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The Coaching Continuum TM  model , as well as the ICA  class “Client Screening for Successful Coaching Engagement”, were developed recently by Manon Dulude, Phd, PCC, BCC,  and Jeanne Erikson, PhD, PCC, BCC. Dr. Dulude researched coaching effectiveness, and Dr. Erikson has been active in ICF coaching ethics development.

Both the Continuum theory and the skill class address what seems to be a knowledge gap in coach training encountered by both novice and seasoned coaches. The novice sometimes reports he or she took on a complex client, but felt unequipped to assist the client reach his or her goals. Seasoned coaches have concurred that after working with a complex client who demonstrated a poor ability to progress, the client likely did not have the capacity to fully benefit from the coaching requested.

How can we match coaching strategies to client strengths more fully? This may come with coaching experience, but why not develop a systematic way to teach this advanced skill?  Does it have to remain an elusive “art?”

We contend coaches at all levels of experience can be equipped with skills to discern the client’s “coaching capacity”.   After review of the coaching, as well as change research literature, we concluded that each client has a “coaching capacity” that can be discerned.   This capacity is part of the “who” of the client as are culture, gender, heritage, age, etc. Coaching questions about distress management as well as resilience skills are central to this assessment.

The Coaching Continuum TM model taught in the screening course proposes concrete options for matching coaching strategies to client capacity.  The model captures client progress from difficulty managing emotional distress, to capacity for resilience coaching, to capacity for balance coaching, and finally to capacity for performance coaching. Suggestions are discussed for types of coaching that may move the client forward at each stage.  In addition, the model helps coaches deal with the reality that client capacity may change negatively during coaching when a client is faced with huge stressors or involuntary change.

Coaching is about maximizing each client’s goals and success. The Continuum TM model and client screening class are about maximizing each coach’s success. Classes in 2016 begin in March, June, and October at ICA.

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