Three Strategies of Coach-Based Consulting

Organizational coaching and consulting come in many forms and are called many names. We propose that three strategies effectively blend organizational coaching and consulting and successfully address the challenges of 21st Century organizations. We propose that one of the three coach-based consulting (CBC) strategies relate specifically to a client’s performance-engendering behavior. (cf. Goldsmith, 2000; Whitmore, 2009) We have labeled this strategy “Behavioral coach-based consulting” and the three specific CBC models pertaining to this strategy: engagement, empowerment, and opportunity.

A second strategy and three of the models relate specifically to the decision-making processes in which the client engages. (cf. Freas, 2000; Goss, 1996) We have labeled this strategy “Decisional coach-based consulting.” The three CBC models associated with this strategy are: reflective, instrumented and observational.

A third strategy, “Aspirational coach-based consulting,” relates to the personal values and aspirations that are held by the organizational client. This strategy is typically engaged through one or more of four models: philosophical, ethics-oriented, career, and spiritual.

Cognition, Affect and Conation

Placed in a psychological context, the three strategies—Behavioral, Decisional, and Aspirational CBC—can be differentiated from one another by the predominance in each strategy of one of psychology’s three domains of attention: cognition (thinking), affect (feeling) and conation (behavior). While Behavioral coaching tends to focus on the behavioral (conation) aspects of the client’s life and work, Decisional CBC focuses on the decisions (integration of cognition and affect) that underlie this behavior. Similarly, Aspirational CBC focuses on the relationship between the actions taken (conation) and values (affect) held by the organizational client. Each of these strategies will ultimately generate integrated action outcomes that serve the organization and the individual client. This phase of the CBC process will relate the client’s explicit goals and objectives (cognition) and the steps to be taken on behalf of these goals and objectives (conation).

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