The OSCAR coaching model (© Worthlearning 2002) builds on the highly effective GROW model and is quite simply a framework on which to hang your coaching questions. It provides you with a simple structure that helps to keep the coaching process focused, structured and time effective.
Outcome (your destination)
- What is your long term outcome?
- What would success look like?
- What would you like to achieve from today’s session?
(This is where you clarify the outcomes around any given situation).
People with well-formed outcomes achieve much more than those without clear outcomes. Successful coaching sessions typically involve helping the coachee to develop a deeper understanding of the outcome they want. Our experience has shown that people are not used to thinking in terms of outcomes and therefore the initial outcome they present at the session has not got the clarity needed to become desirable and motivational. It is the skillful questioning of the coach that enables the coachee to develop a “well formed outcome”.
Situation (your starting point)
- What is the current situation?
- What’s actually happening?
- Describe the current situation
(This is where you get clarity around where you are right now).
Once the coachee has clarified and tightly defined their outcome the next step in the process is to clarify the current situation. In our experience most coaches, and managers as coaches in particular, spend too much time focusing on the current situation, thus allowing the coachee to get bogged down in the problem rather than focus on the outcome.
Choices and Consequences (your route options)
- What choices do you have?
- What options can you choose from?
- What are the consequences of each choice?
- Which choices have the best consequences?
(This is where you increase awareness about the consequences of each choice).
By using OSCAR the coach/manager encourages the team member to generate a number of options to choose from. The aim is to get the coachee to generate at least three choices. Having multiple choices raises awareness in the coachee that they do have control of their decision making i.e. the coachee is no longer able to say “I don’t have a choice” or “It’s all out of my control” or even, “I have to do this or that”. Using OSCAR enables the coach to put the control firmly back into the hands of the coachee.
Action (your detailed plan)
(This is where you take responsibility for your own action plan).
Here the coach helps the coachee to formulate the:
- Specific actions they will take.
- When they will take those actions.
- On a scale of one to ten how willing they are to take them.
- Ongoing process of review.
It is vital that the coachee takes full responsibility for the actions to be taken. All of the actions must be time framed, measurable and reviewable.
Review (making sure you are on track)
- What steps will you take to review your progress?
- When are we going to get together to review progress?
- Are the actions being taken?
- Are the actions moving you towards your outcome?
(This is where you continually check that you are on course).
When the coach and coachee agree to review the action plan, a subtle pressure is left with the coachee that the choice not to take the actions agreed is no longer an attractive choice. It is vital that the manager as coach ensures these reviews are held – otherwise a strong message is given out that the actions agreed are optional.
Remember.. Clarity is Power!!