The 6 Best Coaching Approaches to Use in 2022

There’s no denying it — the post-pandemic, environmentally worried, politically charged world that we’re living in is changing both the demand for coaching and how coaches deliver effective services to clients who are unique individuals with varied backgrounds and needs.

The rapidly evolving landscape may leave you wondering if you and your team are using the best approaches to coaching. It won’t surprise us one bit if you feel like you’re swimming in an ocean — drowning in what seems like unlimited possibilities for new coaching approaches.

It can be hard to tell which new approaches are just fads and which ones are worth adding to your toolbox. Which coaching approaches will be worth the time and money it takes to train yourself on them, train your team, and integrate them into your service operations?

Remember, while the choices may seem overwhelming, the best coaching approach is the one that works for both you and your clients. This might mean using a combination of classic and contemporary approaches with different clients for your business. Or it might mean sticking with one central approach for your entire coaching business and then strategically focusing on attracting clients that will benefit most from your specific approach to coaching.

Remember, while the choices may seem overwhelming, the best coaching approach is the one that works for both you and your clients.

There are many things to consider when you review your coaching business and make decisions about your future services. That’s why we’re here to help you help others, starting with a quick review of classic coaching styles, then pivoting into six of the newest coaching approaches that are proving themselves in the field and through scientific research.

Consider these examples as a jumping-off point for discovering what will work best for you, your team, and your clients.

3 biz benefits of choosing a coaching approach | Profi

What Are Approaches to Coaching?

‘Coaching approach’ is an ambiguous term because a coaching approach is highly individualized to the professional providing services. However, there are some basic coaching approaches you should be aware of. These perspectives can help you clearly understand how you want to run your coaching business, grow your team to meet the unique needs of post-pandemic clientele in a changing world, and provide the most effective services. 

Different coaching styles are based on two things:

  1. who’s in charge of making the coaching decisions and 
  2. whether or not the focus of the coaching is on specific problems or goals or on coaching the whole person.

Who’s calling the coaching shots?

The first three approaches to coaching are authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire.

  1. Authoritarian coaching, where the coach makes nearly every decision about the techniques and information used in training, is not as “bad” as the label implies. It is well-suited for coach-client relationships where the coach is an expert at something the client has little knowledge about.
  1. Democratic coaching, on the other hand, invites your client to participate in choosing the goals and the techniques you’ll use to achieve the goals. This coaching style is often effective for people working on gaining a sense of self-efficacy and empowerment.
  1. Finally, laissez-faire coaching is a hands-off style that ensures the client takes responsibility for the outcomes. Effective coaching in this style involves regular progress monitoring and feedback for the client to help them stay accountable.
These three classic coaching approaches, or styles, are a great foundational place to start defining how you want your coaching team to approach clients.

Do you help with specific solutions or focus on the whole person?

While authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire coaching approaches are solution-based, holistic coaching focuses on coaching the entire person.

According to Mike Bundrant, co-founder of iNLP Center, “This coaching style can benefit work life and home life, and does not focus on one specific desired outcome. There can be one main issue that a client may want to address, but the coach will not focus solely on it, and will instead ensure that the issue is addressed by also working on any other issues in their life that can also be affecting it or connected to it in some way.”

How do you deliver your coaching services?

One additional question to ask while narrowing down your preferred approach is whether one-on-one coaching, group coaching, or a combination of both is right for your clients and your training style. 

Another facet of delivery is whether you primarily deliver your coaching services online or in person. Looking deeper at how you deliver your services will give you a clearer picture of how you’re showing up for your clients and what changes you might want to make.

What are the 6 Best Coaching Approaches for 2022 and Beyond?

As a practicing coach or coaching business owner, you want the best results for your clients, and you work hard to provide them with the most effective coaching services you can. But, the coaching industry is constantly changing, offering up new ideas and methods at rapid speeds. Trying every new-fangled method out there would be a waste of time. So, it’s best to focus on those methods that have passed the fad stage. Take a look to see if one of these vetted coaching approaches is right for adding to your coaching tool kit.

Coaching approaches trend article pull-quote | COVID-19 pandemic showed us we were one stressor away from break-down

1. Mindfulness coaching approach

Our modern lifestyles involve a lot of extra stimuli that our bodies and nervous systems simply aren’t built for. It leads so many of us to be perpetually stressed, anxious, distracted, overwhelmed, and burnt out. 

One of the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic was that many of us were just one stressor away from breaking down. The pandemic showed many people how packed and overly busy their daily lives were.

Because of this worldwide cultural jolt, mindfulness coaching has become a popular coaching approach. 

Mindfulness coaches guide and train clients in developing a mindfulness practice in-session that they can deepen on their own time and in their own lives. There are commonly two main approaches to mindfulness coaching:

  1. Teaching mindfulness more traditionally as a concept and structured daily practice, or
  2. Guiding the client to practice mindfulness in the session using mindfulness-based therapeutic methods

The first, teaching mindfulness, lends itself well to creating and leading guided meditations, which are one of the foundational elements of establishing and keeping a mindfulness practice, developing courses and programs to scale your teaching, and then providing support and guidance to clients on how to respond when the inevitable stressors and challenges arise in their work and lives. Some mindfulness teaching programs and learning communities to explore to see if this works for you and your team include: 

One of the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic was that many of us were just one stressor away from breaking down. The pandemic showed many people how packed and overly busy their daily lives were.

The second, using a mindfulness-based method is a more embodied approach where you, as the mindfulness coach, use the skill you’ve developed in your training to guide the client into a state of mindfulness, access their core materials in a container of mindfulness, and manage client consciousness — making sure to return the client from ordinary consciousness back into mindfulness as they explore their stressors, triggers, and challenges. This approach is also teaching, but in a way that helps the client learn to trust the container of mindfulness itself in a very personalized way. This approach lends itself well to one-on-one or even group online or in-person sessions. Some mindfulness-based methods to explore to see if this works for you and your team include: 

As a coach helping others reach their full potential, you may already use mindfulness techniques in your practice. But, if you think this overall coaching approach might be calling you, you can find an ICF-accredited training program from Mindfulness Coaching School

2. Developmental coaching approach

Many businesses are coaching their employees to help them develop certain soft skills, hard skills, and successfully reach company goals. But, a big problem arises when offering coaching based on the business needs. If the coaching is more about the company’s goals, it can fail to be effective.

Developmental coaching, on the other hand, is often very effective because it considers the stage of development an individual person is in before choosing the goals and methods for training

“Developmental coaching is concerned with uncovering the root of a mindset problem or insecurity and equipping individuals with tools and the mindset to tackle and overcome these problems on their own.” — Thomas J. Pickett 

Developmental coaching helps people see their challenges differently in order to open up their options. Then, it helps them develop the skills they need to change how they operate.

3. Emotional intelligence coaching approach

QUOTE Emotional intelligence coaching approach Daniel Goleman

‘Emotional Intelligence,’ or EI, a term which was popularized in 1996 by Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., can be broadly defined as having the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills for successful interactions and decision making.

While a high level of EI is essential for coaches to have while interacting with and relating to clients, research-based EI assessments can also be a powerful tool for helping your clients achieve improved communication skills, empathy, and work performance. Emotional Intelligence soft skills have become a popular, and some say, a critical component used in executive coaching approaches.

“The benefit of using an EI assessment is it gives the client and coach a starting point regarding the current level of EI someone has and can then be used to explore the areas of development that are highlighted within the report.” — Juliet Dyer, Life Coach

There are different frameworks for understanding EI, but one of the most influential is the Emotional and Social Intelligence Leadership Competencies model, developed by Goleman and Richard Boyatzis. This framework involves 12 competencies that enable you as an executive or business coach, for example, to distinguish between exceptional leaders and those with average abilities. And you can easily incorporate the EI Competencies model quite seamlessly into your own coaching approach to leadership or the way your team approaches their clients.

While a high level of EI is essential for coaches to have while interacting with and relating to clients, research-based EI assessments can also be a powerful tool for helping your clients achieve improved communication skills, empathy, and work performance.

4. Vision coaching approach

The term vision coaching is defined differently by different people. But we think it’s worth looking at both types of vision coaching, as they may both be effective means of helping business and leadership clients.

To those with a background in psychology, vision coaching is a form of executive coaching that focuses on using the client’s vision of their future self as the driving force behind creating an action plan to bring about changes that will lead the client to their desired vision.

You can think of the other type of vision coaching as being someone’s personal trainer, but in the professional realm. When an individual or a team has a specific vision in mind, a vision coach will help them focus on the goals, keep them motivated, and provide feedback that will help them achieve the outlined plan. 

5. Transformational coaching approach

According to the Center for Transformational Coaching, transformational coaching is focused on self-actualization. 

“Transformational coaching…rests on the premise that an expanded or shifted way of being—and the higher-order thoughts, perceptions, and energies available therein—is necessary to uncover what is needed.”

6. Positive psychology coaching approach

According to a 2020 literature review published by Frontiers in Psychology, positive psychology coaching is “aimed at the identification, utilization, optimization, and development of personal strengths and resources to enhance positive states, traits and behaviors.”

Positive psychology coaching tries to broaden people’s understanding of the change most needed in their lives by exploring their negative experiences.

“Developing an understanding of negative thoughts and behaviors versus positive thoughts and behaviors, and understanding which is needed to achieve goals and objectives, is at the heart of positive psychology coaching.” — Elaine Mead, BSc. 

What Type of Coaching is Most Effective?

The most effective coaching depends greatly on your mindset as a business owner, your business purpose, mission and values, the kind of team you want to grow, and the goals you want to achieve. For example, a VP of Marketing looking to take their career to the next level will require a radically different coaching approach than someone seeking a better work-life balance.

Plus, both coach and client personality can play a role in what is most effective. For instance, if you’re a coach who loathes training people in large groups, you’re probably not as effective in group coaching settings. And the same holds true for clients who learn and stay motivated differently.

As you’ve reviewed some of the fundamental coaching approaches and some of the more recently developed approaches to coaching, one or more descriptions may have resonated with you just a little bit more than the others. These outliers are worth exploring further to see if they can inform the way you and your team provide coaching services to your clients in the future.

Seamlessly Roll out Your Coaching Approach Across Your Team & Service Operations

As you answer these big questions for the future of your coaching business, Profi will support you by taking care of all the time-draining stuff that doesn’t deliver: stuff like booking, billing, non-relational client management tasks that can be automated, branded portal development, and more. You focus on your craft. We’ll max your impact.

How? Book a Demo with one of our Product Coaches today. We’ll partner with you to understand how to organize, deliver, and expand your services aligned with your new coaching approach in one platform built for coaching teams like yours.


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