Coaching Models Series No. 1


When you come to the stage in your maturity as an organisation where you realise that the development of a coaching culture is a logical ‘next step’, there are many ways in which you can start and continue the process of this development.

One of these is to have at your disposal a number of coaching models to draw on, as these lend a hand to coaches in the earlier stages of their experience, and can continue to help as that experience grows.

One such tool that works well for many people is the GAINS model:


  • Develop a clear understanding of what the ultimate objective or objectives are for the individual
  • Make these goals personal and notable – ownership is important
  • Build a series of steps or intermediate goals that lead in the appropriate direction and are positive steps in their own right


  • Be objective – don’t allow yourself to contribute. Rather, seek to draw from the coachee what is important for them.
  • Avoid bias
  • Understand the individual’s reality; is their objective something they can truly ‘see and feel’?
  • Beware your own value judgments.


  • Seek to develop as many ideas as possible – the client is brainstorming with themselves, while you facilitate.
  • Encourage creative thinking. Try to ensure that the client isn’t editorializing their thinking in accordance with the current realities of their position.

Next Step

  • Move the client towards making the decision to start the process of change
  • Get a statement of intent. Let the client know that you will be holding them accountable for their actions towards the next step.
  • Encourage, through open questioning, a filling out of the details of what the journey looks and feels like for the client.


  • Review the client’s progress in the field
  • Provide a mirror to performance. Remember – you told them (in the previous step) that you would be holding them accountable for their own actions.
  • Develop a metric in order to gauge progress. Sometimes something as simple as a ‘If 1 is no progress, and 10 is completion, what number are you on today?’ is the best tool to use.
  • Confront under-performance. You must, in order to be an effective coach, be prepared to challenge your client if they have failed to meet their own stated objectives. It’s up to you – the coach – to keep your client moving forwards when their urge to procrastinate or avoid unpleasant tasks threatens their progress
  • Recognise success. Encouragement is a huge reward, and congratulations are a prize your client will work to gain.

As with all the coaching models in this series, we do not claim authorship, but nor do we know who originated this particular coaching model. If it was you, then please let us know and we will add the appropriate attribution.


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Luke Joy-Smith, Managing Director - Somerset Social Enterprise
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Stephanie Malka, Director NOC Service Engineering – EMEA
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Simon Gosney, Head of Learning and Development
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Neil Savage, Director of Organisational Development 2gether NHS Foundation Trust
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Andy Castle, VP of Network Operations and Engineering, EMEA
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