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What is Coaching and Coaching Models? – Complete Guide

What is Coaching and what makes it important
Table of Contents

During this post we will explore different aspects of coaching. This will include understanding what is coaching, what are the different coaching competencies, the different coaching models, along with the difference between coaching and other related fields.

As discussed during the interview on Life Coaching with Misba Shah:

Coaching is a Solution Focused process that facilitates a coachee’s movement from their current situation to a desired situation

So obviously one of the most important elements of coaching is being able to define the desired outcome. Once we know the outcome the next step is to assess the client’s current reality or situation. 

The clarity about current situation and outcome then helps us create a plan to move from the current reality to the desired outcome. Finally helping the client apply the plan into action on a consistent and systematic basis so that the client can achieve the outcome.

In short the four basic components of any coaching process / coaching model includes:

  1. Outcome or Goal
  2. Current reality or situation
  3. Systematic plan of action and
  4. Action

Almost all coaching models include these components. Though different models will build up on these components and will have their own ways of exploring each of these components.

Before we discuss the different coaching models, it is important to remember that these models are just that models. The effectiveness of these model to a large extent depends on the coaching competencies that the coach may or may not have.

In short having these coaching competencies will ensure that the coach will be able to bring out the best from their coachees. Below is a list of the essential Coaching Competencies.

The knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes a coach must possess to provide effective coaching are referred to as coaching competencies. They are the minimum standards that every coach must meet to be considered competent.

These Coaching Competencies include:

  1. Setting the foundation:
    • Establishing the coaching agreement
    • Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards
  2. Co-creating the relationship:
    • Using a flexible approach that is client-centric
    • Managing self and maintaining coaching presence
    • Establishing a trust-based relationship with the coachee
  3. Communicating Effectively
    • Engaged Listening
    • Powerful Questioning
    • Flexible/Person centric communication
  4. Facilitating Learning and Results
    • Raising awareness and insights
    • Inviting Possibility
    • Ecological goal setting:
    • Designing Actions:
    • Overcoming conscious and unconscious hindrances:
    • Managing Progress and Accountability:

You can get more details about each of these coaching competencies by checking out the post titled “Coaching Competencies that every coach must have but most don’t.

A coaching model is a framework; it’s the underlying structure that you can use when you’re coaching someone. This structure consists of different components or steps.

Each component or step has an objective that allows you to ensure that the coaching session is systematic and does not spiral into a roundabout chat.

There are multiple coaching models but all of them are based on the primary understanding of what coaching is about. Some of the popular Coaching Models include:

  1. GROW
  2. RE-GROW
  3. T-GROW
  4. PAUSE

We have detailed step-by-step guides for each of these models on the ICHARS blogs.

Of these SOFT SEA is in our opinion the most powerful and comprehensive coaching model. While being complete in itself, it can also be used seamlessly with hypnosis, NLP and to be true any other therapeutic or change process.

The SOFT SEA model can also be used to create a systematic coaching plan or therapy plan for each of your clients.

One of the questions that we get frequently asked by people before enrolling for our Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching and Psychotherapy Program is “What is the difference between Coaching and Therapy?

Primarily Coaching is all about working with present and future. It is more outcome-focused with emphasis on identifying and applying the plan of action to achieve the desired outcome.

Though Coaches are trained to help clients focus on the present and work towards the desired future, they are not really equipped to help clients deal with intense negative emotions or issues coming from the past.

Therapists, on the other hand, have a tendency to focus more on past and negative emotions as opposed to any specific goal that the client may wish to achieve. Classically, therapy would also include developing a deeper understanding of the cause of the problem and may majorly revolve around resolving emotional baggage coming from the past. Work with any kind of disorder or addiction will also fall within the realm of therapy.

Having said that, this distinction between coaching and therapy is more applicable to coaches than to therapists. Most successful therapists, if not all, knowingly or unknowingly do help the clients move towards their goals.

As we see it, coaching is a subset of therapy. All therapists who use a solution-focused approach, coach their clients but coaches can’t take therapies for clients unless they are trained therapists as well.

Table showing the Differences between Coaching and Therapy

Views the client as creative, resourceful and whole.Views clients from a diagnosis and treatment perspective.
Emphasis on present and future.Emphasis on past and present.
Action and being oriented.Insight oriented.
Solution oriented.Problem oriented.
Helps clients design their lives.Resolves issues.
Coaches and clients on a peer basis.Hierarchical difference between therapist and clients
Active, energetic approach.Passive, reflective, background approach.
Focus on exploring and achieving the client’s potential.Focus on healing and understanding the client.
Emphasis on present and future.Emphasis on past and present.
Explores actions and behaviours to achieve goals.Increases client insight.

Regard and coach negative self-beliefs as

temporary obstacles

Analyse and treat origins and historical roots of negative self-beliefs.

Coach and client ask: “What’s next/what


Therapist and client ask: “Why and from


Takes the client form where they are and helps them move forward.Examines unfinished emotional business from all stages of life.
Uses coaching skills.Uses therapy techniques.

Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching™ Certification Course is the best and the most comprehensive coaching certification program, if you too would like to develop advanced coaching competencies.

If you are a therapist and would like to develop advanced therapeutic skills do check out Cognitive Hypnotic Psychotherapy™ Course.

Are you a coach or a psychologist?