Coaching Model: 3 Models You Must Use For Success

Did you know that coaching first started in the field of sports? Now, it is helping people worldwide, in every area, to realize their potential and achieve their dreams. Today, the business of coaching has expanded. More and more people are hiring coaches to help them grow and fulfill their dreams.

With so many coaches out there, you need one thing to stand out – a sound coaching model.

Being a coach is fulfilling and rewarding, both for you and your client. You can keep your coaching practice relevant by selecting a coaching model that suits their requirements and your niche.

If you are beginning your journey of establishing yourself as a successful coach and looking to develop yourself and refine your skills, then you have come to the right page!

Now, there are many types of coaching models that you can choose. We have put together a small list of the best ones just for you!

Read Coaching Model: 4 Proven Models You Should Know

In our previous conversation, we discussed four coaching models GROW, CLEAR, OSCAR and CIGAR. Here’s a quick summary

Types of coaching models

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GROW Model of Coaching – Summary

The GROW method of coaching is widely used by many coaches for its simplicity and efficiency. Here, GROW is an acronym, in which G = Goal, R = Reality, O = Options, W = Will.

It’s a straightforward model. First, you establish a Goal towards the problem you want to solve. Next, you understand the ground reality or current situation. Then you assess your options and the obstacles you have towards achieving said goal. The last step, Will represents the actions that can be taken towards the Goal.

CLEAR Model of Coaching – Summary

The CLEAR model includes a focus on setting expectations towards the entire mentoring process. This model works best when your clients are quite ‘clear’ about their goals. The acronym CLEAR stands for, C = Contracting, L = Listening, E = Exploring, A = Action, R = Review.

Close to the heels of the GROW method, the CLEAR model adds the element of taking Action, after which we can conduct a Review towards the actions that were taken.

OSCAR Model of Coaching – Summary

The OSCAR method is like the CLEAR Model, except that it emphasizes on solutions, outcomes, and what looks like a win for your clients. In this acronym, OSCAR stands for, O = Outcome, S = Situation, C = Choices/Consequences, A = Actions, R = Review

This model gives priority to expected outcomes over the current situation. By doing so, you’re shifting the perspective of their situation in the context of their outcomes, before moving on to exploring options and understand consequences for each option.

CIGAR Model of Coaching – Summary

The CIGAR method of coaching is all about focusing on the current reality or situation of your client. The acronym CIGAR stands for C = Current Reality, I = Ideal, G = Gaps, A = Action, R = Review.

This method offers a unique perspective on the typical ‘goal’ setting stage we see in other models. We cultivate an understanding of the actual vs possible scenarios, or in other words, the ideal situation and the gaps in between them and their perfect situation.

Benefits of having a coaching model

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Consider this simple analogy. Your clients want to reach someplace, but they feel they are lost right now. You are a coach. And a mentor and a guide. You motivate them and help them realize their potential to reach their destination.

You hand them a map and help them navigate through it.

This map has all the critical checkpoints and milestones that your clients must reach in their journey towards the final goal. If at any point, your client feels lost then this mental route-map will help them find their way again.

That’s a coaching model for you!

People learn in three different ways; visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. A good coaching model caters to many learners.

Your coaching model serves as a ‘mental route-map’ and makes it easier for clients to visualize their journey. Your skills as a coach in explaining and guiding your client through the coaching model will hook in auditory learners. If at any points your clients feel stuck, you can gently nudge them back into action by reminding them, through the use of verbally spoken words, about the acronyms in the coaching model. Such use of vocabulary is a big hit with auditory learners!

Once your client takes part in a structured step-by-step plan to achieve their goals, it invests kinaesthetic learners through their participatory actions.

One of the most significant benefits of choosing a coaching model is that you can quickly appeal to many learners!

Why people fail and how coaching models can help

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1. They expect fast results.

It’s the age of instant gratification. Achieving goals cannot be rushed through. A structured coaching model will help your client understand when and how they can expect results.

2. They dwell on past mistakes

Mistakes can weigh you down quickly. Everyone makes mistakes, but a good coach will help transform those mistakes into learning experiences. Most coaching models have one or two stages dedicated to assessing your client’s situation, past or present, and then focusing on how to move past towards achieving goals

3. They are overworked

It is understandable to get overwhelmed when a situation is weighing you down. Often, many people try to solve their problems haphazardly or as-and-when-it-happens. This results in their approach towards their goals being ‘reactive’. A coaching model will help in setting the pace for the actions that your clients will take. This way, your client can have greater control over their situation without being overwhelmed

Types of coaching models

GROWTH Coaching Model

What is GROWTH Model of Coaching?

Yes, the GROWTH coaching model is an extension of the GROW model. There’s no doubt that GROW is one of the best models that gives fast results. But over time, coaches felt the need to add in two additional steps at the end, Tactics, and Habits

So, the entire acronym for GROWTH stands for;

G = Goal setting

R = Reality

O = Options

W = Will

T = Tactics

H = Habits

Steps in GROWTH Model of Coaching

We have discussed the GROW model in our previous conversation about types of coaching models. So, now we will focus on the two new additions, that is Tactics and Habits


The key question that we must ask in this step is – How will you achieve your identified goals? This step reflects the need for an action plan that will help your client reach their goals.

Here, we must remember that tactics differ from a strategy. These two terms are often confused and used interchangeably. The main difference is that tactics are the means that one can use to achieve the aim, whereas strategy is the larger plan that includes many tactics.

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In this step, the critical question is – how will you sustain this success?

Once we achieve our goals through this model, we need to ensure that we have a plan to continue enjoying this success. Some of the questions that you can ask;

How will you know that you are committed towards your success?

What will you do to maintain your success?

Now that you’re here, how do you want to go on?

FUEL Coaching Model

What is FUEL Model of Coaching?

The FUEL model of coaching is yet another popular type of coaching methods. This method emphasizes framing the context and understanding the reality of your client before moving on to the stage of achieving ‘goals’.

Here, FUEL stands for;

F = Framing the conversation

U = Understanding the current state

E = Exploring the desired state

L = Layout a successful plan

Read: Coaching models explored: FUEL

Steps in FUEL Coaching Model

Framing the conversation

We relate this first step to the GROW model’s first step; Goal. The important difference is that framing the discussion can be so much more than just setting a goal. Here, the focus is on establishing the context of the conversation, not the situation. You can focus on having the client set the purpose and the expected outcomes of this conversation.

Understanding the current state

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This second step is one of the best features within this coaching model. Here, we are not just exploring the current situation. We are also talking about the consequences of continuing on the same path as the one they are following as of now.

Understanding the ground reality of your client’s situation will include evergreen tools like the 5 W’s and 1 H questions (What, Where, When, Who, Why and How). Once we establish the current state, the FUEL model focuses on further exploring and understanding the consequences of continuing the same path.

Unlike the GROW model, having a conversation about goal-setting is much better when you have already explored all the options and checked ground reality.

So, with the GROW coaching model, you first set the goal and then explore all options towards your goals. With the FUEL coaching model, you first examine your situation and options, then set your goal accordingly.

Exploring the Desired State

Okay, now we have decided the context of the conversation and examined our current situation. The idea is to establish a clear difference between the current state and the desired state.

Some useful questions for your client to make the most out of this step in the FUEL coaching model;

Now that we know our situation and options, what does success look like?

What is your idea of success?

How would you measure this goal?

Layout a successful plan

This stage is all about action! In this stage, you will help your client decide the best course of action and set milestones for success.

The magic question for this stage?

‘How would you know that you have reached this goal?’


Let’s take a small break here. We are talking a lot about setting goals. Every model needs a goal setting. At the heart of every coaching practice, goal setting takes center stage.

Goal setting may seem simple, but setting sustainable goals can be tricky. Thankfully, we have excellent models to help us in setting goals that can give long-lasting results.

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The most commonly used goal setting method is an acronym called SMART Goals. It is simple and effective. Everyone wants to be smart in their approach. The SMART goal setting method delivers this thought which is ultimately what your clients want.

SMART Goals stands for;

Specific –> Measurable –> Actionable –> Realistic –> Time-bound

It’s simple. Is your goal specific? It’s good to say you want to feel like a valued member of society. A ‘specific’ goal-setting approach in this example would be to ask what would make you feel like a valued member of the society?

The answer can be that you would feel valuable after you have taken part in some philanthropic exercise, for example.

Next, can we measure your goal? How many philanthropic exercises can you take part in? Will it be towards ALS medical research or survivors of domestic violence?

Okay, now that you have decided for the philanthropic activity for ALS medical research, the step ‘Actionable’ would be to determine the capacity of your decision. Will it be creating awareness, or hosting a fundraiser? Or will it be a considerable donation towards the cause?

A ‘realistic’ approach here will be to understand if you have the means to donate. If you don’t, then maybe hosting a fundraiser would be a ‘realistic’ option.

The last step is to make any goal setting set in the context of a time frame. Setting a time makes keeps your goal realistic and provides a structure for the ‘action’ that you will take.

So, in this example, a SMART goal would be;

I will feel like a valued member of the society through philanthropy when I host a fundraiser for ALS medical research in the next 30 days.

Coming back to the FUEL method of coaching, Shyna Gill has shared her idea of how to use the FUEL model of coaching. Her step-by-step guide is detailed. I have found her excellent approach very useful, and I’m sure you’d too!

I must tell you that when I was preparing my notes to share my thoughts on the FUEL model of coaching, I realized that the words that make up the acronym FUEL are all verbs. All of it, in a present-continuous language too! Consider this;

Framing the conversation

Understanding the current state

Exploring the Desired State

Layout a successful plan

It’s a big contrast to the GROW coaching model, where the words in the acronym are nouns instead of actions. Interesting, isn’t it?

ACHIEVE Coaching Model

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What is ACHIEVE Model of Coaching?

The ACHIEVE model of coaching is process-oriented and relies upon the direction and order that one can achieve if they move forward through this model’s list step-by-step. Clients who are already organized in their methods and approach towards life can benefit a lot from this model.

It is believed that successful coaches, knowingly or unknowingly, use seven steps in their coaching practice. The ACHIEVE model make use of this practice and defines coaching in a clear and transparent manner.

Here, ACHIEVE stands for;

A = Assessment

C = Creative brainstorming of Alternatives

H = Hone goals

I = Initiation and evaluation of options

V = Valid action plan

E = Encourage momentum

Read: The Achieve Coaching Model® – A Systematic Approach to Greater Effectiveness in Executive Coaching

Steps to ACHIEVE Coaching Model


The initial stage of assessment is not just about understanding where you are right now, but also about the ‘how’ and ‘why’ you are here right now. By focusing on the ‘why’ of your journey’s starting position, you can steer the conversation into exploring both, external factors and internal behaviors that have led up to the situation your client is facing right now.

Coaches can have one unintended benefit in this step. They can better understand their client and the context for which they seek solutions.

Creative brainstorming of alternative

This step includes imagining all possibilities of what can happen and where they want to be in the near future. The focus is just on one thing;

What are some of the possibilities/alternatives to the initial assessment of our situation?

Hone goals

Okay, so now we know about the possibilities and alternatives, but we cannot achieve our goals if they are being considered as ‘possibilities’ and ‘alternatives’. This is because they are still broad and indicative. In this step, we must refine these possibilities and make them specific. Using the SMART Goals method is the best way to hone goals.

When we refine our possibilities by using the SMART Goals method, we are giving shape to the broad goals that we had identified in our previous step. Now they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and most importantly, Time-bound.

Initiation and evaluation of options

This step is exciting! We now have specific goals, and it’s time to evaluate opportunities that will help achieve these goals. Following on the heels of the step ‘creative brainstorming of alternatives’, we must list down all possibilities and not just the ones that are comfortable or familiar.

Once we have started the process of listing down all options, we can now test which option is the most suitable.

Here are some handy questions that will help your client in identifying options;

List of questions for identifying options

Identifying various options is a huge part of any coaching relationship. If the client finds it difficult to identify the right opportunities, they cannot move forward and achieve their goals. This is where you come in with your expertise as a coach. Your primary purpose here as a coach is to help your client identify the options they believe are best suited. You must do this without leading them into thinking the option you feel must be the best for them.

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The magic lies in asking the right questions. Here’s a list of some easy questions that you can ask your clients to help them identify their options.

If you were at your best, what would you do right now?

What would you advise your best friend to do if they were in your situation?

What would you do if you had a choice?

What would you do if you had as much time as you need in your situation?

What would you attempt to do, knowing that you would not fail? (Robert Schuller, not verbatim)

What is an option that seems utterly impossible right now?

Have you been avoiding deciding lately?

What if you could start all over again?

Which options do you like the most?

Read 44 powerful Coaching questions every coach MUST ask

Valid action plan

Great! We now have a clear option that will help us achieve a very specific goal. The next step is to define an action plan that will help us deliver our desired option. If we can consider our final option as the ‘What’ within our process, then a solid action plan is the ‘How’ of the process.

An additional step can be to break down the action plan into smaller sub-plans. Adding milestones as checkpoints into this plan adds value to the process. Remember, our action plan must complement the SMART goal selected in the previous steps.

Encourage momentum

This step, one of the defining features of the ACHIEVE model, is about encouraging the motion that has been set forward by your client. By starting the tasks in the action plan, your client has started a momentum which must be maintained.

Change is always hard and your client needs motivation, affirmations, and positivity to help them stay on track. This step has the risk of appearing ‘micro-management’. We can easily avoid this if you and your client agree to the periodic intervals when such conversations can take place.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a coaching model?

A coaching model is a framework that is used to assist individuals in making decisions based on their needs. Coaching models are collaborative, meaning there are two parties—a coach and a coachee—working together to achieve goals. Models are often focused on areas such as personal development, leadership, or performance improvement. 

What are the main coaching models?

It is common to have a coaching model while working with multiple clients as a coach. The main coaching models include but are not limited to; Rogerian, Transactional, Growth Oriented, Socratic, and Situational.

What are the 3 steps process?

The coaching model typically starts with some introduction about the client’s background, some demographic information, and their current status. A client can tell their coach what they need help with or the coach list down goals. Then the coach will provide some education on the recommended targets. Lastly, the client needs to check in with the coach on how they’re doing and what they need.

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