What comes to mind immediately you hear the term coaching? It’s probably sports, right? We interact with this word mostly when talking about our favourite teams or athletes. We know coaching to be the training players undergo before they can get to the field and play. Every successful sportsperson has a dedicated coach steering them to be the best in the game. The coaching techniques employed by these coaches have a direct impact on how these players perform.

That being said, coaching does not only apply in the sports industry, but it also cuts across different spheres.


Coaching is a process through which an individual or group of people gains awareness of who they are and how they can improve their performance. It is a professional relationship that results in people producing desired results in the different aspects of their lives, helping them bridge the gap between where they are now and where they’d want to be.  Coaching helps bring to light what is important to people, their strengths and challenges; develops options available for them as well as come up with necessary actions to take for the changes they want. It helps to develop skills and abilities and improves on weaknesses to produce effectiveness in the individual or organization.

Coaching vs. Mentorship

Having read the definition of coaching, you’re probably trying to figure out the difference between coaching and mentorship. While there are some striking similarities due to the fact that they are both geared towards growth and development, there are differences as well.

Coaching Mentorship
Focused on performance. Focused on overall development.
Is a formal and structured engagment. Is an informal engagement, leaning mostly on the mentees’ needs.
Geared towards the achievement of specific goals that have been set. Geared towards relationships that go beyond the tasks at hand.
Short-term, depending on agreement between the coach and client. Long-term due to the fact that the terms of engagement are more often than not structured.
Agendas are set by both the coach and the client. Agendas are set by the mentee, thementors help them achieve these goals.
The outcome is specific and measurable. The outcome is general and can change over time.
Questions often come from the coach to provoke certain thoughts in the client’s mind. Questions mostly come from the mentees, as they try to learn from their mentors.
Evaluation is easy and straightforward due to the structured nature of the engagement. Evaluation is very general and broad

Some situations call for a coach, while others call for a mentor. As you evaluate your needs, you’ll easily identify what kind of help would work for you.

The purpose of coaching

The sole purpose of coaching is to identify and unlock people’s potential and use it to help maximize their performance. It is also about identifying existing challenges and working out ways around them to bring forth improvement. Coaching helps people learn practically rather than theoretically teaching or telling them. They are able to build self-belief and afterward take successful actions.

For instance, if you’ve always wanted to start a business in a certain industry but haven’t actualized the dream yet, a coach literally facilitates you walking into this space. They’ll help you discover things you didn’t know about yourself, as well as those you take lightly.

With the help of a coach, you might discover that you actually possess great managerial skills which are a big plus in starting up your business. They’ll also help you discover the places you struggle with and help you come up with ways around those places in order to successfully set up and run your business.

What are the different coaching models?

A basketball coach and a football coach have one thing in common; they are both coaches and have the players’ best interests at heart. Their job is to ensure the players they train do their best.

The strategies and models employed are however very different; a basketball coach cannot employ their models to a football match and vice versa. This is because each of the fields has different ways in which they work. The same applies to different areas and situations in our lives, they each need different models employed to produce the best results.

We’ll look at 5 different coaching models ;

1. The GROW model (Sir John Whitmore)

G.R.O.W stands for Goal, Reality, Options and Will. How this works is that the client first has their goals; they have what they’ve set and want to achieve over a certain period of time. Then the coach helps them to identify their current reality; where they are at the moment.

From evaluating the goals versus the reality, it becomes easy to come up with various options that can be put in place to bridge the gap. Finally, there’s the will to adopt the different options to move from reality to achieving the set goals.

2. The STEPPPA model

S.T.E.P.P.P.A stands for Subject, Target, Emotion, Perception, Plan, Pace and Act. This model begins with understanding what the subject is, and what the target is. What are you aiming at? It then goes on to evaluate the worth of the goals.

Here, important but difficult questions need to be answered. For example, is the subject and target worth it? Why does it matter to you that you accomplish this? Then you need to answer what this goal means to you. Is it important to you? Then you need to come up with the how (plan) and when (pace). Then finally there’s taking action.

3. The OSKAR model

O.S.K.A.R stands for Outcome, Scaling, Know-how, Action and Review. In this model, you start from evaluating the end goal; what you seek to achieve by adopting this model. As you evaluate, it’s important to scale where you are at regarding this desired goal, then understand what skills would be necessary to have.

At this point, an overall self-awareness activity is necessary so as to know your strengths and what you can do about those areas that are not very well set up. After all these, then you get to the action stage and finally review to see what worked and what didn’t.

4. The CLEAR model (Peter Hawkins)

C.L.E.A.R stands for Contracting, Listening, Exploring, Action and Review. At the contracting point, you are meant to fully understand the goals you set and what they mean. Listening is where the coach basically takes time to listen to the client’s needs in order to understand their skills as well as limitations. After listening, you explore different possibilities connected to the established skillset identified. After that, there’s the action then review stage.

5. Motivational Interviewing Model.

This is a model of coaching and changing behavior. It is a model that is goal-driven and one that is focused on solving internal conflict to bring about change. It helps you identify what you value, align them to your goals and then adopt different behavioral patterns.

Different Types of Coaching

In addition to the various models, there are different types of coaching as well, and we’ll focus on 5 of them.

A. Performance coaching

Performance coaching helps individuals or organizations better understand their goals, the skill set needed and how to bridge the gap between where they are and where they’d want to be. It maximizes their strengths and improves where they have limitations.

This type makes use of psychological tactics to help people improve performance. Performance coaching enhances ability to see limitations, providing strategic planning for achieving goals and offering additional accountability.

B. Personal/life coaching

Unlike most types of coaching, personal coaching, as the name suggests, is centered on the individual. An example of a possible life coaching subject would be work/life balance. Both areas are centered on the individual and the coaching process entails understanding the specific causes of the existing imbalance and coming up with ways to bring about a balance.

C. Skills coaching

In Skills coaching, necessary skills are passed on from the coach to the client. This depends on the needs that arise from discussion between both the coach and the client. As opposed to using hypothetical situations, this type of coaching practically takes the client through gaining the desirable skills they need to achieve their goals.

D. Career coaching

Career coaching will help you identify available career options. The career coaching process helps the client to know the strengths they have and align them with available career opportunities. This coaching is also necessary for people who are already in careers but are looking to advance them.

E. Executive coaching

Executive coaching is custom made for decision-makers in organizations. A manager of an institution for example needs to learn different managerial skills that are essential to their jobs. It can also be employed as leadership coaching so as to instill not only managerial and supervisory skills but also leadership skills that are necessary to anyone in a decision making position.

The Benefits.

  • Coaching helps build and develop self-awareness and confidence.
  • Coaching helps increase productivity as the process allows for taking up working methods and dropping those that aren’t working.
  • Coaching helps bring about more fulfillment.
  • Makes decision making and application easier.
  • Accountability brought about by coaching helps build on consistency for the client.
  • Builds on interpersonal skills, which makes it easier for you to relate with other people.
  • Through the coaching process, goals are broken down into smaller manageable and time-bound portions; thereby reducing any chances of tension or anxiety.
  • It helps in the development and growth of strategic planning skills.
  • It helps bring more clarity to the goals set by individuals or organizations.


As seen in the different types and models of coaching, this service can be applied in any setting that needs development. Coaching services can be engaged in a business set-up, when trying to understand and deciding on careers, for personal development and in the corporate work-place. Different models can be taken up to achieve different desired results.

Now that you understanding coaching better and it doesn’t sound so far-fetched anymore, how can you apply it to make your life better? Do you see its applications for you both on the personal and at corporate levels? Depending on your specific needs and goals, I’m sure it’s now easier for you to take up the services of a life, Business, Executive or Career coach to help you reach your highest potential.