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.
It may even feel like there are a lot of important decisions to make about what kind of coach you want to become.
One of these decisions is the choice between the many types of coaching styles that are available to coaches. You will have to choose which one is best for you, and build it into the design and structure of your coaching business.
But what are the coaching styles, and how can you choose which one is correct for your niche? How can you become a life coach, and how can you start attracting paying clients that suit your coaching style?
This blog will cover what makes a good coach, and the 3 types of coaching styles that coaches must choose from. Read on to find out what coaching style is right for you.
What Makes a Good Coach?
If you’re thinking about becoming a life coach, it may seem that there are a lot of qualities that you must have. For example, perhaps you think a good life coach is very successful, or must be very confident.
While it may be true that some coaches have these qualities, really the most important quality for a life coach is your passion for coaching.
Whether you want to become a career coach, a health coach or a parenting coach, being inspired to work hard and achieve the best for your clients is what will set you apart from the competition.
It isn’t about what type of coaching style you adopt in your coaching practice, how many clients you have or how much money you make at the end of the month. What is important is that you, as a coach, continually give your best and seek ways to improve your coaching abilities every day.
The 3 Types of Coaching Styles
So, when it comes down to it, what are the coaching styles?
When you come to select which type of coaching style is best for your coaching practice, you will have to choose between three options.
Which you choose will depend on your individual circumstances, your dream for your business and also how established your business already is.
Remember, coaching is about flexibility. If you choose to specialise in one coaching style, that doesn’t mean you can’t choose a different type of coaching style later as your business grows. What’s right now may not be right in the future.
This is true too if you choose to offer more than one modality of coaching! That’s possible too.
If you’re just starting your coaching business, however, it is best if you select one on one, or private coaching sessions. In the beginning of your business, you’re still building your confidence, brand, and clientele and so having a one on one focus allows you to hone and practise your skills.
You may also want to look at different coaching style examples to help you decide.
In general, there are 3 types of coaching styles. They are:
- One-on-one or private coaching
- Online coaching
- Group coaching
In this next section, we will break down each type of coaching style, and examine what coaching style is best for you.
1. Private Coaching
Private coaching in a one on one setting is the traditional, best-known method of coaching. It takes place in a personal face-to-face meeting and has remained the most popular form of having a coach.
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 – that means you don’t even have to be in the same physical location as your client, although in traditional private coaching, coaches offer physical sessions in one location.
What are private coaching sessions like?
Usually, private coaching sessions follow a structured, predetermined coaching plan. The coach takes notes, which are securely stored and reviewed at times to adjust the coaching plan if necessary. Usually, the coach assigns practical exercises and techniques to clients during each session to complete in their own time at home.
This private coaching modality is often seen as the preferred form of coaching as results are faster, highly tailored, and the personal interaction offers a valuable additional layer of information and engagement.
But there can be a downside.
Private coaching is time-consuming and, therefore, limits the number of clients a coach can manage, which affects their income potential.
Plus, having and managing a professional space for your clients to attend coaching sessions can be expensive. You may need an office, or a room in your house which must be decorated, paid for and maintained to create a safe and comfortable environment.
This type of coaching style is also relatively inflexible, with regular meetings in person limiting the time availability of clients or their coaches. Your potential pool of clients is limited to the geographic location of your office, meaning you may be missing out on people who need your help.
Nevertheless, private coaching has given coaches and clients fantastic experiences in the past, and many coaches, even if they adopt other coaching modalities, choose to still offer private coaching sessions on an exclusive basis.
This is because private, one to one coaching offers an extremely intimate learning experience, and brings the coach and the client on an exciting journey of self discovery.
Ready to start private one on one coaching sessions with paying 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
A boom is happening in this next coaching style: it’s the power of private or group online coaching.
Since the Covid 19 pandemic, online coaching has seen a huge increase in popularity, and with good reason.
We’re seeing people who would not have usually access coaching see the value in having a coach supporting them, and with the world of online coaching it’s easier than ever for them to find the perfect coach.
With the advances of online technology, rapid expansion of availability and access, and exponential growth of digital bandwidth, processing, and storage capacities, online coaching is here and it is booming.
But what exactly happens in an online coaching session?
A coach still communicates on a one-on-one basis with clients, with the only difference being via a Zoom or Skype platform.
Meetings may be scheduled regularly, or on an ad hoc basis. Training and feedback take place at the client’s pace.
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.
Primarily, though, the coaching sessions follow the same plan as a one on one or a group session. There is a coaching plan in place with structured activities and exercises. The coach leads the session and uses their coaching techniques to provoke an ‘aha!’ moment for the client.
Of course, the main advantage of this is that a coach can effectively guide more clients with a lower time investment, and, as a result, the income potential can be larger.
Also, coaches can “see” clients from anywhere in the world and are not limited to a physical locality. Coaches can be located anywhere and find the clients who need them from anywhere too. It’s possible to have a coach located in Thailand seeing clients in Germany, India, the UK and the USA all in the same day!
So, what are the disadvantages of online coaching?
The primary disadvantage of online coaching is that it can be difficult to read body language through a screen.
Secondly, as anyone who has experienced regular online meetings can tell you, sometimes connection problems or wifi issues can hinder a coaching session. There may be less of a commitment online, as coaching sessions can be easily missed and rely on the motivation of a coachee to attend.
Having said this, online coaching is a revolution and it’s happening right now. Online coaches have opened up the world of coaching to people who may not have heard of coaching as a possibility before, and with social media and their presence online, finding online coaching clients has never been easier.
3. Group Coaching
Group coaching is as the name suggests: coaching sessions which help multiple people simultaneously.
This coaching style is an 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.
As well as group sessions, many group coaches also encourage an online community, where members can interact whenever they wish or need to.
When members of a group share a similar goal and starting point, 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, increasing the earning potential.
However, group coaching sessions are not appropriate for every type of niche. While group coaching may be suitable for athletes, entrepreneurs or health coaches, it may not be suitable for coaches who specialise in other issues.
How Would you Define your Coaching Style?
Knowing which of the different types of coaching styles is right for you means defining the style of your coaching. That might depend on the coaching niche you offer.
For example, someone looking for mental wellbeing coaching may value the intimacy and personal touch of one to one coaching. If you are a mental wellbeing coach, then it might be best for you to offer your clients a safe physical space for them to share their ideas and concerns.
Clients of mental wellbeing coaches may not be comfortable online, or may not feel able to share and be honest in a group coaching session.
On the other hand, a personal growth coach may find their niche is better suited to group sessions, or online meetings. Having the possibility of many people in one session may encourage coachees to bounce ideas off each other, learn from their peers or find new approaches to their problems together.
Those who are focused on personal growth may be busy, or have dreams of travelling the world. In that case, having online coaching sessions allows for coaching continuity as your clients live and experience their personal growth.
Whatever coaching style you decide is best for you, beginning a coaching business is a journey of many steps. What might be right now may not be right in the future, so it is important to be flexible.
Take the certification and discover how to build an outstanding coaching business, and how you can see success in your own life. Discover what types of coaching styles are right for you, the niche that is appropriate for your business and how exactly you can get there.
Becoming a life coach is a rewarding and exciting career, whatever type of coach you become.