Are you exploring the best coaching techniques for your life coaching business?
It is difficult to deliver quality coaching results without using tried and tested coaching techniques.
To make it easy for you, here’s a detailed guide on coaching techniques. In this post, we’ll go through the following:
- What are coaching techniques?
- Difference between coaching techniques and strategies
- 10 best coaching techniques
- Helpful books on life coaching techniques
- Lots more
Let’s get started!
What are coaching techniques?
A coaching technique is a specific approach or methodology used by a coach to guide and support their clients in achieving their goals.
A coaching technique is typically based on a set of principles, strategies, and tools that the coach uses to help their clients to
- Identify their goals
- Develop action plans
- Overcome obstacles
- Make progress towards their goals
Difference between coaching techniques and strategies
Coaching techniques and coaching strategies are closely related but they differ in their meanings slightly.
We have already explained coaching techniques in detail above, however, they can be defined as practices used by coaches to help their clients achieve their desired goals. They also help the coach build trust between both parties which encourages open communication, which can be a critical requirement if you want to become a successful life coach.
We’ll go over different types of coaching techniques below but first, let’s take a look at coaching strategies.
A coaching strategy refers to the overall plan or approaches that a coach uses to achieve the desired outcome with their client. Strategies are the broad approaches that a coach uses to guide the coaching process.
- The goals they set
- Coaching methods they use
- Specific coaching techniques that are used
Coaching strategies help the coaches to develop personalized coaching plans for every client, keeping their requirements in mind. Some common coaching strategies are:
- Accountability coaching: This involves keeping the client accountable for their actions and commitments to help them achieve their goals and plans.
- Transformational coaching: This strategy focuses on creating significant and lasting changes to their mind, behavior, thoughts, lifestyle, etc from different limitations that the coach believes are holding them back from achieving their goals.
- Goal oriented coaching: This revolves around working with the client to set attainable goals and developing a plan with them and providing support and accountability to make sure they achieve them.
- Action based coaching: This involves the coach encouraging the client to take the actions to achieve their desired goals by identifying and guiding them towards the next step.
- Strength based coaching: This strategy means helping the client identify their strengths and make the best use of them to enhance their life quality. They use different tools and assessments to identify their strengths.
10 best coaching techniques
Different coaching techniques are used in different contexts, such as personal development, business, lifestyle, sports, or health and wellness. A coach may specialize in one or more coaching techniques.
The effectiveness of a coaching technique depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- Coach’s expertise
- Client’s requirements and needs
- Client’s commitment to change
- Their coaching relationship
There are numerous types of coaching techniques, however, here are the top 10 most commonly used coaching techniques.
- Cognitive Behavioral Coaching
- GROW Coaching Model
- Positive Psychology Coaching
- Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Coaching
- Solution-Focused Coaching
- Motivational Interviewing (MI) Coaching
- Appreciative Inquiry Coaching
- Mindfulness Coaching
- Transformational Coaching
- Team Coaching
Each coaching technique has its unique approach and methodology, but they all share the goal of helping clients, coaches often use multiple techniques in combination to meet the specific needs of their clients and create a personalized plan for every client.
1. Cognitive Behavioral Coaching
Cognitive Behavioral Coaching (CBC) is primarily based on the principles of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). It is designed by coaches to help individuals identify and alter problematic thoughts, behavior, mindset, and beliefs that may cause them to feel stressed and unhappy.
CBT is most commonly used by Mental health professionals to treat depression, anxiety, and mental health disorders. Similarly, the CBC technique is used by health and life coaches to help their clients deal with stress and anxiety related issues. Various methods are used by coaches in CBC like
- Mindfulness exercises
- Cognitive restructuring
- Adopting problem solving skills
- Behavior modification
- Breathing exercises
CBC can be used by coaches for helping individuals improve their performance in different areas of life:
- Stress and anxiety
- Personal growth
- Other mental health related issues
In summary, CBC is a solution oriented and collaborative technique used by life coaches to empower individuals to make positive changes in their lives.
Tony Robbins is currently the #1 life & business coach, he has empowered more than 50 million people from over 95 countries.
He is one of the most well-known coaches and authors who incorporates CBC principles into his coaching programs.
2. GROW Coaching Model
The GROW coaching model is one of the most popular and effective coaching frameworks that is used to help individuals and teams set and achieve their goals. The word “GROW” stands for:
- Goal: This involves defining a specific, measurable, and attainable goal that the individual or team wants to achieve.
- Reality: This involves exploring the current reality or situation, including any challenges or obstacles that may be preventing them from achieving their goal.
- Options: This means brainstorming and identifying different options and strategies that can be used to overcome the obstacles or challenges standing in the way of the client and the goals.
- Will: This involves committing to a specific plan of action agreed upon by the client and the coach, and taking the necessary steps to achieve the desired outcome.
The GROW coaching model is a flexible framework that can be adapted to different coaching situations and is personalized for every client according to their needs. Moreover, it involves a collaborative and empowering approach.
Books on the GROW model
There are several famous books that discuss and explain the GROW coaching model. Here are some of the most helpful books on this topic.
- Coaching for Performance – by Sir John Whitmore
- The GROW Model: A Simple Process for Coaching and Mentoring – by Max Landsberg
- Leadership Coaching: The Disciplines, Skills, and Heart of a Coach – by Tony Stoltzfus
- The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever – by Michael Bungay Stanier
These books provide valuable insights into the GROW coaching model.
3. Positive Psychology Coaching
It is a relatively new branch of coaching that is primarily based on the principles and practices of positive psychology. Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life worth living and focuses on the strengths, virtues, and positive experiences in life.
It aims to help individuals and organizations achieve their full potential and maximize their well-being by focusing on their strengths, resources, and capabilities. Positive Psychology Coaching is a strength-based approach.
Positive Psychology Coaching involves a range of interventions and techniques including:
- Gratitude exercises
- Strengths assessments
- Mindfulness practices
- Positive self-talk
It can be used to help individuals improve their performance, relationships, and overall well-being.
Caroline Miller is a positive psychology coach and author who has written several books, including “Creating Your Best Life” and “Getting Grit.” She uses positive psychology principles to help individuals and organizations set and achieve meaningful goals, build resilience, and cultivate well-being.
4. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Coaching
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Coaching is a coaching technique based on the principles and practices of NLP. NLP is a field of study that explores the relationships between language, behavior and thought patterns in humans.
NLP Coaching is based on the premise that our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are interconnected and can be influenced by language and communication. By understanding and changing the language and thought patterns that underlie our behaviors, we can achieve greater success and fulfillment in our lives.
It involves a range of techniques that are designed to help individuals identify and change limiting beliefs, negative thought patterns, and unhelpful behaviors. It can be used to help individuals improve their
- Communication skills
- Build stronger relationships
- Overcome phobias and fears
- Manage stress and anxiety
- Achieve their goals
Upasana Dwarakanath is a holistic life coach and a writer. She loves to help people to achieve their greatest goals and tap their limitless potential. Her dream career was to be a Life Coach. She was committed to channeling people’s latent potential to achieve the greatest vision of their life.
After attending the NLP Practitioner Program, she decided to start her own coaching business – Enliven Your Dreams. Upasana shared her real-life story about the NLP Coaching technique.
In a random Google search, she chanced upon NLP Coaching Academy and enrolled herself there without any second thought because it aligned with her dream career. Here, the Academy’s Dual NLP Practitioner and Certified Associate Leadership and Life Coach Program was a Godsend. She was able to easily connect herself to the meticulous and transformative experience of the course.
That program took her through a life-affirming process of her own. Upasana shared that, In order to best learn how to exponentially enhance another person’s life, there is no better way than to travel that personal journey oneself.
In a span of just a few days, She had worked through some of my most negative beliefs and memories, smoothly and effectively. Negative emotions and entrenched behaviors were “swished” away in a matter of minutes. By the end of the course, She had a meticulously drawn up short-term and long-term vision for her life, and a step-by-step action plan to achieve her goals.
The biggest impact that the NLP program left on Upasana Dwarakanath was making her believe in herself again. Since then, she found herself in the extraordinary position of being an instrument of massive positive change as a Holistic Life Coach & Catalyst.
5. Solution-Focused Coaching
Solution-Focused Coaching is an approach to coaching that focuses on identifying and building on an individual’s strengths and resources, rather than focusing on problems or challenges.
It is based on the principles and practices of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, a therapeutic approach that has been used successfully in the field of psychotherapy for years. In coaching, this technique is adapted to help achieve personal and professional goals.
Solution-Focused Coaching is a collaborative process between the coach and the client. The coach helps the client in identifying their desired outcomes and then works with them to develop a strategic plan to achieve those.
The coach also helps the client identify their strengths and resources and encourages them to use those to overcome any challenges or obstacles they face.
Top 3 coaches who use Solution-Focused Coaching technique
There are many successful coaches who use the Solution-Focused Coaching model. Here are the top 3 coaches:
These are just a few examples of successful coaches who use the Solution-Focused Coaching model. The approach is widely used in the coaching profession nowadays.
6. Motivational Interviewing (MI) Coaching
Motivational Interviewing (MI) Coaching is a coaching technique that helps clients identify and overcome their ambivalence towards change. It is often used in the context of health and wellness coaching, and addiction counseling where clients may be resistant to change.
The goal of Motivational Interviewing Coaching is to help clients explore and resolve their ambivalence about change. The coach uses a non-judgmental and collaborative approach to help the client identify their own reasons for change and to develop a plan for achieving their goals.
The core principles of Motivational Interviewing Coaching include:
- Expressing empathy: The coach shows empathy towards the client, acknowledging their feelings and experiences without judgment.
- Developing discrepancy: The coach helps the client see the difference between where they are now and where they want to be, highlighting the gap between their current behavior and their goals.
- Rolling with resistance: The coach avoids confrontation and instead works with the client’s resistance to change, encouraging them to explore their feelings and beliefs.
- Supporting self-efficacy: The coach helps the client build confidence in their ability to change by highlighting their past successes and strengths.
Overall, Motivational Interviewing Coaching is a client-centered approach.
Stephen Rollnick is a clinical psychologist and the co-founder of Motivational Interviewing. He has written several books on the subject, including “Motivational Interviewing in Health Care” and “Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People for Change.”
7. Appreciative Inquiry Coaching
Appreciative Inquiry Coaching is an approach to coaching that focuses on discovering and strengthening a client’s positive qualities and strengths, rather than focusing on problems or weaknesses.
It is based on the principle that positive questions and reflections can help individuals and organizations identify their strengths, values, and aspirations, and build on those to create positive change.
The Appreciative Inquiry Coaching process involves several stages, including:
- Discovery: The coach and client work together to identify the client’s strengths, values, and positive experiences. This may involve exploring the client’s past successes and peak experiences.
- Dream: The coach helps the client envision a positive future, based on their strengths and values.
- Design: They work together to create a plan for achieving the client’s goals. The plan is based on the client’s strengths and positive qualities.
- Destiny: The coach helps the client take action to achieve their goals and create positive change in their life.
Appreciative Inquiry Coaching is often used in organizational development, leadership development, and other areas.
Books on the Appreciative Inquiry Coaching
There are several books on Appreciative Inquiry (AI), Here are some notable examples:
- Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change – by David Cooperrider and Diana Whitney
- The Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry – by Sue Annis Hammond
- The Power of Appreciative Inquiry: A Practical Guide to Positive Change – by Diana Whitney and Amanda Trosten-Bloom
- Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement – by Jackie Stavros and Cheri Torres
These are just a few examples of famous books on Appreciative Inquiry. There are many other resources available, including academic articles, case studies, and online courses.
8. Mindfulness Coaching
It is a type of coaching that incorporates principles and practices of mindfulness meditation into the coaching process.
Mindfulness is a state of awareness that involves paying attention to the present moment with an attitude of non-judgment. Mindfulness coaching can help individuals develop greater self-awareness, emotional regulation, and resilience, which can improve their overall well-being.
In mindfulness coaching, the coach works with the client to help them develop mindfulness skills and integrate them into their daily life. This can involve a variety of practices, such as
- Guided meditation
- Body scans
- Breathing exercises
- Mindful movement
The coach may also help the client identify specific areas of their life where they would like to apply mindfulness, such as managing stress or enhancing creativity.
Overall, mindfulness coaching is a powerful tool for helping individuals develop greater self-awareness, cultivate inner resources, and improve their overall well-being.
Tara Brach is a mindfulness teacher, author, and coach who has been teaching mindfulness meditation for over 40 years.
She offers online courses, retreats, and coaching sessions that incorporate mindfulness practices to help individuals cultivate self-awareness, emotional regulation, and compassion.
9. Transformational Coaching
Transformational coaching is a type of coaching that focuses on helping individuals make deep and lasting changes in their lives. It is a holistic approach that addresses not only the individual’s goals and behaviors, but also their beliefs, values, and identity.
Transformational coaching is based on the belief that individuals have the power to create significant and meaningful changes in their lives, and that the coach’s role is to facilitate this process by providing support, guidance, and accountability.
The coach often uses a variety of techniques, such as reflective questioning, visualization exercises, and goal-setting for the client. Transformational coaching is often a longer-term process than other types of coaching.
The following are the main benefits of transformational coaching:
- Improved interpersonal skills
- Increased confidence
- Better sense of life purpose
- Effective emotional management
- Shifting towards an empowered perspective and mindset
- Increased motivation
Transformational coaching is a powerful tool for individuals who are seeking to make significant and meaningful changes in their lives, whether in their personal or professional lives.
Martha Beck is a transformational coach and author who has been coaching individuals for over 25 years. She is known for her intuitive and empathic coaching style, and for her ability to help individuals overcome limiting beliefs and patterns.
10. Team Coaching
Team coaching focuses on improving the performance and effectiveness of a group of people working together as a team. It is a process that helps teams develop a shared understanding of their goals, identify areas of improvement, and work together to achieve their objectives.
Team coaching involves working with the team as a whole, as well as with individual team members. It involves a combination of coaching, facilitation, and training to help team members develop their skills and knowledge and build stronger relationships and better communication within the team.
Some common areas of focus include:
- Improving communication and collaboration
- Clarifying roles and responsibilities to avoid conflict
- Developing shared goals and a clear vision
- Building trust and psychological safety within the team
- Developing leadership skills
- Building resilience and adaptability
Team coaching is often used in organizations to improve the performance of work teams, such as project teams, departmental teams, or cross-functional teams. It can also be used in sports teams and community groups.
David Clutterbuck is a pioneer in the field of team coaching and has been coaching teams for over 30 years.
He is the author of several books on coaching, including “Coaching the Team at Work” and “The Practitioner’s Handbook of Team Coaching.”
He is also the co-founder of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council.
Each coaching technique has its own unique approach and methodology, but they all share the goal of helping clients reach their desired outcomes and achieve their goals.
It is difficult to excel in your career and become a successful coach without using one of the tried and tested coaching models.
I hope this detailed post on coaching techniques will help you understand them better and choose the one that works best for you and your clients.
Now I’d like to hear from you, what is your favorite coaching technique?