Tactical versus Transformative Coaching

Jul 2021

With so many individuals and organizations offering business, leadership and life coaching, here is a way to differentiate two coaching approaches, identified here as Tactical and Transformative coaching.

Tactical Coaching typically provides proven systems, steps or strategies to help you identify and achieve your goals.  The structure may come from the coach’s own system of what he or she did to attain their success or from collective research of best practices on the topic.  Alternatively, the coach may work with a methodology or technique her or she is certified in.

Ideally, when you follow the system, you will achieve the results you seek.  This type of coaching is helpful when you have a specific goal in mind and require some assistance with designing and implementing your strategies and processes.  Once the stages are identified, the coaching conversations generally revolve around your accountability in completing the steps you have identified and making any course corrections along the way.

A formula for Tactical Coaching can be represented by:

*Performance = Capacity + Information

The results achieved are a product of your capabilities (education, experience, expertise, etc.) plus whatever information you require to achieve your goals. This approach can add more ideas and things to consider for someone who already has a lot on their mind.

Transformative Coaching, on the other hand, is based on the premise that everything you need to know resides within you.  You have the capacity for deeper understanding, greater clarity and higher levels of consciousness that provide the information you require from your own internal source and often beyond your intellect.  This inner knowing emerges through insight, inspiration and intuition that arise from within you.  You are directed by your own inner guidance system with the understanding that the infinite intelligence behind life is also a source for any wisdom you require as a business owner or leader.

A formula for Transformative Coaching:

*Performance = Capacity – Interference

The results achieved are a product of your own vast, limitless capacity minus any interference that could block your innate wisdom including unhelpful beliefs, assumptions and misperceptions.  This approach invites you to have a more quiet, reflective mind so that exceptional clarity, peace of mind and self-trust become your system for success.

Both coaching approaches offer benefits and value.  You are the expert in deciding what would work best for you when considering coaching for yourself or your team.

*Formulas courtesy of Michael Neill, coach, author, The Inside Out Revolution


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