Models & Methodology in Evidence-Based Coaching

Coaching THE buzzword

Coaching has been THE buzzword in people performance for some time now. And NLP offers a powerful toolbox of tools and techniques with which to 'unlock people potential and maximise people performance’. But as coaching has moved from marginal to mainstream, and from popular to professional, there has been an increasing need for coaches to everywhere to ‘evidence-base’ their practice – and do so, in a rigorous yet relevant way.

NLP dismissed as pseudo-science

At the same time, NLP has been dismissed by many academics as popular psychology at best and pseudo-science at worst, whilst many practitioners themselves – and many trainers too for that matter – have positioned NLP as a communication art and not a psychological science. This can present problems, not only for NLP coaches, but buyers of coaching services and researchers within the field, all of who have to justify their choice of model & methodology by making evidenced-based decisions.

Inner game philosophy versus evidence-based coaching psychology?

So how do you marry the ‘inner game’ coaching philosophy with the best of ‘evidence-based’ coaching psychology? For me, this is an ‘evidence-based coaching’ problem for which, I believe, I have a ‘scientist-practitioner’ solution. So what am I aiming to do in my 90-minute session with you? I’m looking to share with you my ‘model-based approach’, but as a ‘pragmatic theory IN action’. Essentially, I’m going to provide you with a demonstration of what, why and how I do what I do with you – as if you were one of my coaching clients – and, in this way, enable you to make your own evidence-based decision.

The art & science of models

After defining a model quite simply as a ‘visual representation of a concept, principle or process’, we’ll consider the art & science of models: how ‘a picture paints a thousand words’; how ‘seeing is believing’; and how ‘if you change the viewing, you change the doing’. I’m then going to employ a selection of my own performance models, as a system of ‘maps and mirrors’ with which to demonstrate how good theory can inform best practice and reveal the science behind the art.

Five frames for the future

Big picture, I’m looking to use a combination of ‘five-frame relational frame theory’ and ‘four-factor content analysis’ to introduce you to my ‘five frames for the future’.

First I’m going to employ the Performance Equation as a useful model with which to consider the ‘inner game’ philosophy. We’ll consider the problems of people performance, the different performance approaches, the philosophies of both coaching & mentoring, and position all of these things along a full-range communication continuum.

Second, I’m going to employ the Core Concepts as a series of models to consider the structure of ‘evidence-based’ coaching psychology. We’ll consider the GROW Model, Self Concept Model and ABC Model as strategies with which to implement coaching at the different neurological levels, and link these frameworks to the Zones of Optimal Performance and Proximal Development.

Third, I’m going to employ the Performance Cycle, as both a model of performance and, most importantly, a ‘model of communication’, with which to consider performance as a self-fulfilling prophecy and the cause & effect relationships that constitute the psychology of success versus failure.

Forth, I’m going to present the Performance Profile as an ‘evidence-based’ methodology with which to bring all of these things together: to analyse performance problems, employ NLP tools and techniques, and evaluate coaching interventions. And all the while, we’ll be looking at how to provide evidence and demonstrate efficacy in both a rigorous and relevant way. It is in this way that I’m looking to help you unlock the power of EBC using NLP.

Attitude Change Technology

And throughout my session I’ll be introducing you to Attitude Change Technology (ACT) as a form of ‘action science’. Grounded in ‘personal construct theory’ and developed through a ‘systems approach to training’, ACT is a meta-model of performance that provides a contextual model for coaching.

In this way, ACT is the ‘personal coaching model’ and ‘living educational theory’ that underpins my professional practice. We’ll be employing it here as an evidenced-based model & methodology with which to ‘transform the art of communication into the science of results’. And don’t worry, I’ll also provide you with all the academic references you need to validate my model, legitimise my claims, and evolve as a scientist-practitioner.

Questions & Queries

Between now and the conference, meanwhile, should you have any questions or queries about my session, or models & methodology in evidence-based coaching in general, please feel free to contact me directly on 07976 821 333 or at I look forward to speaking with you soon and any opportunity to help you unlock your people potential and maximise your people performance.

By Mark Woodhouse