Coaching Model? How About Coaching Approach?

The other day I was talking with a friend, and the topic of coaching came up. At one point in the conversation, he asked what my approach is to coaching.

I began by talking about what my approach isn’t. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. While there are a number of formal and well-defined coaching models out there in use by consultants, managers and coaches, mine is very simple: I don’t use a specific model.

Okay, maybe I have a framework, or more of a philosophy, and this is it: Define what the real problem is, find a cure for the problem, and do whatever it takes to fix it. You don’t have a problem – you just want to improve? That’s okay, too. Define what improvement would look like, what it would take to improve, and do whatever it takes to help make that happen.

Notice the common theme? “Define the problem/improvement, then do whatever it takes.” That’s it. That’s my coaching “model”… or should I say, philosophy.

See, I’ve noticed something. Every person, every team or group, every organization is different. They’re unique (Well, duh!). No matter what some people tell you, there’s no way that one single model could fit every person, team, group or organization. I don’t care how flexible the model, it just doesn’t work for everyone.

When I’ve told people about my philosophy, I’ve had them reply with, “Well, that’s your model, then.” If they want to call that a model, go ahead, but to me it’s more of an approach or philosophy.

The one thing I know for sure is this: It works. Define the problem/improvement, then do whatever it takes to fix or deal with it. Simple. And feel free to use it all you want!

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