Coaching Skills overview

This overview offers a definition of Coaching with a detailed fact sheet, as well as additional pages you can look at which offer an overview of other frameworks of support, such as Transactional Analysis and NLP.

Coaching defined

…developing your clients self-awareness and personal responsibility for future development (Whitmore, 2002)

Coaching is essentially a non-directive form of development that:

  • Focuses on improving performance and developing individuals’ skills.
  • Coaching activities have both organisational and individual goals; sometimes this includes personal issues where they impact on people in their work
  • It assumes that the individual is psychologically well and does not require a clinical    intervention.
  • It provides people with feedback on both their strengths and their weaknesses, and often involves using tools such as Psychometric profiling and 360 degree reviews.

6 principles of Coaching

  1. The client is resourceful. He or she has not come to be ‘fixed’ but has the ability to resolve his or her own situation.
  2. The coach’s role is to spring loose the client’s resourcefulness. It is not to give advice.
  3. Coaching addresses the whole person, past, present and future.
  4. The client sets the agenda.
  5. The coach and the client are equals. It is not a doctor/ patient relationship.
  6. Coaching is about change. Its purpose is to help the client become more effective

Coaching Models

There are many models of intervention used by trained Coaches, but many keep coming back to the simplicity and power of Using the GROW model of coaching ( “G” are goals for the session and the longer term project, “R” the current reality, “O” the options that the client has, and the “W” forming what the client will do). Supporting this base model are some powerful questions to challenge the client, such as: how much energy do you have for a solution on a scale of 1-10? In an ideal world what would be happening around this issue? How would you know that it had been resolved?

There are more holistic models of Coaching such as the Co-active model (the subject of a blog article), or a solutions focused approach, using the “OSKAR” framework.

“OSKAR” Framework


  • What is the objective of this coaching?
  • What do you want to achieve today?


  • On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 representing the worst it has ever been and 10 the preferred future, where would you put the situation today?
  • You are at n now; what did you do to get this far?
  • How would you know you had got to n+1?


  • What helps you perform at n on the scale, rather than 0?
  • When does the outcome already happen for you – even a little bit?
  • What did you did to make that happen? How did you do that?


  • What’s already going well?
  • What is the next small step?
  • You are at n now, what would it take to get you to n+1?

5. REVIEW: What’s better?

  • What did you do that made the change happen?
  • What effects have the changes had?
  • What do you think will change next?

Free Fact Sheet on Coaching

I have put together a fact sheet that outlines what Coaching is (click on fact sheet to download), how it differs from other interventions such as Counselling and Mentoring, Coaching skills, and the “GROW” model explained and possible questions for using it.

“…helping people find the means to become who they can and want to be, or to develop success strategies” (Chavret, 1997)