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How Many Coaching Styles Are There? | Life Coaching Certification

When you consider starting a coaching business (before or after gaining your Life Coaching Certification), you can quickly become overwhelmed by all the choices available to you. One of the decisions is about the type of coaching style that you want to focus on in your practice.

While you can certainly offer more than one modality, it is best if you select the first option, especially in the beginning while you’re still building your confidence, brand, and clientele.

The three options available are:

1. One-on-one or private coaching
2. Online coaching
3. Group coaching


1. Private Coaching

The traditional, best-known method of one-on-one coaching in a personal face-to-face meeting has remained the most popular and supported since the beginning of coaching and other forms of own helping and improvement services.

The interaction is intimate, and sessions take place on regular, scheduled time intervals. With the availability of new communication technology, meetings can take place over Skype, Zoom or phone.

The sessions follow a structured, predetermined coaching plan, and the coach takes notes, which are securely stored and reviewed at times to adjust the plan if necessary. Usually, the coach assigns practical exercises and techniques to clients during each session to complete in their own time at home.

The private coaching modality is still seen as the most valuable form of coaching as results are faster, highly tailored, and the personal interaction offers an additional layer of information and engagement.

On the downside, private coaching is time-consuming and, therefore, limits the number of clients a coach can manage, which affects their income potential. The mode is also relatively inflexible with regular meetings in person limiting the geographical area and time availability of clients. 

If you’re looking to practice Private Coaching and gain your Life Coaching Certification, we invite you to our FREE Coach Training.


2. Online Coaching

The online coaching modality has started to make its mark in the last ten years but is yet to show the tremendous growth potential as expected earlier. However, with the advances of online technology, expected rapid expansion of availability and access, and exponential growth of digital bandwidth, processing, and storage capacities, online coaching is tapped to be the next best thing.

A coach still communicates on a one-on-one basis with clients, but the communication is not verbal as it takes place via text and email messages,although, technically, online coaching can also include voice and video communication. However, typically, there are no regularly scheduled meetings. Training and feedback take place at the client’s pace. The client submits progress reports at suggested intervals that can change according to their rate of absorbing the material. Input from the coach is provided to the client as and when needed.

As you can see, online coaching is still happening on a one-on-one basis, mostly, at least. Newer programs, like our Life Coaching Certification program, also harnesses a lot of group interaction through social media platforms to allow clients to enjoy peer support and share experiences.

The main advantages of having online clients instead of face-to-face clients are that a coach can effectively guide more clients with less time investment,  and, as a result, the limitation on income is not as restricted.

Also, a coach can “see” clients from anywhere in the world and is not limited to a physical locality. The asynchronous nature of the text communication also allows both coach and client to work and communicate at times that suit them.

Of course, the disadvantage of not having a client in front of  you is that an essential component of behavioral analysis and rapport-building is absent, namely visual and verbal communication. The client is more difficult to motivate over a distance and can feel less involved, thereby negatively affecting their commitment to the process.


3. Group Coaching

Group coaching entails helping multiple people simultaneously. It is a very effective way to reach more people at the same meeting or event and encourage peer support and sharing ideas. In an ideal position to exchange experiences, group members can learn, find solace, and stimulate resilience and hope from each other and their coach.

Especially if they are part of an online community, members can interact whenever they wish or need to. When members of a group share a similar goal and baseline, group coaching is the most effective. For instance, beginner athletes are effectively coached in a group environment as they all want to improve their technique and performance while starting at the same level.

For coaches, it is the right way to practice leadership and motivational skills, to build a personal brand, and to become involved in activities such as motivational public speaking.

Also, group coaching offers the advantages of building many relationships in a short time.


Are you dreaming of becoming a life coach and gaining your Life Coach Certification? We invite you to our FREE Coach Training!