Stages of Coaching

Jul 9, 2021

This article is part of the No Holds Barred weekly column by Ram Ramanathan. It’s based on questions we receive during our weekly webinars.

PK Patry: I find it difficult to handle a coachee when he starts saying “I want to explore what to do with my career.”


Dear PK

Very infrequently is a client 100% clear on what they want? In all such cases, they would be 100% wrong. John Whitmore said, ‘almost all who come to me start listing wealth, status and power as their wants. After some coaching, they come to their real needs, which almost always is about helping others while helping themselves.’

It’s good news that the client does not know clearly and wants to explore, be it a career, life, relationship, or whatever. Such a client is a valuable intelligent client. The coaching framework is designed for such clients. This is why the Agreement competency is truly the foundation of coaching. Whether in each session or the journey of several sessions, it is critical to establish what the client wants to do in that session, and about what, why, and finally how.

PCC markers have been very powerfully designed. At every stage of coaching, each session, we follow the ABC, Always Be Contracting. Partner with the client what’s on their mind to move to in the session. Clients generally come to the coach in a state of disempowerment with a need to achieve something, and something blocking them. If the block is external, clients can resolve themselves, or with some support.In most cases, the block is internal and unconscious. The coach’s function is to make that block conscious and support the client to overcome that block.

In the GROW model, and the competency framework. this process starts with what is disempowering the client (Reality ) and what needs to happen in the session to empower (Goal). The gap between Reality and Goal is what Timothy Gallwey calls Interference. Coach explores this using LASI/SET framework to help a client understand more clearly what the client’s value-based needs are, as well as limiting
beliefs and blocks.

In the case of a client wanting to explore what he or she wants to do with his career, first inquire into where the question is coming from? Is the client not satisfied with their career? What does the client want from the career? Why would that want be meaningful? What is the value that needs to be associated? What will happen if the client achieves what is wanted? How would that manifest? What if not achieved? What may not happen even if it’s achieved? What may not change even if not achieved? What is standing in the way?

This inquiry itself may take a few sessions, sometimes. Be patient. Be respectful. Be client-centred. The want of the career has to be expressed as the need for the career. Then the coach can start exploring the limiting beliefs to evoke awareness.

A lot of other questions were answered during the past 2 webinars. Watch the full video below, or on our YouTube Channel.

Coaching Questions You’re Too Afraid To Ask

Questions you are too afraid to ask part-2

If you have a question that you want an answer to, please feel free to fill up this 2-minute survey.

Ram Ramanathan, MCC
Ram Ramanathan, MCC


Ram is the Founder and a Principal at Coacharya. As the resident Master and mentor coach, Ram oversees and conducts all aspects of coaching and training services offered under the Coacharya banner.

Read Next