5 Coaching Styles: Pros and Cons of Each

Coaching styles are methods for preparing teams for success. It involves motivating employees, increasing their self-esteem, teaching new collaboration techniques, and providing ongoing encouragement and support. Understanding these styles helps managers achieve incredible results by emphasizing personal and group development. Here, we'll describe the pros and cons of five different types of training styles.

Democratic Training


This method gives the team freedom and responsibility, and the coach only intervenes when necessary to keep the process going. Compared to other training styles, democratic coaching puts control more in the hands of clients, while the coach provides the necessary impetus and support to achieve tangible goals. Often considered the most powerful training style, democratic coaching is the best option for clients who are prepared to take responsibility and who require less support. Ideal for financial coaching, professional coaching and personal growth coaching.

Autocratic Training


Unlike the democratic style, the autocratic training style places authority in the hands of the coach. You steer your customer firmly towards the desired results and success. Autocratic training puts control in the hands of the coach. And it's important to use this style when you have the experience and knowledge necessary to dictate terms.

This strict, procedurally following, rule-oriented and often rigid training style is ideal for discipline-loving clients. The autocratic style often overlooks an individual's experience and creativity, hurting player morale in their quest for a strictly regulated plan.Bureaucratic Coaching. Bureaucratic coaching is very close to the autocratic training style. It follows more of an old school approach and is more driven by processes and systems.

For example, at a law firm or hospital, where stepping away from a process could cost a lot of money or even lives. Most of the time, bureaucratic training is adopted for organizational training in disciplined and regulated environments that require a non-negotiable approach to compliance and processes, such as government and public sector agencies.

Holistic Training

. The holistic training style basically focuses on the person's overall growth, giving equal importance to all aspects of the client's life. The coach's role is to ask the right questions and provide support and encouragement.

Holistic coaching is best suited to situations in which the client seeks to create lasting results in their life as a whole: mind, body, spirit and community.

Development Coaching

. Development coaching involves understanding the “what”, the “why” and the “how” of your client. The coach uses 360-degree comments and questions to understand the client's past experiences and assess where their development process is at. This style takes into account the client's age, mental age, and thought processes.

Let's say you have a client, Rachel, who is in her early 20s. She is in an important phase in her life; she needs to apply to universities and select the careers that will decide her professional life for years to come. She is a brilliant student; however, she is unable to pinpoint what she wants to do. Get different opinions from friends and family, your teachers, classmates and online communities.

And that mix of contrasting opinions confuses her; it changes from one option to another and the deadlines for university applications are getting closer and closer. She has now contacted you, as a coach, to help her through this phase. In most coaching leadership styles, it's helpful to ask the team for feedback, tap into their creativity, and consider their decision-making suggestions. However, before applying this style, you should make sure that it fits the client's style and your experience in the area in which you are training them. The evaluation measures a person's preference for direct, energetic, considerate, and systematic training styles. This training style places most of its power in the hands of the players and is based on the expectation and confidence that if they need anything they can go to the coach as an open and reliable resource.

Influential leaders can use any or all of these training styles to personalize their approach or they can go back and forth from one to the other as the occasion requires. It's quite clear that in order to improve your training style you need a deeper understanding of your clients' psyches. The coach's role in this style is more to monitor progress and keep the client focused on the goal. Each of these three training styles has proven effective in their own right but it's important to understand the characteristics of each and how they are suitable for different teams players and contexts. From holistic to bureaucratic all of these training styles can be useful depending on the organization project or team. In the next session with these customers try using a different style and see how they respond to that.

Barbara Kutella
Barbara Kutella

Incurable twitter nerd. Incurable baconaholic. Hipster-friendly bacon enthusiast. Professional twitter geek. Evil twitter trailblazer. Certified beer nerd.

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