My coaching philosophy is based on both theory and practice and has evolved over a number of years.
I describe myself as a 'pragmatic humanist'. By that I mean that whilst my overall approach is humanistic, (i.e. I believe that my role is to encourage my clients to develop themselves and take personal responsibility for their own direction), I have the pragmatism required to focus on the visible outcome required by the organisation they are a part of.
Adult Learning theory underpins my coaching practice, and I respect the fact that adults will only deeply learn what they choose to learn for themselves. All else is toleration. For this reason, I am sceptical of the overuse of coaching 'models' or pre-determined programs. I have found that when the coach drives the direction and method of the coaching, significant long-term benefits to the client are lost.
Instead, my goal is always to encourage self-direction in meeting agreed organisational outcomes. I don't mind how the client achieves what they need to achieve. The important thing is that they learn to understand themself and how they go about achieving results in appropriate ways. My role is to mirror back to them what they are doing, encourage self-observation and reflection, provide alternative points of view, share resources when genuinely required, and always be completely honest.
There's the joke:
"What are two things a CEO never gets? A bad meal and the truth."
I have found that just telling people the unvarnished truth develops them, when they are genuinely committed to going to the next level. In fact, how someone receives the truth about themselves can tell us a great deal.
Some people seek out the truth about themselves. Others find it difficult to see, but they digest and work with it. Others find the truth too difficult to observe and resist it. I've found that the degree to which someone can look at the truth about their own behaviour, relationships and results, the greater chance there is that that person will have positive results in coaching, and in life.