Coaching Models – Part I

Posted by Maria Milanetti & filed under Executive Coaching.

A Discussion of the ICA Coaching Model to Enable Managers to Consider ‘a Coach Approach’

At MarchFifteen we use a number of different coaching models and strategies as certified/qualified business coaches. Some of these can be  complex and require training and practice. Some coaching models, however, can be quite simple.

We recognize the trend in business to encourage managers to use a simplified kind of coaching in the everyday management of their direct reports. A Coach Approach allows direct reports to feel more part of the discussions that take place, and the decisions that are made, in the workplace.

Two models that are well known to many, and have stood the test of time, are the ICA and GROW models. These two models are often used by managers and leaders within business and organizational environments of all types. If you would like to think about trying out ‘a Coach Approach’ you might look at designing the next conversation with your direct reports in one of these two formats. Today in this blog I will be covering the ICA Model. In a future blog, PART II, I will cover the GROW Model.


The ICA model is adapted from Loveland and Tobey`s Coaching Model. It looks at the following:

I – Issue or Insight

Key Question: What`s Up? What do you want?

The direct report brings a specific issue to the coaching interaction. The direct report may also be looking for some direction or insight into something that is going on – it may not necessarily be ‘an issue’. The idea is that the manager would be able to help the direct report become clearer on their issue/insight.

C – Choice or Commitment

Key Question: What are your choices? What do you want to commit to?

The manager and the direct report brainstorm and work through alternative choices for dealing with the issue or insight the person has brought forward. It allows the person being coached to narrow down, or hone in on, their choices and arrive at the best choice or solution.  The manager/coach then makes a commitment to move forward with that solution.

A – Action or Accountability

Key Question: What’s next? How will you be held accountable?

The manager and direct report now get specific about what actions will take place now. They ask questions like: What specific action? When? Where? How? This may include a discussion of what additional resources or support is needed to help the person being coached. The manager/coach agrees on action and that brings accountability into the picture. Later on, the action taken will also generate awareness and insight which will lead to a new coaching cycle in the future.

And there it is. A ready-to-use model for your consideration. We hope that it allows you to at least understand where you might start to take ‘a Coach Approach’ in the management of your most valued asset, your people.

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