee identify the importance or significance of the defined outcome.

Identify Consequences of Not Taking Action: The coachee is guided to understand the consequences of inaction. Doing so helps emphasize the urgency of addressing the issue.

Identify Roadblocks: The coach assists the coachee in recognizing potential obstacles that may hinder progress toward their goal.

Identify One New Positive Behavior to Implement: The coachee is encouraged to take on a new positive behavior that will aid in overcoming the identified roadblocks.

Identify New Ways of Being (Characteristics): This step involves recognizing new characteristics the coachee can adopt to facilitate their journey towards their goal.

Create Accountability: An accountability system ensures the coachee remains committed and focused on their goal.

Assess the Commitment Level: The final step involves assessing the coachee’s dedication to achieving their defined outcome. The coach ensures the coachee is invested in the process.

When to use it

The Laser Coaching Model is most effective when addressing immediate issues that require swift action. Its direct and focused approach allows coachees to overcome their main roadblocks quickly. This model benefits coachees who prefer concise, targeted coaching sessions over lengthy ones.


POSITIVE Coaching Model

P: Purpose – Identify the coachee’s purpose or core reason for seeking coaching.

O: Observations – The coach observes the coachee’s behaviors, communication patterns, and responses. .

S: Strategy – The coach and coachee collaboratively develop a strategy or action plan.

I: Insight – Facilitate the coachee’s self-reflection and self-awareness.

T: Team – Build a supportive coaching relationship based on trust, respect, and mutual understanding.

I: Initiate – Encourage the coachee to take the first step towards action.

V: Value – Acknowledge the coachee’s progress and achievements. This reinforces the value of their efforts and motivates continued growth.

E: Encourage – Encourage the coachee to remain committed to their goals.

When to use it

The POSITIVE coaching model, developed by Vincenzo Libri in 2004, is an adaptation of the well-known GROW and ACHIEVE models. This model fosters self-reflection and self-awareness in the coachee. It does so by asking critical questions. It starts with establishing purpose and encourages the coachee’s efforts. The POSITIVE model is versatile and can be applied in life, business, and performance coaching. Coachees benefit from its focus on self-insight, strategy development, and continuous encouragement. This focus helps coachees pursue personal or professional growth effectively. It provides a structured and supportive framework for their journey.


STEER Coaching Model

S: Spot – The coach identifies the learning needs of the coachee and seeks opportunities to meet these needs.

T: Tailor – The coach adjusts the learning content and coaching style to suit the individual needs of the coaches.

E: Explain – The coach provides a detailed explanation and demonstrates how the task should be executed.

E: Encourage – The coach offers support and motivation to the coachee.

R: Review – The coach evaluates the coachee’s progress in task completion.

When to use it

The STEER model is best used for on-the-job training, such as acquiring new skills or improving existing ones. It ensures the process is formally structured, with clear steps from spotting the learning need to reviewing progress. The STEER model promotes personalized learning. It also allows for practical application. Additionally, it fosters continuous feedback and improvement.


CIGAR Coaching Model

C: Current situation – The coach helps the coachee to understand their current status, including any challenges, strengths, and opportunities.

I: Ideal outcome – The coach and coachee collaboratively define the desired outcome for the coaching journey.

G: Gaps – The coach helps the coachee identify gaps between their current situation and ideal outcome.

A: Action plan – Together, the coach and the coachee develop a robust, actionable plan for bridging the gaps identified.

R: Review – The coach and coaches review the coachee’s progress. They assess whether the action plan is effective and make necessary adjustments.

When to use it

The CIGAR coaching model is an evolution of the GROW model. Its structured approach benefits coachees seeking clear steps toward their goals. The model’s emphasis on gap identification makes it useful for coachees at a crossroads who face substantial challenges in their personal or professional lives.


STAR Coaching Model

S: Situation – The coach helps the coachee identify the situation that may pose a challenge or difficulty.

T: Thoughts and Feelings – The coachee is encouraged to delve into the thoughts and feelings in the identified situation. This step aims to uncover any self-talk, emotions, or reactions that might influence the coachee’s perception and response to the situation.

A: Actions – The coach and coachee discuss the coachee’s typical actions or behaviors in response to the situation and the triggered thoughts and feelings. This helps to establish the current pattern of response and identify any areas for change.

R: Results – Together, the coach and coachee analyze the outcomes of the coachee’s actions in practical terms and the coachee’s emotions afterward.

When to use it

The STAR Coaching Model, developed by David Bonham-Carter, provides a concise yet comprehensive framework for understanding and addressing the coachee’s challenges. It uses a cognitive-behavioral approach. The STAR model encourages reflection on thought processes, emotional responses, behaviors, and outcomes. This model benefits coachees dealing with difficult situations, emotions, or behaviors. It’s also for coachees seeking practical coping strategies. The STAR model fosters self-awareness and self-management, empowering the coachee to take control of their reactions and responses. For more information on this model, please visit David’s website.


RESULTS™ Coaching Model

R: Reflect – Think, ask questions, and reframe.

E: Evaluate – Carefully assess all the forward options.

S: Strategize – Select the plan(s) with the best chance of succeeding.

U: Understand – Appreciate what resources will be needed to succeed.

L: Listen – Pay attention to the input of employees and colleagues.

T: Take Action – Implement plans and follow through persistently.

S: Systematize – Ensure that processes are permanently changed.

The RESULTS™ Coaching Model was developed by David Rock in 1996. It is a cutting-edge approach to coaching for leaders in organizations. It intertwines understanding, action, and systemization to drive significant changes. In this model, the coach and the coachee collaboratively reflect, evaluate, strategize, listen, take action, and systematize to achieve the desired results. It focuses on practical steps to overcome challenges and achieve goals while considering the resources needed and the inputs of all stakeholders. This model encourages decisive action and continuous improvement through systematized processes. For more information on this model, please visit David Rock’s website.


STRIDE Coaching Model

S: Strengths – This model emphasizes the need to affirm the positive throughout and draw attention to the coachee’s strengths. The coach can promote self-confidence and a sense of competence by building on the coachee’s existing capabilities.

T: Target – The coach helps the coachee define their goals.

R: Reality – The coach facilitates an exploration of the coachee’s current situation, including any obstacles hindering progress toward the goals.

I: Ideas – The coachee is prompted to brainstorm potential solutions or strategies to address their current situation.

D: Decision – The coachee decides the next steps to address their situation based on the brainstormed ideas.

E: Evaluation – The coach checks the coachee’s commitment to their decisions and, over time, evaluates the progress made towards meeting the set targets. This iterative review process ensures the coaching journey is tailored to the coachee’s evolving needs and circumstances.

When to use it

The STRIDE Coaching Model, developed by Will Thomas, provides a systematic yet flexible approach to personal and professional development. Its strengths-based approach makes it great for coachees who lack self-confidence or struggle to recognize their capabilities. The model’s emphasis on reality-checking, brainstorming, decision-making, and continuous evaluation supports coachees in navigating challenges and moving toward their goals in a structured, reflective manner. The STRIDE model fosters self-determination, creative problem-solving, and continual growth throughout the coaching process.


FLOW Coaching Model

F: Find the challenge – The coachee is encouraged to identify and articulate the challenge they want to address.

L: Look at reality – The coachee is guided to explore their current situation. This involves a realistic assessment of the present circumstances and the existing challenges and obstacles.

O: Open possibilities – The coachee is prompted to brainstorm potential solutions and strategies that could help address the identified issue.

W: Win commitment – The coachee is supported in committing to specific actions they will take and setting a timeline for when they will do so.

When to use it

Powell et al. (2001) explain that the FLOW Coaching Model provides a logical yet flexible approach for dealing with challenges. It starts by identifying the challenge. Following identifying the challenge, the model guides the coachee through understanding their current reality, opening up possibilities for change, and securing commitment for action. This model is effective for coachees who must address specific challenges requiring a step-by-step problem-solving process. Like the STRIDE model, the FLOW model promotes self-determination, creative thinking, and commitment to action.


SUCCESS Coaching Model

S: Session Planning – An initial step in the coaching process where the coach and coachee establish the framework for their coaching relationship. This includes defining the frequency and length of coaching sessions, setting communication expectations, and outlining how progress will be monitored and evaluated.

U: Uplifting Experiences – The coachee is encouraged to share positive experiences or achievements that have significantly influenced their personal or professional life.

C: Charting Your Course – The coach facilitates the coachee in creating a roadmap to reach their goals. This step involves identifying specific objectives, determining key milestones, and establishing timelines.

C: Creating Opportunities – The coachee is guided to identify opportunities or resources that could aid in achieving their goals.

E: Expectations and Commitments – The coachee outlines their expectations for the coaching process and commits to the actions they will undertake.

S: Synergy – The coach and coachee collaborate effectively to drive progress. This step emphasizes the importance of a strong, constructive coach-coachee relationship, fostering a collaborative environment that encourages mutual learning and growth.

S: Sustain Progress – The final step involves regular reviews of the coachee’s progress and adjustments to their roadmap as necessary. This iterative process ensures the coachee’s continuous development and encourages persistence in facing obstacles.

When to use it

The SUCCESS Coaching Model is a comprehensive approach that covers all stages of the coaching process, from initial planning to sustained progress. The SUCCESS model’s emphasis on positive experiences, proactive opportunity identification, and continuous review and adjustment supports coachees in achieving their goals.


GO-PASS Coaching Model

G: Goal – The coachee clearly defines their personal or professional goals.

O: Options – Guide the coachee to explore possible avenues to pursue to reach their defined goal.

P: Plan – Assist the coachee in formulating a concrete plan detailing the steps they need to take.

A: Action – With a plan in place, the coachee is encouraged to implement their plan. This step promotes initiative and responsibility in the coachee as they begin working towards their goal.

S: Structure – Put a structure in place for monitoring and assessment. This can include regular check-ins, progress reports, and adjustment of plans as necessary.

S: Success – The coachee is encouraged to reflect on the journey, recognize their achievement, and use this as motivation for future endeavors.

When to use it

The GO-PASS Coaching Model covers the entire journey, from goal setting to action and eventual success, providing a clear pathway for the coachee. This model is for coachees who appreciate regular monitoring and structure in their coaching journey.


RADAR Coaching Model

R: Rapport – The initiation of the coaching process begins with the establishment of rapport between the coach and coachee. This step focuses on building a relationship of trust and understanding, which forms the foundation for effective communication and cooperation throughout the coaching journey.

AD: Ask about Difficulties – After establishing rapport, the coach encourages the coachee to discuss any difficulties or challenges they might be experiencing.

A: Affirm Understanding – The coach then affirms their understanding of the coachee’s difficulties. This step ensures that both parties understand the issues clearly.

R: Result – The coach and coachee collaborate in creating a plan of action to overcome the identified difficulties and achieve the coachee’s goals.

When to use it

The RADAR Coaching Model is a straightforward approach that promotes open discussion of difficulties and cooperative problem-solving. Its simplicity makes it an effective tool for coachees who respond well to open communication and collaboration.

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