Directive coaching: Structuring with an objective

  • Erik de Haan
  • Yvonne Burger


The most basic and straightforward coaching approach is undoubtedly the directive approach, in which the coach keeps a grip on the conversations and puts the coachee on a leash, so to speak, providing encouragement and helping him or her resolve their issues.’ This book does not describe the most directive methods, which simply involve the coach answering the coachee’s questions and explaining how to tackle the issues arising. These sorts of directive technique are not examined more closely because we believe that coaching always focuses on helping the coachee to find his or her own
  1. 1.

    In fact, the directive approach has the longest history of all, because an age-old tradition of restraint, disciplining conversations and hypnosis of psychiatric patients is entirely in keeping with this approach. For an introduction to the field of modern directive therapeutic techniques, see Hawton et al. (1989). Otherwise, the description ‘cognitive and behavioural’ is a more common description, at least in psychotherapy, than ‘directive’. This also highlights the distinction with the systemic and paradoxical approaches (see Chapter 9), which are also directive. We retain the word ‘directive’, nevertheless, because it appears more frequently in the coaching literature.

answers (see also the definitions in Chapter 1). We do discuss a number of extreme directive methods in Chapter 9, in which the coachee does receive answers to his or her questions, albeit highly absurd ones. These are given with a completely different aim in mind than that of providing a solution — namely, that of mobilising the coachee’s own problem-solving abilities.


Homework Assignment Coaching Session Sample Question Appreciative Inquiry Internal Obstacle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Erik de Haan and Yvonne Burger 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik de Haan
  • Yvonne Burger

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations