Coaching Engagement Models-01

Coaching Engagement Models: Which One Fits Your Leadership Journey?

If you think leadership is just about managing teams, think again. Today’s market demands leaders that can manage teams while also inspiring and guiding them to reach their full potential.

“I was fired from my recent job a few months earlier. I was the team lead for a marketing agency and was removed from the job as I was ‘only doing my job’. In today’s world, it isn’t about how far you do what you are told or what your job role demands of you. It is what ELSE you do that makes you stand out as a leader,” said a senior team lead from an agency in India.

Coaching has emerged as a powerful tool for leaders to nurture talent, drive growth, and foster a culture of continuous improvement. However, effective coaching requires a structured approach, and there are various coaching engagement models to choose from.

Read on to explore some coaching engagement models and determine which one aligns best with your leadership journey.

The GROW Model

The GROW model, developed by Sir John Whitmore, is one of the most widely used and recognized coaching engagement models. GROW stands for:

  • Goals: Define clear and specific goals with the coachee.
  • Reality: Explore the current situation and challenges.
  • Options: Identify potential strategies and solutions.
  • Will: Discuss the commitment and actions required.


  • Structured Approach: The GROW model provides a clear structure for coaching sessions.
  • Goal-Oriented: It emphasizes goal setting and action planning.
  • Adaptable: Can be used in various coaching contexts.


  • May Be Overly Linear: Some situations may require a more flexible approach.
  • Not Ideal for Complex Problems: The GROW model may not be the best choice for deeply complex or emotional issues.

Suitable for:

  • Structured Development: When team members benefit from a structured approach to their development with clearly defined goals and action plans.
  • Linear Progress: In situations where a linear progression of goal setting, reality assessment, options exploration, and commitment aligns with the team’s needs.
  • Clear Objectives: In teams where the objectives are well-defined, and there is a need for setting and achieving specific goals.

The OSCAR Model

The OSCAR model, developed by Paul Z. Jackson, is a more flexible approach to coaching. OSCAR stands for:

  • Outcome: Define the desired outcome or goal.
  • Scaling: Assess the current situation on a scale from 0 to 10.
  • Choices: Explore available choices and options.
  • Affirmation: Acknowledge and celebrate successes.
  • Review: Reflect on the progress and learning.


  • Flexibility: The OSCAR model is adaptable to various coaching scenarios.
  • Emphasis on Success: It celebrates achievements and progress.
  • Non-Linear: Unlike the GROW model, OSCAR is non-linear and allows for a more holistic approach.


  • Less Prescriptive: Some coaches may prefer a more structured approach.
  • May Require More Experience: The flexibility of OSCAR may be challenging for new coaches to implement effectively.

Suitable for:

  • Flexibility Is Required: When team members have varying needs, a flexible, non-linear approach is more appropriate for addressing their diverse challenges.
  • Celebrating Success: In teams celebrating successes and achievements is important for motivation and building a positive atmosphere.
  • Holistic Development: In situations where coaching is not just about setting and achieving goals but also about a broader perspective of personal and professional development.

The CLEAR Model

The CLEAR model, introduced by Peter Hawkins, focuses on systemic coaching for leaders. CLEAR stands for:

  • Contract: Define the coaching contract and goals.
  • Listen: Deeply listen and understand the coachee’s perspective.
  • Explore: Explore the underlying issues, including systemic and organizational factors.
  • Action: Develop an action plan with systemic awareness.
  • Review: Continuously review and adapt the coaching process.


  • Systemic Approach: CLEAR considers the broader organizational context.
  • In-Depth Exploration: It encourages exploring deeper issues and systemic factors.
  • Alignment with Leadership Roles: Suitable for leaders dealing with complex organizational challenges.


  • Complexity: CLEAR may be overwhelming for coaching situations that don’t require a systemic perspective.
  • May Require Specialized Training: Implementing CLEAR effectively may necessitate specific training in systemic coaching.

Suitable for:

  • Systemic Issues: When coaching needs to address complex issues within the team or organization, taking into account the systemic factors at play.
  • Leadership Development: In teams where leadership development is a priority and systemic understanding of leadership issues is required.
  • Organizational Context: In organizations with a culture that values systemic thinking and the broader organizational context.

Also Read: Business Coaching Framework: The Empty Chair Technique is a Strategic Approach to Conflict Resolution in Organizations

The TGROW Model

The TGROW model is an extension of the traditional GROW model. It includes an additional “T” for “Topic” at the beginning. TGROW stands for:

  • Topic: Define the coaching topic or issue.
  • Goal: Set specific goals related to the topic.
  • Reality: Examine the current situation regarding the topic.
  • Options: Identify choices and strategies for addressing the topic.
  • Will: Discuss the commitment to action.


  • Clear Topic Definition: It emphasizes the importance of a clear coaching topic.
  • Goal-Oriented: Like GROW, TGROW emphasizes setting and achieving goals.
  • Structured: Provides a structured approach while addressing specific issues.


  • May Overlook Systemic Issues: Like the original GROW model, it may not address systemic or complex issues effectively.

Suitable for:

  • Specific Issues: When the team faces specific issues or challenges that require a structured approach to address.
  • Goal Alignment: In teams where aligning individual or team goals with a structured coaching process is important.
  • Clarity of Focus: When there is a need to ensure that coaching sessions have a clear and focused direction.

The Coach-Approach Model

The Coach-Approach model is less a specific framework and more a mindset for leaders. It encourages leaders to adopt a coaching approach in their leadership style, focusing on active listening, powerful questioning, and empowering team members to find their solutions.


  • Adaptive: Suitable for leaders who want to integrate coaching principles into their everyday leadership.
  • Fosters Independence: Encourages team members to take ownership of their growth and development.
  • Effective Communication: Improves communication and rapport within the team.


  • Requires Mindset Shift: Transitioning to a coaching approach may require a shift in leadership mindset and habits.
  • May Lack Specific Structure: It may not provide a structured framework for in-depth coaching sessions.

Suitable for:

  • Leadership Development: When leaders aim to integrate coaching principles into their everyday leadership style to empower and develop their team members.
  • Open Communication: In teams where open communication, active listening, and powerful questioning can foster collaboration and mutual understanding.
  • Personal Growth: In situations where the emphasis is on personal and professional growth and development for both leaders and team members.

Choosing the Right Coaching Engagement Model

The choice of a coaching engagement model largely depends on your leadership style, your team’s needs, and the specific context of your organization. Here are some considerations to help you make the right choice:

  1. Assess Your Leadership Style: Consider your natural leadership style and strengths. Are you more structured and goal-oriented, or do you prefer a flexible and holistic approach?
  1. Team Needs: Evaluate the needs and preferences of your team members. Are they looking for clear goals and action plans, or do they require more flexibility and open-ended discussions?
  1. Your Organizational Culture: Consider the culture of your organization. Is it more open to systemic and holistic approaches, or does it favor structured and goal-driven processes?
  1. Complexity of Issues: Assess the complexity of the coaching topics you typically encounter. Some issues may benefit from a more systemic perspective, while others may require goal-setting and action planning.
  1. Personal Development: Reflect on your own personal development as a leader. Are you open to learning and adapting to different coaching models?
  1. Training and Resources: Consider the availability of training and resources to support your chosen coaching engagement model.

This is Where We Leave You

Selecting the right coaching engagement model for your leadership style is a significant decision. Ultimately, the most effective coaching engagement model is the one that helps you inspire and empower your team members. You need to end up driving growth and success within your organization.

To understand which model will be most suitable for you, connect with us.

Author & Editor

  • Meenakshi Girish

    Meenakshi Girish is a professional Content Writer who has diverse experience in the world of content. She specializes in digital marketing and her versatile writing style encompasses both social media and blogs. She curates a plethora of content ranging from blogs, articles, product descriptions, case studies, press releases, and more. A voracious reader, Meenakshi can always be found immersed in a book or obsessing over Harry Potter.

  • Chandrani Datta

    Chandrani Datta works as a Manager-Content Research and Development with almost a decade’s experience in writing and editing of content. A former journalist turned content manager, Chandrani has written and edited for different brands cutting across industries. The hunger for learning, meaningful work and novel experiences keeps her on her toes. An avid traveller, Chandrani’s interests lie in photography, reading and watching movies.

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