What Is a Coaching Perspective? (Coaching Model)

Coaching can only take place when there is a coaching client, often referred to as a coachee. This means that coaching is always about the client. The client and coach are partners in the coaching programme. The coach is not a superior but a partner and facilitates the sessions. The perspective can be described as everything that the client brings to the programme. The coach works with what the client brings to the session.

The coach works with the content that the client brings to the session. He must be able to determine Current State of Being (CSoB) of the client. This is the state that is made of the past and present circumstances. This is the life journey from birth to the current state. It is informed by many life events, good and/or bad.

The perspective is also informed by the life background, namely life foundation, the place of birth, and all the places where the client spent his or her earlier life. It includes the type of youth development programmes, games, studies, sports, and community activities the client has been exposed to.

These earlier activities, including the parents roles, contribute to the development of the personality of the client. The coach works with this personality in an objective manner. The programme adds to the positive aspect of the client. He/she holds the mirror up for the client to see his/her areas of development. He/she also challenges the client to do something about these areas of development. They are important part of the coaching perspective. The client is regarded as fully healthy. The coach must not be judgmental about the client’s personality.

The perspective is also informed by the client’s culture, expressed in the form of languages, traditional practices, life styles, family values, beliefs, norms, and the community. This is rich material, i.e. perspective, to work with in the coaching programme. The coach must continuously develop his/her cultural intelligence (EQ) to bring fresh inputs to add to the perspective. Every client is culturally unique and must be assisted to appreciate this uniqueness.

Coaching is not about diminishing the client’s cultural richness. It is about adding to it, and enriching it. The perspective informs the coaching process, and serves as a baseline in determining the purpose. It is the first important pillar in the coaching model.

The client’s experience in life is another component of the coaching perspective. Experience could be private and/or professional, acquired formally and/or informally. The client’s acquire their experience by volunteering in community programmes, observing their parents and members of the community performing tasks, listening to stories told by other people, reading books, watching television, listening to radio, attending school and college programmes, serving the internet, debating with other people, and networking, etc.

Such learning activities broaden the client’s worldview. The coach must be able to work with this worldview. The clients have different experiences and must be treated differently. We talk of the coach dancing with the client and meeting him/her at the level where he/she is. They are also differently qualified and bring this difference into the coaching programme. This means that they are also possessing different knowledge levels. Some are specialists, and others are generalists. They come from different faculties and sectors of their lives. As coaches we coach scientists, engineers, humanities, professors, researches, executives, doctors, etc.

In conclusion, it does not matter what qualification the clients come with into coaching, the coach must be able to work with them. This is what we call perspective in coaching.