11 Coaching Styles: Detailed Definition, Examples, And More

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Article by Gevorgyan

Content writer

Published 12 Jul 2022
12 min read
11 Coaching Styles: Detailed Definition, Examples, And More

Coaching is one of the most popular forms of teaching and learning experience nowadays. 


Why? Because coaching offers a personalized learning experience aimed at professional or personal growth.  

Coaching, however, has various different styles, and it is vital to be aware of all of them in order to become a good one. This article will cover 11 coaching styles with detailed definitions and examples. 


So, if you are ready, let’s start! 


What is the coaching style?

First and foremost, let’s understand the general definition of coaching style. The coaching style is basically a unique way that a coach implements throughout the process of guiding an individual or group of people towards achieving certain things or making certain decisions.  

Basically, coaching is all about helping people to reach their full potential and grow. Meanwhile, the coaching style is a specific way that the coach implements throughout the process. 

The importance of coaching style

Coaching style is vital for many reasons, some of which are: 

  • Certain styles can be suitable for one and unsuitable for another. For some people democratic style works the best; for others, the autocratic. You have to master a few different styles in order to be able to provide the most efficient solution for the client. 
  • The style or styles that you choose as a coach should be mastered by you and also make you feel comfortable. If you choose a style that is completely not relatable, it can lead to drained energy and overwhelming. 


Coach presents the coaching program

The main five and other six coaching styles with examples

There are five main and six other coaching styles that professional coaches use. Throughout this article, we will take a detailed look at each style and identify its benefits or potential drawbacks of those. However, no matter which one you will choose, make sure that:


  • You are well familiarized with it 
  • It suits your model 
  • It suits the client’s wants and expectations and will guide them into taking real action. 

Now, let’s finally take a look at the styles. 

The main 5 coaching styles 

Democratic Coaching

Democratic coaching is the most “free” way of coaching, as the name itself suggests. Basically, with this style of coaching, the coachee has maximal freedom and accountability for the final results. The coach simply is there to track the progress and somehow contribute to and motivate the client for further action. Or assist them in finding the best way to achieve something they desire. This type of coaching is beneficial because it not only helps the clients to grow but also improves their decision-making abilities. 


So, your main focus, if you choose this style, is to make sure the client feels empowered and also to help the client to feel in control over the situation.  


For example, if a person comes to you without even specific goals in mind or very broad concepts instead of the goals, and they do not have a shortage of time, this is one of the best styles to implement. This way, you will guide the client throughout the process and contribute to their personal growth.  

You can filter or come up with a list of new goals using SMART or other goal creation techniques and further work on achieving these together.

This strategy is the best option for coaching a person who wants to learn cycling; that enables a coachee to decide the learning process through goal setting, active listening, Virtual Reality simulation & tracking progress. Sometimes the coach participates with the coachee to achieve goals.
This strategy enables a person to decide how to choose a bike according to his needs.

Democratic caching will equip the client with essential life skills such as taking and realizing that they are the ones accountable and have control over the situation. It will equip them with emotional intelligence, patience, diligence, self-awareness, and decision-making skills. So, one coaching session like this will literally change their approach to life and mindset by the end of the training.  

Authoritarian coaching

The authoritarian coaching style is usually implemented when a coachee has a clear goal, and the coach is there to help them to reach it. Basically, this style is all about the coach deciding what, when, and where the coachee is going to do that will potentially contribute to the achievement of the desired results. However, the overall plan is discussed with the client. Authoritarian coaching is also best suitable if the client has a pressuring time limit.  

However, to be a successful authoritarian coach, you should be equipped and trained yourself, as clients come for fast and lasting results which you guarantee. You can work on mindset, subconsciousness, etc., and in this situation, clients just follow what you say. Of course, it is still coaching, so you have to be attentive to their feelings towards certain exercises/activities, well-being and track their progress.  

Also, in order to succeed with this style, keep in mind the vitality of the trust factor toward you. If clients are going to follow what you say, they should trust you first.  


If the client already has a specific goal in mind and wants a simple and efficient plan to achieve it, then the authoritarian coaching style is the way to go. 

Holistic coaching

The belief on which relies the whole style is “balance & harmony,” alongside the interconnection between everything in this life. So, holistic style is about finding balance in everything, including decision-making. This coaching style aims to broaden the coachee’s worldview and help them see more that is out there, including opportunities. 


Basically, this type of coaching aims to “open up” the client and is the best if clients come to reshape their mindset to experience life more fully and enjoyably. Holistic coaching will help clients to connect with their inner selves, understand themselves better and find the best solutions for various dilemmas. 



If a coachee came to you without a very specific set of financial, love, or career goals but with an overall idea to change their lives and make them better, then the Holistic coaching style will benefit them most. With holistic coaching, you can help them to examine and analyze various situations and aspects and grow as a person. Assist them in the process of reshaping their minds and giving them tools, so they are able to create their own realities.

Autocratic coaching

Autocratic coaching is very close to the authoritarian coaching style, although if in the authoritarian the client and coach come to a mutual agreement on the further plan, in autocratic coaching, the coach decides ultimately every aspect (besides the goal).  

Autocratic coaching is the best style to teach clients to stay committed to their goals and future. Also, it will help clients to learn discipline.  


The best example and one of the most suitable areas for autocratic coaching is fitness. Let’s say the client came to you to lose ten kilograms or gain 5 kilograms or just build muscles, they are not experts in the field, and all they want is to achieve the result. As the coach who they have chosen to trust, you should continue being reliable, a bit pressing, and implement the autocratic style to bring them to the goals they want. 

Vision coaching

Simply put, Vision Coaching is a coaching style that primarily relies on feedback, the development of leadership abilities, and various visualization of future techniques. When the coachee receives feedback, they should be able to implement it for the achievement of the next goal. Clients should regularly receive feedback and reflect on their past goals to understand their progress. Vision-based coaching also teaches the client a visualization technique of the future self for better motivation and efficient achievement of long-term goals with real-time resources.  

Coach speaks about vision

The other 6 coaching styles

Laissez-faire coaching

Simply put, laissez-faire coaching is the golden middle between democratic and autocratic styles. Also, it is one of the most widely used coaching styles.  

It brings together all the benefits of autocratic and democratic coaching, synthesizing the good and eliminating the drawbacks of the styles creating in a sense the “perfect” style. Of course, it may not work for some clients or in certain areas.  

The key, no matter what style you choose, is to understand what works best for the client, as coaching is extremely individualistic.   


An example of a Holistic style could be a certain training program designed to achieve the result in a specific aspect, however with the freedom of decision making that holds coachee. So basically, you can offer individual approaches, specific exercises, and activities, but at the same time train the coachee to take and realize control over the situation. Moreover, assisting them to comprehend that the achievement of a goal solely depends on their mindset. This way, they get more organized, but at the same time freedom. 

Bureaucratic coaching

This coaching style is best if you work with larger groups, especially if it is employee training to increase employees’ efficiency and productivity. Bureaucratic coaching sessions are well structured and more group-orientated rather than individual-centric.  


E.g., An excellent coaching session for the employe groups in the X department to promote routine behavior that will lead them to short and long-term goal achievement. 

Developmental coaching

The development coaching style teaches clients to see things, goals, and everything else in perspective. As the name suggests, it focuses on the personal development of the coachee. This style will be best to implement for clients who want to change the way they generally think and live their lives and who aim to be more involved with life itself. 

Group coaching

Bureaucratic coaching is efficient for groups in a more professional setting. However, there is a whole separate style for group coaching as well. Group coaching focuses on individuals within the group. Usually, this type of coaching is cheaper and more affordable for the clients, and the main benefit is the shared experience of the group members with one another. Everyone in the group will be able to each other’s progress which increases the trust factor in toward coach and the efficiency of sessions.  


Assume a group of people registered for participation in the “Make your wishes come true” coaching sessions. While participating, they all share experiences and faith factors towards the efficiency of the training increases. 


Coach with his group coachees

Transformational coaching

Transformational coaching is focused on individuals who want major changes and transformation in their lives. This style is concentrated on teaching the coachee to change their attitude towards life and general perception of things. It is about giving them understanding and realization of their full potential and tools for further transformation.  


Let’s say there is a client who has tendencies of overthinking and that stands in their way of making good decisions. Within transformational coaching, the coach should implement various techniques and strategies to help the client overcome the qualities they are dissatisfied with and transform those into the ones that will lead to success. 

Mindful coaching

Mindful coaching is all about assisting the client in the process of switching from “automatically doing/existing mode” to “Being and Living mode.”  Within mindful coaching, mindfulness and coaching are combined to give the best outcomes. A mindful person lives and feels the present moment letting go of past traumas and anxiety about the future. Within this style, the client learns to establish healthy and clear goals for the future and go onwards achievement them; however, not forget that they live right now and the process as well.  


When a client comes with the quandaries such as too much focus and energy spend on events that are in the past or overthinking the future, then the first thing coach needs to help the client to deal with is that quandary. The coach has to implement various strategies to help the client to become more mindful. 

How to choose your coaching style?

If you want to be a good coach, you should be able to listen to clients’ problems in order to get to the root of them. Only then will you be able to identify and implement the best style for an individual that will assist them throughout their self-growth journey.  

Make sure to analyze the client, talk to them and get to know them better before deicing on the style and strategy of further work. Plus, it is also vital to consider with what goal they have come to you and what time limitation they have.  

You can make a questionary that clients can fill out before registering for the coaching session and include questions such as: 

  • What are your goals?
  • Why did you choose this training program?
  • What are your expectations? 

These questions will give you a more thorough understanding of why they are there and how is better to work with them. 


Building organization as a coach

Will you start coaching online?

Coaching is efficient, individual-centric, and extremely popular nowadays in the e-learning and self-development industries. So, I will recommend that you stop hesitating, grab your laptop and start your coaching business immediately. 


One of the platforms that will allow you to set up a full-featured website quickly is - Uteach. Uteach is the first platform in the market of e-learning that offers an opportunity for end-to-end live sessions, visual drag & drop website building tools, and everything for good SEO optimization. You can even have your blog on the website to drive higher organic traffic.  

So, if you want to start your own growth right now, this is your sign! 

Uteach with you all the way towards success.


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