Personal Coaching - Definitions and Models by Dean Amory - HTML preview

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This is the first part in a series of three books about

Personal coaching.

Part 1, “Personal Coaching” is about what Personal

Coaching is and offers a surview of the most popular models

for Personal Coaching (or “Life Coaching”) and Self


Part 2, “Techniques for Personal Coaching and Self

Coaching” introduces you to the most powerful coaching

techniques in use and describes the most successful

questions and strategies for coaching.

Part 3, “Essential Knowledge for Personal Coaches”, is a

practical standard reference work highlighting the

knowledge and skills that are indispensable for anybody

who is considering life coaching as a career or as a serious

self coaching process,

Dean Amory's Complete Life Coaching and Personal

Coaching Course is your best guide for coaching your

coachees and yourself towards maximizing your life

potential and achieving a happier and more fulfilled life.

Personal Coaching is an invaluable training manual for

anybody who takes life coaching seriously.




Life Coaching or Personal Coaching always starts with the “Here

and Now” and looks forward. It focuses on the dreams and

aspirations of the coachee - what their goals are, what they want

- and then assists them to make things happen.

Personal coaching is not about healing wounds from the past

(counselling), nor about transferring knowledge (teaching,

instructing), nor about assisting people to find their way and

become successful in a new study- or work related environment

(tutoring). It is very similar to mentoring, but also different,

because it is more structured and formal and aims to determine

and achieve specific goals within a set period.

A personal coach will however make interventions across the

borders listed above. For instance: besides from focusing on

changes in attitude, convictions, performance and behaviour in

order to achieve future oriented goals, the coach may also focus

on such areas as developing personal skills, raising self

awareness, stimulating critical thinking, coping with change or

enhancing communication.

Like personal coaching itself, this manual crosses borders and

also borrows from models and techniques used for counselling

and mentoring that contribute to the quality of the personal

coaching process without requiring a psychological approach,

making it the perfect guide to develop your own power coaching



The process of life coaching involves three key phases:

Phase One: Assessment and Intake

During the initial phase, coach and coachee get to know each

other. The coach shares information about the structure of the

coaching process and finds out what coachee is expecting from

him. He will also want to know about the coachee’s present

situation, both in terms of the difficulties that coachee is facing

and of the resources available,

Phase Two: Problem Analysis and Strategy Planning

What kept coachee from reaching his goal? The difficulties

experienced by coachee and the options available to him will be

further analysed. Then, an action plan will be developed. The

coach will monitor the coachee and further help him through

constructive feedback.

Phase Three: Evaluation, Adaption, Further Support

During this final phase of the life coaching sessions, progress

will be evaluated and either the coaching procedure will be

ended, or a shedule for follow up sessions will be agreed upon.

The number of life coaching sessions that are necessary to

complete the coaching cycle is limited. Typically, no more than

five to seven sessions of life coaching are necessary. However

on-going intermittent support can be beneficial.





Coaching services are offered under a wide variety of


Life coaching, ADHD coaching, Business coaching, Career

coaching, Executive coaching, Expat and Global Executive

coaching, Financial coaching,

Personal coaching, Health

coaching, Sports coaching, Dating coaching, Conflict coaching,

Victimization coaching, Christian coaching, Performance

coaching, Skills coaching, ….


Generally speaking, life coaching is recommended when

there is a need for assistance at


Improving self knowledge and self awareness


Building self esteem, confidence and assertiveness


Reflection (Offering a sound-board)


Structuring tasks and responsibilities


Improving abilities for planning and goal-setting


Acquiring new skills or improving existing skills


Learning to solve (own) problems


Improving interpersonal skills


Enhancing relationships

10. Learning how to identify and act on personal needs

11. Becoming more effective, performing and assertive

12. Gaining new perspectives

13. Developing greater adaptability to change

14. Reducing stress levels

15. Sorting out personal issues that are blocking you

16. Having a positive impact on your environment


Personal coaching is for people who want to make a

significant change in their life.

The coach will ask questions and challenge the coachees in

order to stimulate them to

1. Identify, set and accomplish goals

2. Look at new perspectives

3. Become more effective / Increase performance

4. Find the focus and drive to progress in life / Stay motivated

5. Self improvement / Balance and boost personal growth

6. Self empowerment / Increase confidence

7. Deal with resistance, obstacles and conflicts

Personal Coaching requires motivation on behalf of the


Hersey and Blanchard developed a grid to help determine the

appropriate style to stimulate personal growth. They see

“coaching” as most appropriate style when competence is high

and motivation low. When competence is low, but motivation

high, they suggest a different style defined as “convincing and


In fact, life coaching combines aspects of both qualifications and

can be used both to motivate coachee to stop procrastinating

and do the things he knows he should do, as to advise and

provide guidance to coachees that have the motivation to bring

about change in their lifes, but are not sure about the way how

to handle the situation.

In both cases however, there must be a strong motivation

towards change itself . If you feel the coachee does not want to

change at all, but has been forced to come and see you, chances

of success will be very remote.






In a study, the effect of coaching in the context of professional

learning communities was measured. The outcomes were


Instructional coaching is most effective when it occurs within a

successful professional learning community. At the heart of this

community is a belief in the need for continuous improvement,

where a constant and collective search for improving classroom

instruction is conducted.

The process of professional learning includes:

 Research, presentation and explanation of the theory behind

the practice

 Demonstration and modeling of instructional strategies

 Opportunities for initial guided practice

 Prompt feedback from guided practice

 Sustained coaching for institutionalization of instructional


The chart below depicts the outcomes of different elements of

professional development: theory, demonstration, practice and


Based on research, an estimated 95% of teachers who receive

ongoing support and guidance through coaching are more likely

to learn and implement new practices in the classroom.

Researchers also estimate that teachers generally need to utilize

a new instructional strategy approximately 25 times before it is

transferred into their daily teaching routine.


Professional Development Outcomes



Skill Level

Transfer to





Estimated % of

Estimated %

Estimated % of


of participants





proficiency in the implementing





practices in the






(e.g., presenter

explains content -

what it is, why it

is important, and

how to teach it)





(e.g., presenter








(e.g., participants



practices during

the session)





(e.g., participants

receive ongoing

support and

guidance when

the return to the


Source: Showers, Joyce & Bennett, 1987 –

Published by West Virgina Department of Education




In Personal Coaching, the point of gravity is always the coachee.

Personal Coaching is mainly facilitating:

The coach does not offer advice, ready-made answers or

solutions, but asks questions aimed at encouraging the coachees

to think for themselves and find their own answers, based on

their own values, preferences and unique perspective.

During the process, the coach offers a supportive framework

based on structure, assistance and feedback, aimed at positively

changing the coachee’s behavior, attitudes and convictions.

Coaching is not complete until the coachee has successfully

developed and implemented at least one concrete action plan.

Exceptionally, some form of advice may be necessary. The

coach will pose the advice as a question, e.g.: “how do you think

… would work for you?”



Other recommended styles are:

If competence and motivation are low: prescribe, instruct

(Tell people what to do.)

If competence and motivation are high: Delegate

When talking about personal coaching, what is most important

is the level of motivation of the coachee with respect to

immanent change in their lives: either coachees want to make a

change themselves, or they desire to prepare themselves in

order to be able to cope with what lies ahead. Whether their

competence level is low or high is irrelevant, as long as they are

truly motivated to make a change in their lives.





Listen better, talk less.


Understand what motivates coachee.


More is in you: everybody is capable of achieving more.


Let the past be past: it is no indication of the future.

But learn from it.


How we see ourselves is what matters most: People’s

believes of what is possible for themselves are their only



A coach must be genuine, empathic and always provide full



Coaches do not provide the answers


Coaching does not include criticizing people


All coaching is always completely confidential

10. Some needs cannot be met by coaching

11. Coaching is about identifying goals and finding ways to

achieve them

12. Coaching always implies change




Carter McNamara of Authenticity Consulting, LLC

Many Coaching Models Have Certain Approaches in Common

About 15 years ago, I had the privilege of studying a variety of

coaching models. When people asked me which model was best,

I always answered that it was the last model I had studied.

Each model seemed tremendously powerful — because each

had certain practices in common. I came to realize that those

common practices in coaching seemed to make the biggest

difference for those being coached. I came to call them “core”

coaching skills. Since then I’ve incorporated them into a process

I call “peer coaching groups.”

I had realized that the experience of having someone –

1. Ask me what is important to me now, what do I want to


2. Ask me questions about how I came to identify that priority.

3. Ask me what success would look like if I addressed my


4. Ask me about my nature, how I like to work on priorities in

my life.

5. Ask me what relevant and realistic actions I might take to

address my current priority.

6. Ask me what I am learning as I am working to address the


– was extremely powerful.


All of the models seemed to include this or a very similar

sequence of questioning.

Core Coaching Skills Are Accessible to All

The process is so clear and straightforward to apply that almost

anyone can be of tremendous help to another person, to

members in a group — or to him/herself by posing those, or

similar, questions. That’s one of the features that makes the

coaching process so very powerful. I’ve watched 100s — if not

1,000s — of people around the world use core coaching skills to

help others transform themselves and their work.

Many people might strongly criticize me for suggesting that

coaching is a simple process. I’m not suggesting that. I’m

suggesting there’s a central set of techniques that is very


Certainly, these can be embellished in many ways — and an

explosion of coaching schools have done that.

I’ve watched as the field has become a profession for many,

including codes of ethics and credentialing. I look back very

fondly on those early years where so many people watched this

wondrous new field become so popular to so many — and for

good reason.

What do you think?


Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD – Authenticity Consulting, LLC –




1. Coach and coachee have to get along: successful coaching is

impossible if the parties involved do no get on with each


2. Coaching requires a safe environment, which is necessary

for a collaboration based on trust and confidentiality.

3. Contrary to Mentoring, coaching assumes a formal and

professional relationship. This implies regular contacts

based on well structured sessions scheduled within an

agreed coaching itinerary.

4. Clear Scope: Goals and methodology have to be agreed upon

at the start of the coaching relationship. Progress has to be

closely monitored and communicated during regular


5. Coaching aims to lead to an increase of insight, motivation

and efficiency on the part of the coachee and to improve

their self-esteem through the implication of a supportive but

professional relationship in which a facilitating style is used

to stimulate the coachee to find their own answers and

solutions to the challenges faced.




1. Design the alliance: Build a strong foundation


By meeting ethical guidelines and professional standards


By establishing a professional coaching agreement


Through a correct assessment and intake

2. Communicate effectively


Practice active and empathic listening


Be authentic (congruent), unconditionally acceptive and



Be non judgmental; do not enter in discussion


Establish rapport, respect and trust with coachee


Use powerful questioning and purposeful inquiry

3. Facilitate learning


Create awareness – challenge with compassion – celebrate

not knowing


Do not offer your solutions – help coachee find his


Co-create possibilities and actions, stimulate experiments


Assist in planning and goal setting


Affirm, acknowledge, celebrate

4. Manage progress and accountability: make specific requests:


Start with “I have a request…”, or “May I invite you to…?”

3 possible answers:

1. Yes

2. No

3. Here’s what I’ll do instead


What are you going to do exactly?


By when?


Where, with whom, conditions, …?


How will you know? How will I know?




Source: Dr. Greg Dale, an AAASP certified sport psychology

consultant at Duke University


Character – Competent – Committed - Caring

Confidence Builder – Communicator - Consistent




Alternative 7 C’s of Coaching

Source: 7 C’s of Coaching – The Practical Guide to Collaborative

Coaching for Optimum Results by Mike Cope. ISBN 0273681109

The Seven C’s described are:

Coachee - Understand the person and the problem

Clarity - Unearth the symptoms and roots of the issue

Create - Generate a solution

Change - Deliver the solution

Confirm - Make sure it works

Continue - Ensure it will be suitable

Close - Celebrate and say goodbye









While coaching, pay attention to:

1. Introducing yourself properly.

2. Giving a clear explanation of what life coaching is.

3. Developing a trusting relationship with your coachee.

4. The techniques:

open questions / paraphrasing

reflecting feelings



caring confrontation

(appropriate use of) self-disclosure.

5. Structure and process of the discussion (phase-


6. Responding to cues and verbal signals.

7. Matching your language to that of your coachee.

8. The content of the discussion.

9. Managing silences.

10. Enabling the coachee to tell his story (without undue


11. Refraining from giving advice or solutions.

12. Effectiveness and usefulness of the session.

13. Evaluating the session.

14. Coming to an agreement regarding progress.

You will know you have mastered the skills when you:

1. can describe each skill,

2. can distinguish between the different skills,

3. know when to apply a certain skill or not,

4. can recognise and identify a particular skill,


5. are able to really listen to your coachee,

6. pick up cues from your coachee,

7. are able to empathize with the coachee,

8. are able to integrate various skills,

9. Identify yourself as coach (with a reasonable amount of



Academy for Counselling and Coaching (ACC)

Counselling and Coaching Training - Worldwide - English

Version -


Some core characteritics of good coaches:

Responsiveness : Responsiveness shows that the coach is

genuinely interested in the coachee, that he is a good listener,

has good communication skills, accommodates individual

differences, maintains relaxed manner, and is receptive to


Enthusiasm : A good coach is energetic, optimistic, prepared,

willing to commit time.

Humor : They should be able to incorporate humor in personal

and real-life examples during training.

Sincerity/honesty : They take every question seriously and

doesn't pretend to know the answer if they don’t.



Flexibility : They are able to eliminate, adjust, or alter material

during training according to trainees' needs and/or time


Tolerance : The y have the capacity to easily accommodate

different personalities and learning styles; they accept

constructive criticism and do not take it personally.



Respond “yes” or “no” to the following questions by putting a

checkmark in the appropriate box. A person who is more open

and ready for coaching will have at least five “yes” responses.


Do you believe you can be more effective and happy ?


Are you willing to consider new perspectives and try new



Do you make learning and development a priority?


Do you have some goals that keep getting postponed?


Has someone provided just the right help to you at just

the right time?


Are you looking for ways to enhance your life?


Are you willing to accept challenges that will move you

toward your goals?


Do you want more accountability for achieving results?


Do you have a healthy attitude about receiving both

positive and constructive feedback?


Do you want to work with a coach?

Source: Adapted version - Full Experience Coaching.

Sophie Oberstein – Ten steps to successful coaching

© 2009 the American Society for Training & Development SCALING OF CHANGE SKILLS OF COACHES

Scale the following 9 Change Skills of Coaching on a scale from 0

to 5: Awakening, Challenging, Provoking, Probing: Questioning

and Meta-Questioning, Co-Creating: Framing, Deframing,

Reframing, Actualizing, Reinforcing & Celebrating, Testing and



1) Awakening

A sense of waking up to new ideas, possibilities, and a new

world of experience. To become aware or conscious of new


5 Evoking Highest Possibility for Coachee

Asking out-of-the-box questions, miracle questions, interviewing an

expert or person who has achieved something deemed impossible.

Eliciting states ( see Eliciting States) of possibility in the coachee

demonstrated by hearing the coachee say ‘wow...' and ‘I've always

wanted to....' etc

4 Questioning Intentionality

Asking about possibilities ("what if...?" "Just imagine if..."). Asking repeatedly about hopes and dreams that invites meta-outcome

questions, questions of highest intentionality.

3 Questioning Coachees Dreams

Asking well-formed outcome questions, giving examples of

possibilities, telling stories of people who succeeded in similar

circumstances, asking "What do you want?" questions.

2 Imposing Own Dreams

Setting forth some ideas that begin to invite the coachee to dream

about new possibilities, asking about the goals and hopes of the

coachee. Speaking with animated voice. "Would you like X?"

1 Suggesting Change

Asking or suggesting that things could be different, but providing no

examples, sharing no personal stories to arouse such hope.

0 Inviting Defeat

No words, questions, or suggestions that invites new possibilities.

Communicating in a slow or dull way that says or suggests a defeatist

position, that things are fated, the way they are, that change is not



2) Challenging

To identify current reality and to highlight it in a coachee's

awareness so that he or she recognizes the things currently

at work and the consequences that will result if unchanged,

and therefore the things to move away from.

5 Coachees Moves Away From Coachee Reality

Continuing explorations into unpleasant present and futures, doing so

with more confrontation that prods, pokes, and nudges the coachee to

feel the need to move away-from current situation.

4 Increasing Level of Discomfort in Current Reality

After mentioning and asking about current reality, exploring further

into how painful, unpleasant, and undesirable things will be if

unchanged. Doing this in a matter-of-fact tone and attitude. Inducing

a state of intolerance and high level frustration about current state

and direction.

3 Inducing Need to Move Away From Current Reality

Mentioning and asking questions about current reality to induce the

coachee to feel the need to move away from the current situation,

problems, and anticipated consequences. Inviting coachee to stay

with the emotions and awarenesses even though unpleasant. Asking

SWOT questions. "What stops you?" "What gets in your way from...?"


Shifting Focus From Current Reality if Coachee Expresses


Mentioning and asking questions about current reality, but moving

away from such if the coachee begins to feel frustrated, upset, angry,

anxious, or fearful. Quickly moving to a "thinking positive" mode,

rescuing coachee from facing the current reality of his or her situation.

Mirroring or pacing back current reality.

1 Brief Attention on Current Reality

Briefly or slightly mentioning the coachee's current situation, but not

dwelling on it, quickly moving away from speaking about anything

unpleasant, negative, or that would lead to painful consequences.


0 No Attention on Current Reality

No mention, questioning, or elicitation about current reality, only

speaking about the past or future, asking or mentioned outcomes and


3) Probing

To penetrate into a coachee's frame of mind and matrices of

frames about beliefs, values, understandings, expectations,

etc. To thoroughly investigate the coachee's mental models

that have created his or her current reality.

5 Persistently and Patiently Not Letting Coachee off the Hook

Persistent questioning that invites and even pushes a person to look

at all of the frames of mind and mental models, relentless returning to

the exploration and never letting the person off the hook even if the

awareness becomes painful or unpleasant. Using "opening up" frame


4 Exploring What is Not Being Said

Continuous questions about coachee's inner mental frames using a

tonality of curiosity and wonder that invites the coachee to really

explore the inside of things. Asking about the things not said. Using

silence for coachee to be with the thoughts and feelings. Asking about

the critical variables and the resources that make it so or that would

change it.

3 Many Questions that Explore Coachee's Internal World

Increase questioning and exploring of the coachee's state of mind,

mental maps of the world, and frames about beliefs and values.

Asking about how an experience works, the variables that operate

within it, how coachee perceives things.

2 Minimal Questioning About Coachee's Internal World

Lots of questions that show interest in a coachee's situation, contexts,

and behaviors, but few if any about the coachee's inner world of

thinking and mapping.


1 Questioning Primary State

Basic questions about a coachee's current situation and beliefs, few to

no questions about frames of mind, internal thinking, or mental

mapping that creates current situation and responses.

0 No Exploration or Questioning

Failure to ask questions, or to explore the coachee's current thinking

or frames of mind, no inquiry into belief or value frames, no sense of

wonder or curiosity about the coachee's current frames of mind or


4) Provoking

To strongly, surprisingly elicit a response to action that

triggers a sense of threshold in the person and gets an

action to do something about one's awareness of the need

for change. To incite, call forth, evoke, arouse, annoy, stir


5 Coachee Makes a Decision and Takes Action

Intensity of questioning increases as coachee is called upon to act

immediately, respectfully doubting whether the person has the guts,

balls, or courage to take action. Coachee responds with immediate

decision to take action.

4 Playfully Calling for Decision and Action

Questions and statements with a tone of teasing, playing, nudging,

mimicking ideas and concepts that create problems for the coachee,

even mocking and playfully insulting that encourage the coachee to

make a decision and take action.

3 Questions that Induce Discomfort

Questions and statements that invite discomfort, irritation, pained

awareness and that call for action and that doesn't stop even when the

coachee manifests a negative state. Mimicking physical gestures and

tones with little effect on the coachee taking action.


2 Questioning & Backing Off

Questions and statements that when used create an awareness of

discomfort, stopping before the coachee takes action.

1 Hinting at the Need for Action

Asking questions that hint at the need for action but do not call the

coachee to take immediate action.

0 Encouragement to Stay in Comfort Zone

No sense of being teased or provoked, lots of nurturing statements of

empathy and sympathy that invites a coachee to feel no need to act or

do something.

5) Co-Creating

Sharing ideas, questions, and making statements with a

coachee around the subject of a new set of beliefs, values,

and mental models for taking action to achieve some

important outcome that's been generated by the coachee

and that fits his or her world.

5 Development of a New & Unique Self-Organizing System

Working collaboratively with coachee by asking questions about

attractor frames to initiate a self-organizing dynamic, giving tasks (see

Tasking) that allow the coachee to further develop unique strategies

and plans for a unique inner game. Conversationally facilitating

unique questions and patters that solidify a robust new Inner Game.

4 Facilitating Patterns that Form a New Inner Game

Exploring coachee's ideas, probing coachee's matrix of frames (see

Probing), providing "support" (see Supporting) to nurture the ideas

and make it feel safe to develop, giving time to think through the

possibilities. Collaboratively suggesting patterns that coachee might

use to develop resources. Cheerleading the coachee's excitement and

passion (see Cheerleading).


3 Forming New Strategies

Asking questions about inner resources to evoke memories and

imaginations so coachee begins to create a strategy or plan for

succeeding, asking SWOT questions, asking meta-questions about

inner frames of beliefs and understandings about new plans.

2 Brainstorming Possibilities

Asking coachee about outcomes, asking questions that evoke a state of

creativity, asking questions and making statements that invite the

coachee to engage in brainstorming that generates a number of


1 Giving Suggestions

Asking the coachee about his or her outcomes, asking well-formed

questions about them, inviting the coachee to consider various

suggestions as given by the coach.

0 Giving Advice

No joint discussion about things, telling, giving advice, making

evaluations, ordering, consulting, or training a coachee about what the

coach thinks is best.

6) Actualizing

Inviting a coachee to translate the new inner game into an

actual outer game. Work with coachee to get him or her to

begin to act on the new game plan. Asking when, where,

how, and working with coachee to eliminate excuses, fears,

and other things that might hold him or her back. Using

Tasking as method for actualizing.

5 Co-Created action plan and refining results.

Co-creating activities that will maximally transfer learnings to

everyday life, coachee expresses motivation and excitement. Setting

up the next step in accountability, exploring the next refinements for

the plan or strategy in order to see the coachee's outcomes fully


operational in the right contexts, refusing to let the coachee off the

hook about his or her acting.

4 Action plan with full buy-in, celebrating results.

Giving reasons for activities, presenting with state induction skills

(see Inducing states). Inquiring and celebrating successes in making

real the steps and actions, fully exploring and inquiring about results

and staying with the inquiring until a full account is given of what

worked, to what extent, how well, what else needs to be done, what

are the next steps, etc. Extensive facilitating the body how to feel the

ideas of the new inner game (see Facilitation).

3 Action plan with monitoring of results.

Tasking coachee with list of activities that creates an action plan

without providing motivation or understanding of it. Thoroughly

monitoring the action plan and tasking assignments. Getting a list of

actual behaviors that coachee used outside of the coaching session.

Asking lots of questions about the practical experience with a new

plan or strategy, specifically coaching the body to feel the ideas of the

inner game.

2 Giving tasks but no action plan, some monitoring.

Giving tasks and some action to do but not formal action plan, asking

about what coachee actually did to manifest goals, plans, checking up

on tasking assignment, but no follow-through on the results. Only

briefly asking about how the body is manifesting the new game (e.g.,

breathing, posture, face, voice tone, etc.).

1 Hinting at tasks.

Hinting at tasks but never asking coachee to do the task, no creation of

an action plan, briefly asking about previously set actions. Asking

about results, then quickly returning to other subjects.

0 No follow-up on tasking.

No questions about what the coachee will do, no questions about how

to feel the action plan, or put into neurology, no creating of an action

plan or a task. No mention of the results that a coachee got from the

plans, strategy, or goals set.


7) Reinforcing

Responding to a coachee in ways that fit for any given

coachee by inducing the feeling of validation, support,

affirmation. Inquiring and discovery of the specific words,

gestures, actions, and behaviors that convey such to the

coachee. Mindful use of reinforcement technology from

Behaviorism, scheduled responses that induce more

motivation and delight.

5 Sharing own emotions that acknowledges coachee's successes.

Fully present to the coachee, sharing emotion, eyes watering or

tearing, hand on shoulder, thumbs up, applause, expressing a high

sense of value and regard for the success or experience and doing so

with emotion, "Good on you!" "Right on!"

4 Leading celebrations.

From pacing to leading in celebrating by giving space and time to be

with the emotions of the value and success, articulating the success in

semantically packed words ("This begins to move you to your desired

future, doesn't it?")

3 Asking about meaning of success.

Asking meta-questions about the meaning of the success or comment,

uses validating language to get expression of value to the success.

High eye contact, presence, emotion in voice and body.

2 Matching emotional state of coachee, some questioning.

Matching coachee's state, verbally acknowledging emotion or

enthusiasm. Good bit of eye contact and presence. Asking some

primary questions about the success.

1 Disinterest.

Disinterested listening as evidenced by little eye contact, matching,

voice flat, no or low emotional response, no enthusiasm.


0 No emotion.

No emotion or enthusiasm at the announcement of any success the a

coachee mentions.

Unresponsive: comments are ignored or

discounted. No matching of coachee's state, no time or room to

celebrate. No eye contact. Weak sense of being present to the


8) Testing

Testing a new or different behavior, response, or feeling to

see if its present and if it works, putting the change to the

test to of effectiveness and robustness, evaluating how

effectively it fulfills the action plan. Asking,"Did it work?"

Confirming (and dis-confirming) when, where, and how

they do work, what makes them work, inviting ownership

of the ideas, strategies, and plans.

5 Enabling coachee to self-monitor.

Setting up self-monitoring and social and environmental support that

set up self-organizing testing, inducing states that support this

openness to testing.

4 Thorough questioning to find next step.

Asking about the effectiveness of the plan, about next steps, what else

to do to refine the skills, tasking for continual improvement, checking

to see what the coachee has learned and will do as a result.

3 Lots of questions about results and what got in the way.

Action plan and tasking thoroughly explored, some questions to test

for effectiveness, robustness, but not many. Asking questions about

the coachee's resources when didn't get the desired results, inquiring

about how this influences the game plan.

2 Some questions about specific tasks.

Some exploration of action plan and tasking assignments, asking only

briefly about what to do next.


1 General inquiry about results.

No questions about the action plan or tasking assignments, only

inquiring how things are going in general sense more in sense of small


0 No questions about results.

No questions about how the coachee is doing, no exploration into

changes, no holding accountable for tasks in the action plan.

9) Facilitation

To cerate a safe environment and context that makes it easy

for a coachee to answer questions, explore ideas, and

translate his or her outcomes into actual behaviors and

skills in life. To make easier.

5 Coachee accessing powerful resources and desired outcome.

Eliciting the most powerful resources in coachee for outcomes, seeing

desired behavior in coachee, giving a great sense of support and

respect in the coachee (see Supporting). Asking about supporting

beliefs, decisions, states, and asking questions that use these


4 Coachee taking steps.

Using effective transition words, phrases, and stages that allow the

coachee to move smoothly from one step or stage to the next. Fully

pacing the coachee's matrix of frames (e.g., beliefs, values, etc.).

Receiving comments from the coachee that "each step just feels

natural." Asking about and working to eliminate interferences.

3 Fully pacing and relevant questions.

Fully pacing the coachee, asking questions that are completely

relevant and useful for coachee to move from one stage of

development in achieving his or her outcomes. Giving or eliciting

step-by-step awareness of how the processes will occur. Giving

overviews and details appropriate to the coachee. Eliciting responses

(see Inducing States).


2 Appropriate and pacing questions.

Mostly pacing through matching and mirroring physiology and

tonality, asking questions that seem relevant to the coachee's


1 Mostly relevant questions.

Asking questions to the coachee's outcome which assist in building up

the mental models for success. Failure to fully pace the coachee's

current state and thinking and so eliciting some resistance, indicated

by coachee not answering questions, showing frustration with them.

0 Irrelevant questions or statements.

Making statements or asking questions that are irrelevant, nosy, or

difficult to answer that confuse or convolute things and that does not

enable a coachee to move to the next step of achievement of a goal,


Scale the following 6 Critical Skills of Coaching on a scale from 0

to 5: Framing and Reframing, Tasking, Celebrating and

Chearleading , Holding Accountable and Monitoring, Pattern

Detection, Tracking a Coachee’s experience.

1) Framing - Reframing

Inviting a coachee to see or perceive something in terms of

some classification. Setting a boundary for a perception.

5 Creating New Empowering Levels of Awareness

Asking about empowering beliefs, values, decisions, etc. (see Meta-

Questions) and using induction skills (see Inducing States) to set

new categories.


4 Exploring Higher Levels of Awareness

Asking about layers of categories, asking challenging questions about

such. Giving space and time to explore the higher embedded layers

of awareness. Reminding coachee that all perceptions are just maps.

3 Questioning Classification

Asking or calling attention to the classification of the details and

asking about awareness in coachee, providing menu list of other

filters, quality control questions about filters and categories.

2 Imposing Either or Thinking

Speaking as if there is only one other classification and imposing that

upon the coachee by rhetorical questions. Using either/or

expressions. Tone of judgment, right/wrong, talking more than

coachee to impose the other way of seeing things.

1 Acknowledgment of Structure - As the Details of the Story

Talking about the classification, pattern, or structure of the details as

if that map is the territory, as if no other classification is possible.

Using universal quantifiers (all, nothing, always, etc.) and absolute

terms. Speaking and feeling from perspective of being inside the

box of the coachee's story, problems, and challenges.

0 No Distinction Between Content & Structure

Talking about and asking questions in the very words and details of

the story without giving evidence of the classifications or categories

of the details. No distinguishing between content and structure

2) Tasking

Asking a coachee to do an action or behavior as part of

developing new skills, developing awareness, or unleashing

new potentials.

5 Co-Created Action Plan

Co-creating with the coachee the activities that will maximally

transfer learnings to everyday life and that make the experience


memorable and powerful. Coachee expresses excitement and

motivation to completing tasks.

4 Action Plan With Buy-In

Giving reasons for an activity, presenting it with state induction skills

(see Inducing States), exploring or inquiring about activities that

would make the coaching more real and present in actual life, asking

for a buy-in.

3 Action Plan Without Buy-In

Presenting a task to do, suggesting it but without providing any

motivation or understanding for it. Tasking an activity that has little

or nothing to do with the focus of the session, getting no or little buy-

in from coachee although they do leave with an Action Plan.

2 Giving a Task - No Action Plan

Presenting a task to do at a point in the session, but failing to come

back to it later, forgetting to mention it as something for the coachee

to do.

1 Hinting at Tasks - No Action Plan

Hinting at a task that would be good, but never asking the coachee to

do it.

0 No Action Plan

No mention of any activity to do that would provide a drill or practice

of a new learning or skill.

3) Celebrating / Cheer-Leading

Expressing excitement, respect, and honor to a coachee for

something that fits with the coachee's hopes and dreams,

visions and values. Allowing and encouraging coachee to

feel and express joy and excitement in small and big



5 Full Celebration

Fully present to the coachee, sharing emotion, eyes watering or

tearing, hand on shoulder, thumbs up, applause, expressing a high

sense of value and regard for the success or experience and doing so

with emotion, "Good on you!" "Right on!"

4 Encouraging Celebration

From pacing to leading in celebrating by giving space and time to be

with the emotions of the value and success, articulating the success in

semantically packed words ("This begins to move you to your desired

future, doesn't it?")

3 Matching State

Asks meta-questions about the meaning of the success or comment,

uses validating language to get expression of value to the success.

High eye contact, presence, emotion in voice and body. Matching

Coachee's state.

2 Verbal Acknowledgment

Verbally acknowledging emotion or enthusiasm. Good bit of eye

contact and presence. Asks some primary questions about the


1 Low Emotional Response

Disinterested listening as evidenced by little eye contact, matching,

voice flat, low emotional response, no enthusiasm.

0 Unresponsive

No emotion or enthusiasm at the announcement of any success the a

coachee mentions.

Unresponsive: comments are ignored or

discounted. No matching of coachee's state, no time or room to

celebrate. No eye contact. Weak sense of being present to the



4) Holding Accountable

Asking what a coachee is actually doing that makes real and

actual the stated vision for being, doing, and having.

Exploring when, where, and how a person has fulfilled

promises. Focusing on and holding the coachee to his or

her own word and promises.

5 Provoking Action

Focusing on the frames above and behind the incongruency between

acting fully on words. Probing and Provoking (see Provoking)

through questions, challenges, meta-questions what the coachee

says he or she wants to do or achieve. Directly bringing up either

kindly or firmly, "Will you do this now?"

4 Probing Lack of Action

Directly commenting on difference between word and actions.

Asking probing questions. Hearing and commenting on cognitive

distortions involved in excuses or thinking patterns. Asking

questions to invite coachee to own his or her responses. Moderate to

high level of confrontation. "You said you wanted X, but you haven't

indicated taking any actions to make that happen, what's going on?"

3 Commenting on Lack of Action

Noticing and straightforwardly commenting on behaviors. Listening

to excuses and vacillating about accepting them. Moderate level of

confrontation. "Did you do X?" "Let's talk about that a bit, what was

going on for you?"

2 Hinting At But Letting Off The Hook

No noticing and commenting on the behaviors of following through

or failing to follow through on a task or promise. Bringing it up by

hinting. Letting person off the hook by accepting excuses or making

excuses for the person. Little direct communication about acting on

goals and skills.


1 Negativity About Lack of Action

Inviting a sense of responsibility in a negative way by blaming,

accusing, attacking or by merely noticing the lack of follow-through

non-verbally, but not mentioning it.

0 No Follow-up

No mention of what a person has said, no relating it to what the

person is doing or is not doing. No follow-up on promises, tasks.

5) Pattern Detection

Observing a refrain of activities that suggests a structured

approach in a coachee's responses and specifying that

structure in terms of an outline, template, or metaphor.

5 Testing and Validating Structure

Asking complex meta-questions that unite numerous patterns,

Matrix questions that invites systemic thinking, that describes the

flow of information and energy through the mind-body system.

Presenting the structure back to the coachee and testing its validity

with the coachee.

4 Eliciting Unique Structure

Asking meta-questions around refrains that seem unique (or

idiosyncratic) to the coachee, presenting such to the coachee with

little testing of it.

3 Eliciting Formalized Structures/Models

Asking meta-questions that seek to flush out formalized structures

and models, Meta-Model questions, Meta-Program questions, Meta-

State Question, SCORE, etc.

2 Simple Meta-Questions

Asking some simple meta-questions around repeated themes or

refrains. Using some simple models as templates or patterns to

understand experience.


1 Primary Questions About Content

Asking only primary level questions about content and details, no

exploration of any pattern.

0 Caught in Content

"Caught up in content" as indicated by asking only content questions

about details, telling stories about similar incidents, or advice giving.

6) Tracking a coachee

Paying attention to the structural form and processes of a

coachee's response and recording that journey on paper

using words, decision tree, diagrams, a mind-map, or

keeping it in one's mind and being able to replicate it.

5 Elegant use of the tracking methods evidenced by coachee

wanting the diagrams, mind-maps, etc. to use to enhance the session,

the coachee co-creating with the coach the tracking or asking about


4 Very effective use of diagrams and tracking methods, inviting

coachee to see, respond to them, asking how the process relates to

outcomes of coaching.

3 Keeping good notes using various forms, referring to the notes to

invite coachee to stay focused and on topic.

2 Jotting a few notes down, or referring to a mind-map or diagram

of some sort. More awareness as reflected in statements about such.

1 Some awareness of the need and importance of tracking, asking

"Where are we?" "How does that relate to...?" "I should have tracked that."

0 No record keeping, no mentioning of the mental-emotional

journey of coachee, where he or she went during process.


Scale the following 7 Essential Core Skills of Coaching on a scale

from 0 to 5: Active Attentive Listening; Support: Rapport,

Presence; Quality Questioning; Meta-Questioning; Giving

Feedback Receiving Feedback; Eliciting States .

Individuals who have acheived the ACMC Credential have been

benchmarked and demonstrated competency in all 7 of these

Essential Coaching Skills.

1) Listening:

Being actively present to a coachee, collecting and

synthesizing the sensory information (visual, auditory, and

kinesthetic) as well as non-sensory specific terms so as to

accurately reflect back the content presented as well as

process information.

5 Mostly Quiet,

Speaking less than 30% of the time, ideally 5% to 10%. Turning

body to coachee to be fully physically present to the coachee,

acknowledging the communication by maintaining eye contact, using

soft "sparkling eyes," head nodding, and encouragers. Asking about

what is not being said. Asking questions that invite coachee to co-

create more questions or awareness of mental and emotional

structures and resources, coachee talking extensively and then

saying, "I never thought of any of this before you asked about it."

4 Probing, 60% Quiet

Asking questions that probe for more details about coachee's view of

things, inviting coachee to self-listen ("Did you hear what you just

said?") to increase awareness of what's "in the back of the mind,"

giving space and time for person to be with those thoughts and

feelings, being silent as the coachee speaks 60% or more of the time,

supporting coachee (See Supporting). Ask lots of awareness



questions about patterns, "How aware are you that you have said

lots of things about X, but nothing about Y?"

3 Repeating words, 50% Quiet

Actively exploring the structure and content by using questions that

ask about form, using more body language of head nodding to

encourage coachee to speak, using "encouragers" such as sounds,

"hmmm," "ahhh," "yes, go ahead," "say more." Using extended silences and pauses so coachee speaks at least 50% of the time.

2 Less Paraphrasing, more Repeating, 40% Quiet

Eye contact regular, repeating back specific words and some

paraphrasing that matches coachee's content, speaking 60% or more

of the time and quiet only 40% of time, giving little time for coachee

to speak.

1 Some Eye Contact/ Body Contact

Making some eye contact, paraphrasing the coachee's sentences,

only partially keeping general track of the content. "Where are we?"

Taking notes on other things than coachee's statements and eyes

internally processing while coachee speaks. [If eye contact means

something other than listening and respect in a given culture, then

turning body toward coachee or equivalent.]

0 Telling and Interrupting

No evidence of being present to coachee as indicated by no eye

contract, no tracking of content, of what is being said, talking over,

telling, teaching, making evaluations, and interrupting.


2) Supporting:

Providing a sense of safety to coachee through questioning,

listening, celebrating, expression affirmations of belief in

and trust in the coachee, through managing environment,

and the conversation.

5 At level of "person"

Stating one's own concerns and emotions of support with a coachee,

expressing a willingness to invest in the other's well-being and

resourcefulness in support of the coachee's outcomes and agendas,

"I'm here for you," "Use the coaching call between sessions when you

need to."

4 Invite coachee to apply own resources

Responding to coachee's emotion with one's own that pace,

respectfully exploring, inviting the coachee to access and apply own

resources to situation, offering statements of affirmation that

conveys belief in the person's potentials, celebrating and cheer-

leading coachee's successes, pacing meta-programs, meta-states,

concepts, and values.

3 Actively Present, asking about emotions

Actively and intently listening, asking about emotions, investing

energy into conversation and managing the environment so that it

enables coachee to stay focused, summarizing, offering some

physical response such as putting hand on shoulder, "That must have

been challenging." Matching & Mirroring: pacing posture, breath,

gesture, etc. Words, sounds that encourage to continue: "yes, and

then?" "Hmmm," "ahhhh!"

2 Only partial match and mirroring

Partially matching coachee's words, posture, breathing, etc.,

listening for facts, details, ideas, failure to fully match output of

other's gestures and non-verbal expressions.


1 Fiddling

Listening with no or little eye-contact, fiddling with other things,

failing to follow up statements expressing emotion, seemingly

preoccupied with other things. Little or no attention to context and

atmosphere to deal with noises, distractions, etc.

0 Impatience

Indicates of little interest: failing to track the content, repeatedly

asking "What did you just say?", firing off questions without time to

respond. Interrupting. Making statements of judgment, evaluation,

blame and interpretations.

3) Questioning:

Asking a person to turn reflect inwardly to respond with

ideas, answers, resources, and solutions, inquiring about

the coachee's world of ideas, beliefs, frames, goals, etc.

5 Creating Movement

Asking that frames and explores structure, that challenges in a

personal and intimate way, that creates forward movement, that the

coachee evaluates as getting to the heart of things.

4 Inviting Higher Awareness

Asking that invites awareness and meta-awareness, that puts

coachee at a choice, that produces energy for finding solutions,

inviting coachee to be solution-focused, collaborative, and playful.

3 Open Ended Questions

Asking that invites a search without a prescribed end, asking for

information in an open-ended way so there's no wrong answer

("How do you best like to relax?"), to elicit relevant and pertinent

answers, that shifts attention to what's productive for moving

toward outcome.


2 Leading Questions

Asking questions that lead to prescribe answer ("Don't you want to

handle this situation using X ?") so that coachee either feels

controlled and dominated in the conversation, or begins resisting the

question and not playing the conversation coaching game.

1 Closed Questions

Asking closed-ended questions, rhetorical questions, and "nosy"

questions about irrelevant details and content.

0 Telling and Advice-Giving

Telling, storytelling, and giving of personal judgments, no


4) Meta-Questioning:

Asking question about previous questions, asking about

one's mind-body states and about higher level states of

awareness. Meta-Questioning invites a coachee to explore

higher frames of mind, that is, thoughts and feelings about

thoughts and feelings.

5 FBI-Frame By Implication

Asking richly layered frame by implication (FBI) questions (loaded

with lots of presuppositions) which facilitate a paradigm shift for

coachee. Using language patterns that have layers of phrases that

presuppose the coachee's values, outcomes, best dreams and which

elicit the most relevant states, "How surprised will you be this next

week when you find yourself using this new frame so that you stay

comfortable and yet excited as you make that presentation, just how

much will that fit into your primary goal, and how much will that

enrich your sense of self?" FBI questions have significant effect.


4 Complex Meta-Questions with significant effect

Asking complex meta-questions relevant to KPI with significant

effect for the coachee. "What does it mean now that you have made

this decision; how will that affect your sense of self from now on?"

3 Simple Meta-Questions

Asking 10 or more (per 30 minute session) of simple meta-

questions; delivered in matter-of-fact manner, directly and

congruently, coachee responds with some effect.

2 6 or less Meta-Questions

Asking simple meta-questions that may be delivered with hesitation,

without congruence, too quickly, etc. so coachee is confused. "What

do you feel about that?" "About what? What are you talking about?"

1 Non-relevant

Asking meta-questions that do not have anything to do with the

coachee's outcomes "What do you believe about dogs?"

0 Primary Level

Asking only primary state questions, or failing to ask questions at all,

asking only questions about objects "out there."

5) Inducing States

To say words, use metaphors, tell stories in such a way that

invites another to recall or imagine a mind-body-emotional

experience. To use voice and gestures in such a way that a

coachee begins to think-and-feel as if in that way of





5 Amplification

Asking coachee to amplify the state and to fully experience it in

breathing, walking, moving, gesturing, speaking, etc. Teasing and

testing to see how much of the state the coachee is experiencing.

Amplifying it and anchoring the state for further use.

4 Leading

Speaking in metaphors, stories, using indirect methods to induce the

state to layer multiple suggestions for the state. Asking coachee to

be with the emotions of the state and to manifest them more fully in

the body. Using a menu list of suggestive experiences that are likely

to elicit the state.

3 Going First and Pacing

Speaking with a voice and using words that suggest and invite the

desired state. Going into the state first and using it to invite the

coachee into it, expressing it in one's voice, gesture, face, breathing,


2 Some Matching and Mirroring

Asking about the state, suggesting it. Some matching and mirroring

to pace the person's current state and then mentioning the desired


1 Facts without Pacing, Different state to Coachee

Mentioning state with a monotone, or with a tone of voice that does

not correspond to desired state. The coach not in the state, or in a

different state (i.e., impatient when wanting to evoke patience, tired

and fatigued when evoking motivation). Perhaps mentioning the

state and demanding the coachee experience it. "Don't feel afraid,

feel courage."

0 Ignoring State, Incongruence

No mention of one's state, let alone of the desired state, monotone

use of voice, no use of tone, tempo, or story that corresponds to the

state or outcome of the coachee.


6) Giving Feedback:

Saying words with the support of gestures, movements,

voice tone, etc. that both provides support and a mirroring

back to the coachee of a specific behavior that leads to an

improvement in performance, state, belief, etc.

5 Measured Steps

The information is delivered with measured steps for improvement,

offered in a tentative way so the coachee can reflect on it, given in a

way that invites responsibility, and that even excites the coachee to

make even more positive changes.

4 Individualized and Balanced

Giving the sensory-based information in a way that the coachee

evaluates as respectful, given in slow (patient), measured, and calm