man in front of crowd coaching

Coaching is a critical aspect of every team and organization. When teams have managers and leaders who can coach well, employees are 40 percent more engaged in their roles. And when team members coach their peers, the team members’ psychological safety within the workplace improves because the coaching session creates a culture of connection and builds respectful relationships.

Coaching can benefit everyone, from your leaders to peers to direct reports. You can even coach your customers. Of course, achieving this improvement is easier said than done. This is where coaching models for managers come in. There are various coaching models out there that were created for specific audiences and situations. The key is to critically evaluate the various elements that make up a model and choose one that will create the biggest impact for your team and organization.

Let’s take a look at coaching model examples and discuss the key components that should be a part of your framework.

A Popular Coaching Model for Managers

One popular model is the GROW Coaching model. While this model is in the public domain and offers a conversation framework, there are also some notable drawbacks.

The GROW Coaching Model

GROW stands for:

What do you/your coachee want to achieve?

Where is your coachee now, or what is your coachee’s current level of knowledge and skills?

What are your options when it comes to achieving your objectives?

What will you/your coachee do from here on out to get to the goal?

Limitations of the GROW Model

Though the GROW coaching model offers a simple and achievable framework to initiate your coaching journey, it is better suited as a mentoring model. Using this as your sole coaching framework comes with a few limitations:

1. The GROW model was developed by tennis coaches—not business coaches. Therefore, CMOE does not encourage business leaders to use it as their predominant coaching resource. GROW is general enough that managers often use it broadly, but since it was not developed for business, it often misses the unique nuances that occur while coaching professionals in a working environment. We recommend managers find solutions that offer greater research validity in the model and approach.

2. The GROW Model is a fairly broad and vague framework that assumes the coachee:

  • Understands what they need to do differently to change/succeed
  • Is genuinely motivated in making the necessary changes
  • Has the skills or knowledge to make necessary changes, which may not always be the case.

The GROW Model is an inside-out approach. This approach is for self-aware coachees who know they need to change and take a self-guided approach to achieve their goals. They are self-motivated to make progress. In this situation, a manager’s role as a coach is minimized, and they can operate as a mentor instead.

hand out coaching representation

What Does a Good Coaching Model Entail?

So, what happens when a coachee does not know how or what to change or is not self-motivated? A good coaching model acknowledges both an inside-out AND an outside-in approach. For the latter, let’s examine the Coaching TIPS²™ model as an example.

Coaching TIPS²™

TIPS²™ was founded on the premise that coachees make impactful progress with a coach who can identify opportunities for improvement that a coachee may not notice about themselves. The model includes five skills that guide a coach in offering support, defining the purpose of the coaching conversation, helping the coachee see the impact of their actions, creating a plan to improve results, and applying following up actions to initiate behavior change.

The reality is that only 20 percent of team members thrive under an inside-out approach. Most of the time, leaders must employ an outside-in approach to coaching and providing feedback. Our research shows that 80% of individuals who receive coaching prefer an outside-in approach because they want candid feedback and insights from others. The coach just needs to deliver the guidance and feedback in an effective way.


As illustrated above, both coaching models have unique strengths. The key is to understand what they are and use them under the right circumstances.

By knowing the benefits and drawbacks of each, you can support and provide your coachees, peers, and leaders with the holistic coaching approach they need and deserve.

3 Components to a Successful Workforce Coaching Model

Regardless of the coaching model you select for your workforce, there are a few critical components it must have.

1. Communication

Communication is a mutual interaction with the intent and purpose to build supportive relationships and enhance engagement.

Managers/coaches should focus on three key communication areas:

  • Being candid but caring: Successful coaches share things as they really are with truth, empathy, candor, and clarity. They also hold coachees accountable for their actions and commitments.
  • Listening: Being candid but caring requires listening to what your coachee has to say, the information they have to share and providing the support they may need. Give them the platform and time to express their thoughts, ideas, and concerns.
  • Asking questions: To further empathize and understand your coachees’ situation, take the time to ask them probing and clarifying questions. However, don’t question the coachee to exhaustion. Too many coaching models suggest questioning as the gateway tool for good coaching. It is important, but the coach should empower the coachee to feel like they can share their thoughts without feeling like they are being interrogated.

2. Feedback

Sharing feedback is crucial in assessing what is and is not working. This facilitates productive discussion around the necessary adjustments to address performance gaps, further optimize performance, or to create alignment are key issues. Creating a culture of coaching and feedback builds trust between the coach and coachee. The coach should both offer feedback to the coachee and should also be open to receiving coaching and feedback to ensure a healthy culture.

3. Metrics

Is your coaching method producing the right results? A pivotal component of coaching is measuring its effectiveness. This might entail establishing a coaching roadmap with specific metrics aligned with performance goals that the coach, coachee, or organization would like to achieve.

Dive into CMOE’s Coaching TIPS²™ Workshop

CMOE’s Coaching TIPS²™ workshop provides leaders with a globally trusted roadmap that will help develop your leaders into successful coaches as well as fuel motivation, growth, and performance of your teams. For more information, contact the CMOE team.


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About the Author
CMOE’s Design Team is comprised of individuals with diverse and complementary strengths, talents, education, and experience who have come together to bring a unique service to CMOE’s clients. Our team has a rich depth of knowledge, holding advanced degrees in areas such as business management, psychology, communication, human resource management, organizational development, and sociology.

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