The 5 Components of the OSKAR Coaching Model (And How to Use Them)

oskar coaching model

Are you familiar with various coaching models, such as the GROW model?

If so, you may have heard of the OSKAR coaching model. But have you ever considered using this model in your own coaching business?

The OSKAR coaching model is a solution-focused approach that can revolutionize how you guide your clients toward their goals.

This blog post will provide a comprehensive examination of this coaching model, so you can decide if it’s right for your coaching sessions (or not).

Keep reading to find out:

  • What the OSKAR coaching model is
  • The benefits of the OSKAR coaching model
  • When to use the OSKAR coaching model

What is the OSKAR Coaching Model?

The OSKAR coaching model is a popular model because it’s simple to understand and use! It’s an effective way to help people achieve their goals in a structured way, just like other coaching models.

Used in a variety of settings, including business, education, and healthcare, it provides solutions rather than problems. It’s a positive framework for clients to assess their current situation and set goals for future growth. 

OSKAR stands for:

  • O – Outcome
  • S – Scaling
  • K – Know-how
  • A – Affirm & Action
  • R – Review

Organizational theorists and authors Mark McKergow and Paul Z. Jackson invented this coaching model in the early 2000s. 

They first published it in their book, “The Solutions Focus: Making Coaching and Change Simple” in 2002.

Components of the OSKAR coaching model

The OSKAR model believes people have the resources and abilities to solve their problems. In this context, the coach’s role is to help the client identify and use those resources!

Furthermore, it’s also flexible and can be adapted to the client’s individual needs. The coach and the client may revisit any of the stages as needed.

So, just like life, it’s not stuck in a linear path.

Let’s now define all five components of the OSKAR coaching model.

1. Outcome 

To identify the desired outcome, the coach and client work together using the SMART goal-setting technique – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

  • Specific. Be specific. What exactly do you want to achieve?
  • Measurable. Make it measurable. How will you know when you have reached your goal?
  • Achievable. Set achievable goals that are not too difficult or unrealistic.
  • Relevant. Make your goals relevant. Why is this goal important to you?
  • Time-bound. Set a deadline. This will keep you motivated and help you stay on track.

You can ask these questions to help your client figure out their goals:

  1. What are your goals for the future?
  2. What are you passionate about?
  3. What are your strengths and talents?
  4. What are your biggest challenges?

These open-ended questions encourage the client to think deeply about their goals and to share their hopes and dreams.

Of course, you should tailor the questions based on your coaching niche. For instance, because I coach small business owners with email marketing, I could ask the following questions:

  1. What specific business goals do you want to achieve with email marketing?
  2. What topics are you passionate enough about to write emails on?
  3. What strengths and talents could empower you to make your emails unique?
  4. What are your biggest challenges with email marketing?

2. Scaling

In this step, the coach asks the client to rate their current level of progress on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “not at all” and 10 being “completely.” 

This helps your client to visualize their progress and to identify what they need to do to move closer to their desired outcome.

These are the questions you could ask:

  1. What will it take for you to move from a 5 to a 6?
  2. What would you be doing differently if you were a 7?
  3. What are the signs that you are moving closer to your desired outcome?
  4. What are the challenges that are preventing you from moving closer to your desired outcome?

You should ask questions that help your client to assess their current level of performance and to identify what they need to do to improve.

3. Know-how

Here, the coach explores the client’s knowledge, skills, and resources that they can use to achieve their desired outcome. 

It helps the client to build confidence and to identify any gaps in their knowledge or skills.

Try these questions:

  1. What are you already doing well that you can build on?
  2. What are the gaps in your knowledge, skills, or resources?
  3. How can you fill these gaps?
  4. What resources are available to you to help you achieve your desired outcome?

Listening carefully to the client’s answers, you should ask follow-up questions and be supportive and encouraging, thus helping your client to stay focused on their goals.

For example, let’s say you’re coaching a client who says they can fill the gaps in their knowledge of emotional intelligence by reading some books. You could follow up with:

  1. Which books do you have in mind?
  2. How do you intend to integrate what you learn from books into your life?

4. Affirm + Action

The coach and client identify specific actions that the client can take to move closer to their desired outcome. Also, the coach affirms the client’s strengths and capabilities.

Questions you can ask include:

  1. What actions do you need to take to achieve your desired outcome?
  2. What are the first steps you will take?
  3. What is your timeline for achieving your desired outcome?
  4. How will you track your progress?

You can be specific with your client once they tell you their plan. For example, let’s say you’re helping your client improve their sleep, and they tell you they want to keep a sleep journal.

You can ask them:

  1. What time will you commit to tracking your progress in this journal?
  2. What will you include in your journal entries?
  3. How will you ensure consistency?

5. Review

After the four steps come the review process, the coach and client review the client’s progress at regular intervals, helping the client track their progress and make adjustments to their plan as needed.

You may ask these questions:

  1. What have you learned since our last coaching session?
  2. What progress have you made toward your desired outcome?
  3. How have you overcome the challenges?
  4. What are your next steps?

These questions can help the client to reflect on their progress and identify what they need to do to continue moving forward. 

How does it work?

To simply explain how the OSKAR coaching model works, here are some sample situations where it can be used.

1. A manager who is feeling overwhelmed at work 

The coach could help the manager to:

  • Identify their desired outcome (e.g., to feel more in control of their workload) 
  • Assess their current ability (e.g., they are feeling stressed and overworked) 
  • Explore their knowledge and skills (e.g., they are good at delegating tasks, but they need to learn how to say no) 

The coach and the client identify the specific actions that the manager could take to reduce their workload, such as delegating tasks, saying no to new projects, and taking some time for themselves.

2. A person who is struggling with anxiety

The coach could help the person to: 

  • Identify their desired outcome (e.g., to feel less anxious)
  • Assess their current ability (e.g., they are feeling anxious in social situations) 
  • Explore their knowledge and skills (e.g., they know some relaxation techniques, but they need to learn how to use them more effectively) 

The coach and the client could then identify specific actions to manage their anxiety, such as practicing relaxation techniques, gradually exposing themselves to anxiety-provoking situations, and seeking professional help if needed.

5 Benefits of Using the OSKAR Coaching Model

oskar coaching model

Let’s explore some additional benefits of this coaching model!

1. Focused on action-oriented solutions

Unlike some other models, OSKAR doesn’t just identify problems; it also helps create actionable steps toward resolving them. 

This encourages clients to take ownership of their progress, often leading to more meaningful change.

2. Promotes reflection 

By reflecting on actions taken and outcomes achieved, clients gain valuable insights into what works for them and what doesn’t – an essential aspect of personal growth. 

They learn how they respond in different scenarios and can adjust their strategies accordingly for better results in future endeavors.

And because the reflection is driven by the client, they’ll become better equipped to thrive once your role in their life is complete!

3. A tool for empowerment

The OSKAR model enables coaches to provide necessary assistance without taking over completely – thereby empowering clients rather than making them dependent on external help. 

Coaches using this method guide their clients toward self-discovery by asking thought-provoking questions instead of offering direct advice or solutions.

Although most coaching models have this approach, the OSKAR model is specifically designed to prompt clients to discover solutions by themselves.

4. Educational benefits

The ‘know-how’ is the key element in this model which emphasizes learning as part of the coaching process. 

It’s not about spoon-feeding information but encouraging exploration and understanding through conversation. 

This fosters curiosity among your clients while building up their knowledge base for achieving goals – whether professional objectives or personal aspirations.

5. Fostering accountability

Lastly, accountability is a crucial benefit of implementing the OSKAR coaching model. 

Clients with clear actions mapped out are more likely to follow through with these tasks because they know exactly what needs to be done. 

This sense of responsibility drives motivation levels upwards, resulting in greater commitment towards goal attainment.

When to Use the OSKAR Coaching Model

This model is particularly handy when clients struggle with goal setting or need help developing actionable steps toward their objectives. 

Here are some examples of when you might want to whip out this coaching approach.

Goal setting

If your client has a big, hairy, audacious goal but is clueless about tackling it, the OSKAR model can help them break it down into bite-sized chunks.

For example, if they’re an entry-level worker who wants to become a manager, it’s obvious that they’ll need to overcome several milestones before they can reach that goal!

By playing detective and supporting your client, you can guide them towards identifying smaller goals that contribute to their larger aim.

In the previous example, the entry-level employee would likely need to take on more responsibilities and build their skill set. 

Action planning

Once goals have been set, it’s time to get down to business and create an action plan. 

The Know-how and Action components of the OSKAR model provide a framework for generating these plans by encouraging clients to think about what they need to do and how they will accomplish it. 

Motivation boosting

Sometimes, a client needs a little kick in the pants to get their mojo back. 

The Review component of the OSKAR model encourages clients to take a step back and reflect on their progress so far. 

It often reignites their enthusiasm and drives to achieve their goals. It’s like a shot of espresso for the soul.

In addition, this coaching method is also a lifesaver during challenging times such as career transitions or personal crises where traditional methods may fall flat. 

So go ahead: embrace this comprehensive coaching technique, and watch your clients soar to new heights!

Build Your Coaching Brand With a Unique Approach Using the OSKAR Coaching Model

There’s nothing more fulfilling than being able to uplift or significantly impact other people’s lives.

With the OSKAR coaching model that offers a structured framework that focuses on solutions, you can empower every client to take action toward desired outcomes in a structured and empowering way.

Do you need help streamlining the admin side of your coaching business? 

Paperbell got you covered! With this all-in-one coaching platform, running a coaching business online has never been easier.

Grab your free account today!

oskar coaching model

By Charlene Boutin
Charlene is an email marketing and content strategy coach for small business owners and freelancers. Over the past 5 years, she has helped and coached 50+ small business owners to increase their traffic with blog content and grow their email subscribers.
July 31, 2023

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