What Are Coaching Styles And How To Select The Best Style For You

Learn about the different coaching styles that are applicable to different learners and the techniques that can help you in choosing a suitable style.

If you have been looking all over the internet about the coaching styles and thinking which one you should pick, then you have reached here at the perfect time.

There are so many coaching styles from which you can pick one or two for you, according to your needs and demands, choose whichever you think is the best one for you.

There are multiple coaching styles such as authoritative, democratic, bureaucratic, holistic, transformational, visionary, intuitive, and mindful. Each has its own pros and cons and help the learners in their own way. 

We must tell you that all of them are fun and professional at the same time.

Further along, we are going to tell you first about the coaching styles, through which we will go together with one by one, in detail.

And then we are going to tell you how you can choose one for you, as your needs require you to.

So, let’s have a look at the styles first.

What Are Different Coaching Styles?

1. Authoritarian

Coaching Styles

We all can guess by its name what kind of coaching style this one might be.

The authoritarian coaching style is the one in which the coach handles and controls everything

All the learners are bound to follow him and his orders strictly.

It is almost like blindly following the mentor’s lead and his orders.

That is why there is no space left for negotiations between the coach and the learners.

In this style, the communication is usually and mostly only one way.

Some experts say that this is considered an old coaching style and this was used as a results-based approach.

Because in this style, the whole focus is only on achieving results and reaching the goals.

There is very less or no focus on one-on-one coach and learner interaction or between the group members.

It is a straightforward and blunt kind of coaching style in which the coach is not concerned or considered responsible about the mental health of the learners or even about their personal problems, he is only considered about the results which they want to achieve.

2. Democratic

Coaching Styles

We can say that the democratic coaching style is quite opposite of the authoritarian style.

Because of the unlikely aforementioned style where there was no focus on learners’ interaction and their opinion in any matter, in democratic style coaches pay attention to the needs and requirements of their learners.

They pay attention to their personal needs in the program and they focus on their mental health too.

This style is like the title ‘democracy’ itself that every individual of the group contributes and plays their role.

They are designated to give their opinions about the program and ways of the coach about how he handles them.

And communication is also two-way where the learner’s role is quite active all the time.

Thus, the coach’s focus is also not only on the results and outcomes, in fact, but he also gives importance to their interaction. 

He may also customize his program or given tasks for specific individuals because he believes that each individual can have their own different problem and requirement.

He especially pays attention to their motivation level, collaborative competency, self-efficacy, creativity, commitment to objectives they fix, inspiration level in the program, and productivity along with empowerment.

3. Holistic

Coaching Styles

As the title itself says, the coaching style also theorizes that we should believe in whole instead of dividing everyone and everything into parts.

This style is somehow considered better than both aforementioned styles: authoritarian and democratic.

In it, the coach believes that everything is connected and learners’ successful outcomes also depend on the coach’s efforts too, because they work together for it.

He thinks that individuals are a sum of all their parts and that is why, in order to encourage their growth in the workplace too, their balance needs to be achieved in all aspects of their life and not only in one.

The coach motivates them and encourages them like a personal life-cheerleader because he believes in them and he works to maintain learner’s self-confidence in themselves too.

He tells the learner how much they and their efforts matter in every way, in their personal and work life both.

He makes them think that how they are the star of their life because after all they are encouraged by their personal cheerleader, which we bet sounds so good to all of us.

Well, who doesn’t want a personal cheerleader in their lives, right!

He can also shine a spotlight on the learner’s stumbling blocks and repetitive behaviors that might be negatively affecting the work for a long time, and obviously, as well as, offering solutions like stress management and relaxation techniques.

4. Laissez-faire

Coaching Styles

This coaching technique and style entails way much freedom and flexibility towards the learners and members of a group of people, working under a coach.

It is even far more flexible and learner-engaging than the democratic and holistic styles.

The main focus of this style is always on giving all the power to the learners, they feel like as the leader themselves, because the coach engages himself very less in the activities, planning, or tasks to achieve goals.

That is why and how, this coaching technique gains and focuses on:

  • self-empowerment
  • self-efficacy
  • self-confidence
  • self-management
  • decision-making ability
  • freedom
  • autonomy

Autonomy is one of those elements when engaged in any kind of learning, which creates a very good level of self-confidence in all the members engaged in activities.

It produces a sense of self-actualization in all the learners.

This coaching approach believes in producing the best strength in its learners and making them able to stand on their own in the long run.

Additionally, positive laissez-faire coaching outcomes are also far more likely when the coach provides regular performance monitoring and keeps on providing them the feedback.

Providing learners with feedback after the completion of their tasks, helps them to grow more and to give them the opportunity in which they can polish their skills more and more.

Obviously, learner satisfaction is very much important in every coaching style and whenever they feel like pausing for a bit, they can and they should.

So, they will not get tired and irritated in the process, which will surely decrease their motivation level.

5. Transformational Coaching Style

Coaching Styles

This is a one-on-one coaching approach, in which both parties, both sides are involved; the coach and the learner, and the communication is also both-sided.

Its focus is also on learner’s abilities and polishing them.

This approach involves both ways of the alliance in which coaching goals and processes are agreed upon by both parties, which means they are not only set by the coach.

In fact, learners also play an important role in setting their goals and tasks.

And rather than establishing hierarchical control in the coach-learner relationship, the transformational coach acts collaboratively with the client while offering authentic support along with his feedback.

Transformational coaching works under such following dimensions:

  • Inspirational motivation
  • Idealized influence
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Individual consideration
  • Cognitive development
  • Collaborative skills
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Self-discovery

6. Vision Coaching Style

Coaching Styles

As its name tells you its meaning vividly, this approach gives its users a clear vision for them to move forward in the respected area or field.

Giving someone a clear vision and showing them a path which directs towards their goal, is one of the best coaching techniques and approach.

We think that the majority of the people who require and hire a coach want such clear visions for them to be shown.

Thus, this ‘vision coaching style’ is famous for its approach as the visionary coaching style.

So after setting goals for them this style encourages and empowers learners by giving them clear direction and strategies for achieving objectives and encouraging focus.

Just as a personal trainer, this approach also feels like a partnership.

 It draws on elements of feedback, gives a good sense of reflection and opportunities of conversation to really motivate and influence the learners.

This approach can work well for high stress or overwhelming works and occupations, which you may say need fast results.

This approach is sometimes most useful when driving teams to work on specific projects, by giving them a detailed plan.

7. Intuitive Coaching

Coaching Styles

You may say that this is an exceptional approach which is quite interesting in a way that it takes a relatively spiritual side by supporting the learners in developing and trusting their inner perspectives and inner voices.

In a way, it tends to their subconscious needs. 

Coaches are respectively concerned about coachee’s such needs which create hurdles in their achievements.

Their achievement of personal fulfillment is tended as the process of using intuition to truly clarify their chief needs which can lead towards the fulfillment of tasks and make them essential.

This approach also theorizes that these essential needs have to become critical for survival, their success, wellbeing, and sense of purpose.

This coaching style encourages the following qualities in learners:

  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-trust
  • Uncovering deeply held drives
  • Creativity
  • Clarity
  • Introspection
  • Discovery of true passions

8. Mindful Coaching Style

Coaching Styles

Before discussing this one let’s talk first about mindfulness.

Mindfulness is actually a way of paying attention to the present moment.

In it, we help ourselves become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we are better able to manage them.

So this way, mindful coaching is the complete resource to using mindfulness in this approach.

In it, the coach is concerned about the learner’s reflection on themselves and helps them awaken their self-awareness and that of their surroundings.

Which you can say is the main focus of this approach: self-awareness.

Which further helps them in reducing life stress. 

So you will know that your technique is working when you see your client empathizing with others more. 

This results in a healthier mindset and a better workplace too.

It will also help them to improve their work efficiency by increasing their concentration, which is definitely a plus side.

9. Bureaucratic Coaching

Coaching Styles

So far we have gone through various approaches to know instantly that approach’s main concerns take after their titles and their meanings.

Thus, you can say that bureaucratic coaching is rigid which adheres to specific rules and it asks to follow a clear model outlining decision-making hierarchies.

That is why it is most applicable to highly regulated situations or even those environments where it may be important to follow safety and other procedural regulations.

This means that taking its rules easy is not an option.

This coaching style encourages the outcomes such as:

  • Consistency
  • Efficiency
  • Safety
  • Accountability
  • Adherence to best practice standards

There is also a very reduced possibility of favoritism in this coaching model.

How To Select The Best Style For You

The foremost basic thing about choosing the best style for you is to know and understand the client’s skill & his will.

The coach must know and be aware of his client’s motivation level and choose his best pick among all styles according to these four main requirements.

1. Guide

Coaching Styles

You always have to go for that approach that fulfills your demands, which fulfill the requirements and needs of your clients.

Because in a way you have to guide your clients towards the directions and on the path, which leads them to their wanted success. 

Guiding is the best way when you leave most of the outcomes on your clients because when they know that they can find answers to their own questions, they feel succeeded the most with the best levels of self-confidence.

2. Direct

Coaching Styles

As we talked about choosing that style which suits best your client’s needs, especially his motivation levels. 

So, this style is best for those clients who have extremely low motivation levels, because they need directions. 

It might happen especially when they lack the skills.

Without directions, they might not be able to move forward and achieve their goal.

This is a command and control approach; in it, you have to take most of the control so you can control the high-achieving level of your client.

3. Excite

Coaching Styles

Sometimes, the clients have the skills but they do not have any encouragement or active approach in them to move on their own.

So, in these kinds of situations, the coach has to create excitement in the tasks for them to complete.

This client may have a high degree of polished skills but he lacks the energy to move forward, in which case they become passive and need someone to create an enthusiastic environment for them.

4. Delegate

Coaching Styles

This style of coaching is considered the best and easy one.

You should choose it if your client is skillful and is ready to achieve high goals because all he needs is some rules, guidelines, and deadlines from you, just to stay motivated on his path.

Also, everyone wants to apply and work with this style because it has the least work and responsibility on the coach’s end.

It is for those coachees who are very good with their skills and do not need cheerleading 24/7, from their coach.


We have explained various coaching styles and best picks for you to let you know how and what to choose from. 

We believe that such details you just read in this article, will not find anywhere else and we are more than happy to be in your service. 

We also firmly believe that you have now all the answers to your questions and you are ready for the real world now. 

Leave us a comment!

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