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OSCAR coaching model of Gilbert and Whittleworth

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OSCAR coaching model of Gilbert and Whittleworth

A good leader, in addition to setting goals, organizing, and controlling, must be able to work more closely with his colleagues and support their development so that they can meet the challenges and achieve high results.

Or, each manager should act as a mentor to his employees and provide them with the much-needed coaching.

One of the popular models in this regard is the OSCAR coaching model. It focuses on finding solutions in the context of the "manager-subordinate" relationship. Let's look at it.

OSCAR model for coaching

The OSCAR coaching model was developed by British coaching experts Andrew Gilbert and Karen Whittleworth in 2002.

The OSCAR model is based on the idea that coaching should focus on results and not on problems or their causes. According to Gilbert and Whittleworth, such an approach provides benefits to all parties - employee, manager, and organization, and allows the manager to further develop the knowledge and skills of his employees.

The OSCAR model is based on an acronym, behind which are five components, as follows:

  • Outcome
  • Situation
  • Choice
  • Action
  • Review

Gilbert and Whittleworth argue that their model makes the most of the employee's existing skills and abilities, as well as shifting responsibility for the process from the manager coach to him.

Let's take a closer look at each of the five coaching parts according to the OSCAR model.

1. Outcome

The outcome is the first element of the OSCAR coaching model. From the very beginning, the coach must determine what the coaching employee wants to achieve.

The desired results can be determined by the coach using the following questions:

  • What do you want to achieve by working with me?
  • What exactly do you want to achieve from our current meeting?
  • How will you know if you have achieved the desired results?

By discussing such issues with the employee, the manager elegantly transfers responsibility for the process from himself to the employee. Read more: Skills and roles of the manager.

2. Situation

The Situation is the second element of the OSCAR coaching model. The coach must find out what the employee's current situation is - where he is and what is happening to him.

The current situation can be determined by the coach using questions such as:

  • What exactly happened to you to get here?
  • How do you feel in this situation?
  • What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses in the current situation?

Clarifying the situation and the feelings and emotions of the employee concerning it is an important moment in the coaching process, which should not be missed.

3. Choice

Choice is the third element of the OSCAR coaching model. Here the coach and the employee discuss the different options and the possible consequences of their implementation.

The options can be determined by the coach using the following questions:

  • What are the opportunities and threats in front of you?
  • What exactly will be the consequences of them?
  • What will happen if you do not face them?

The identification of alternatives for selection includes not only questions of the coach to the employee, but also joint work with him to test the possibilities with their positive and negative consequences.

4. Action

Action is the fourth element of the OSCAR coaching model. With it, the coach encourages the employee to take responsibility for their action plan.

Actions can be defined through questions such as:

  • Which is going well?
  • What exactly is the next step to take?
  • How will you know that you have taken this step?

At this stage, the coach manager encourages the employee to take real action, which can become even clearer if the SMART rule is used to set goals.

5. Review

The Review is the fifth element of the OSCAR coaching model. This is an opportunity for both sides to look at what they have done so far and to assess what has worked well and what needs to change.

Actions can be done more precisely with the help of questions such as:

  • What did you do to make the changes?
  • How exactly did these changes affect you?
  • What do you think will change next?

In the action phase, the manager and the employee look together at how the change process is going and whether the employee is on the right track. It is important to discuss not only the positive things that went well but also the things that did not go well, which allows the coach to get feedback and an idea of ​​their actions.

In summary

The OSCAR coaching model has five components:

The result;





The OSCAR coaching model is a useful tool that provides the necessary structure for managers who want to develop their qualities as inspiring leaders and help employees overcome temporary or permanent difficulties in the workplace. Read more: Manager or Leader: What are the differences and similarities.

The OSCAR model gives greater priority to the near future results over the current situation. Ensures that you have ready-made alternative plans in case someone fails, and lists the obstacles for each choice made. This method is more or less similar to the CLEAR model, except that it emphasizes more solutions and results, especially taking care of the consequences.

The OSCAR coaching model is a way to help people improve their performance.

The OSCAR model is a way of coaching that focuses on results instead of problems. This approach is good for the employee, manager, and organization, and it helps the manager develop the knowledge and skills of employees.

In their model, the manager coach would help the employee assess his strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and work on a plan to improve his skills. The employee would then be responsible for carrying out the plan and meeting his goals. This would shift the responsibility for the process from the manager coach to the employee.

Question and Answers

What is the OSCAR coaching model?

The OSCAR coaching model is an acronym that stands for Outcome, Situation, Choices, Actions, and Review. Each component represents a stage in the coaching conversation, guiding both the coach and coachee toward a productive and goal-oriented discussion.

How does the OSCAR coaching model work?

The OSCAR coaching model follows a step-by-step approach to facilitate effective coaching sessions. The coach begins by clarifying the desired outcome of the coaching session with the coachee. Next, the coach explores the current situation and challenges faced by the coachee. After understanding the situation, the coach assists the coachee in exploring potential Choices or options to address the challenges. Together, they identify Action steps to implement the chosen options. Finally, the coaching conversation concludes with a Review, where progress is evaluated, and any adjustments are made as necessary.

What are the benefits of using the OSCAR coaching model?

The OSCAR coaching model offers several benefits for both coaches and coachees. It provides a clear and structured framework for coaching conversations, ensuring that essential elements are addressed systematically. This model encourages coachees to take ownership of their development and empowers them to explore various solutions to the challenges they face. For coaches, the OSCAR model serves as a guide, enhancing their effectiveness in helping coachees achieve their desired outcomes.

How can coaches apply the OSCAR coaching model effectively?

To apply the OSCAR coaching model effectively, coaches should actively listen to the coachee and ask open-ended questions to explore their goals and challenges fully. The coach should encourage the coachee to generate possible solutions and support them in setting actionable goals. Throughout the coaching conversation, maintaining a non-judgmental and supportive stance is crucial for creating a safe space for the coachee to reflect and explore.

What role does the "Outcome" stage play in the OSCAR coaching model?

The "Outcome" stage sets the direction for the coaching session. Clarifying the desired outcome helps the coach and coachee establish a clear focus for the conversation. It allows the coachee to envision what they want to achieve and guides subsequent discussions toward achieving that goal.

How does the OSCAR coaching model promote accountability?

The OSCAR coaching model promotes accountability by encouraging the coachee to identify Action steps to move toward their goals. By creating a plan of action and setting specific tasks, the coachee becomes responsible for their progress and growth. The Review stage also reinforces accountability, as the coachee evaluates their progress and identifies areas for further improvement.

Can the OSCAR coaching model be adapted to different coaching contexts?

Yes, the OSCAR coaching model can be adapted to various coaching contexts, such as executive coaching, career coaching, or life coaching. Coaches can tailor their questions and approaches to suit the unique goals and challenges of each coachee, making the model versatile and widely applicable.

About the author

Amber Salomons, Senior Writer at Business Value-Oriented Principles

Amber Salomons is the author of numerous works and a product manager with many years of experience. He has conducted product research on local and global products and creates business strategies for global organizations as a consultant.

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