Basic Coaching Strategies
and How They Work

Different coaching strategies create different results

There are several strategies used in coaching but two in particular predominate.

One focuses on changing what you are doing: your actions.

The other focuses on changing your perspective: the way you interpret what is happening within and around you.

Coaching Strategies: Change Behavior

The coaching strategy used to change behavior is straight forward: find what you are doing that creates the problem and change your behavior. The coaching objective is to

  • Get agreement with clients on what the problem is that brings them to coaching
  • Identify what they are doing or not doing to cause the problem
  • Find a solution to fix the problem
  • Develop a plan that leads to a solution
  • Execute the solution.

The plan is usually broken down into distinct goals and the criteria to be used to determine when each goal has been met. In coaching sessions, the coach evaluates how well clients are following the plan and works with them on how to perform the next step. When all the steps have been completed, the original problem is solved and coaching ends.

Many coaching books favor this strategy.

Coaching Strategies: Change Perspective

The strategy used to help change perspective locates the cause of the coaching problem in your perspective, not in your behavior. The coaching philosophy behind it argues that your behavior is a direct result of how you interpret events. A change in interpretation leads to a change in behavior and in results.

The change is deep and lasting change because it gets at the source of behavior, as well as at the emotions that drive the behavior.

Interpretations are often no more than personal opinions that lack objective support. When you are unaware of them, they run your life without challenge and limit what you try and don’t try.

The approach in this strategy is to

  • Identify what the problem is that brings clients to coaching
  • Discover how clients interpret the problem
  • Challenge the evidence clients use to support their interpretation
  • Search for other possible interpretations
  • Identify emotions produced by new interpretations
  • Identify new behaviors the new interpretations will create
  • Identify ways to practice living by new interpretations
  • Put the new interpretation into action in everyday life.

This coaching strategy is used in many types of coaching, such as business coaching, life coaching, career coaching, and wellness coaching. Like most other other coaching approaches, it is used for both online coaching sessions and for face-to-to face sessions.

Advantages of Changing Perspective

New interpretations reveal options clients are not aware of. These options will create different results if the client uses them. For example, by helping clients discover what is actually extraordinary about daily events, spiritual life coaching helps them see how a new way of looking at these events can enrich their everyday lives.

The advantage of the change in perspective is it changes the client, not just the client’s behavior. Even better, it enables clients to become skilled in becoming aware of how they limit themselves in other areas of their life by the way they look at events.

Increased self-awareness is a skill that they can then apply across their lives to get more satisfying results.


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