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Coach-model: Outcome Model [Step By Step Explanation]

Coach-model: Outcome Model [Step By Step Explanation]

The coach model, or the outcome model (Desired Situation, Current Situation, Obstacles and Sources), is a complete tool for the intake phase of coaching. You immediately get a clear picture of the client’s current and desired situation, including options, obstacles and goals. At the same time, this is not ‘just’ an intake model, but a fully-fledged coach model. Here you can read all the steps of this model.

Sources used: my teachers from Vidarte

Contents of this page:

This model is an intake model and it also serves as a full-fledged coaching session

Every process with a client starts with an intake interview. Among other things, you need to know what the problem is and what the goal is, because then you know exactly what to do to tackle the problem.

The great thing about the outcome model is that it already releases so much in the client, provides so many insights and reframes many things that it can be seen as a full coaching session on its own.

The Coach model / Outcome Model in short

  1. Goal: You briefly ask what the goal is: the desired situation.
  2. Current situation / Reality: You start by questioning the current situation . “Tell me about yourself …” You shut your mouth and listen.
  3. Desired situation / Goal: Then you ask extensively the goal (desired situation)  . ‘Where do you want to go?’ This must be well thought out and crystal clear.
  4. Obstacles: You investigate the possible obstacles .
  5. Sources / Options: You determine which tools the client has to overcome the obstacles.
  6. Wrap-up: You summarize what you have just discussed and you make an action plan  with at least the first and the last step.

As you can see, this model contains all the ingredients for drawing up a good coaching plan. Now let’s go into detail on how you perform each step, including examples …

I have had the opportunity to practice extensively to get started with the Outcome Model. I learned this from Peter Dalmeijer and his trainers. You can read more about this method in his book.

The Coach model / Outcome Model worked out in detail …

Above was the model in brief. Now is the time to really dive deep! The step-by-step plan below contains all the components that you can use with the Outcome Model. You can also do this for yourself by going through all the dots for yourself.

Now let’s take a detailed look at how this model is worked out:

Step 0 – Never just start with a model: first make rapport with the client

Welcome the client while building some rapport with the client first. Then you will soon be able to give coaching much more easily. Get to know the other. Enter his / her frame of reference.

  • “Glad you’re here.”
  • “How are you?”
  • “How do you feel?”
  • “Tell me about yourself.”
  • “What kind of coach do you want me to be for you?”
  • “What do you expect from the coaching?”
  • “What’s the aspect you look forward to most when working with a coach? What’s the scariest aspect?”
  • Use any other report building techniques.

Step 1 – Asking what the goal is without using any models

With the questions below you can let the client empty. At some point, make sure that you isolate the ‘problem’: you cannot tackle everything in a coaching process. You don’t have to think about clarifying the goal in detail or making it SMART. That will come later. Just let the client tell you and don’t interrupt.

  • Why are you here? Why even more? Why even more?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What do you want to work on with a coach? What specific goals?
  • What do you need most from me today? What do you want to bring with you at the end of this session?
  • “What do you want to solve today  ?” instead of “What’s your problem?” The latter implies that it is stuck and will not be resolved.
  • How can I help you make your experience a little better today? (Instead of: problem solving).
  • Is there something that you are dissatisfied with that you want to improve, or is there something that you are already very strong at that you want to strengthen?
  • What would make you jump in the air as soon as you finished it {this week}? What, if you started working  on it right now , would  really put  a smile on your face? Imagine that you have now had that ideal {week}: what three things have you completed?
  • What is the biggest change you want to make today?
  • What do you really, really, really really want? What do you secretly long for? If you dared to put it out loud?
  • What inspires you and turns you on? What do you like? Make a list.
  • At this point you can possibly apply the Disney model to form a (realistic) start of the end point.

Step 2 – Lay out a timeline (optional)

This is an optional step. The positions ‘current situation’ and ‘desired situation’ – which we will deal with in the following steps – imply a kind of timeline. You can make this more explicit by adding a timeline.

  1. Have the client place their timeline on the floor with a string in the room where you are. How is it going? Walk it from birth to the present to the end. Usually this is av shape to the left to remember and then to the right to generate.
  2. Have him put the present, past and future on the timeline with cards. Also choose a meta position, a place where you can observe the timeline neutrally.
  3. Think about something neutral that you do regularly in a week.
  4. Imagine you are doing that activity now. What do you see, hear and feel?
  5. Walk back through the timeline to find out where yesterday is on your timeline. Picture yourself doing the neutral activity yesterday. What do you see, hear and feel?
  6. Do the same with a week, a month, a year and 10 years in the past. Make a mark at each point.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6, but with the future.
  8. Go to the meta position, observe the timeline and together name what you notice. So always step off the timeline and go to the meta position when you dissociate.
    What are the distances between the tickets?
    Was the client on the timeline or next to it?
    Standing next to it means that you are rational and can therefore separate emotions from events. These people are aware of the value of time, they are goal-oriented, they want to keep agreements, they can plan well, and they find it difficult to live in the now.
    Being in it means that the person is creative, can multitask well, experience emotions intensively and live in the now.

Step 3 – Explain the structure of the model

“This is what we are going to do. In a moment we will go through four points: the current situation, the desired situation, the obstacles and the resources. ”

Step 4 – ‘Permissive’ elements

Give the client a sense of choice and freedom by using some permissive elements while preparing the coach model.

  • Am I on your good side? Do you prefer me to be on your left or right?
  • Which do you prefer: shall we write the 4 dots on cards to walk them one by one on the timeline or will we have a regular conversation?
  • Do you want to put down the tickets yourself?
    – Place the unwanted situation somewhere in the past. Because you do not place this in the now, you can already install the idea that the unwanted / current situation and you are not (anymore) connected to each other. When it concerns an already good situation that the client just wants to make even better, you can put it in the present.
    – Place the desired situation in the future at the time when you want to achieve the goal.
    – Place the obstacles on one side outside the timeline.
    – Place the resources somewhere on the other side outside the timeline.

Step 5 – Go through the four points of the model:

These are the four points of the model:

  • Current situation
  • Desired situation
  • Obstacles / Obstacles
  • Resources

We are now going to cover them in detail in the following sections!

Point 1 – Current situation (CS)

Reasons to explore this

  • It is good to realize that you don’t have to start from scratch with your goal. You are often already halfway or at 70%. It is important to know where you are now. Where are you already? Because climbing a mountain from the start is a lot of work, but you are probably at the very beginning! You are often even over half. Know where you stand. That’s really important. That is why the floor plans also have the dot: ‘Here you are now.’
  • Before setting a goal or helping a client with a goal, it is important to feel the need. Would you cooperate better if a gun was held to your head or if you were unaware of the consequences of inaction? The questions below will help you to feel the consequences, that gun to your head.
  • In addition, the following questions are helpful when the client does not yet know or denies that the problem exists.
  • You can’t just solve a problem without a diagnosis.
  • Often someone just wants to talk about his problem: making a report. So pace the problem first before you can find or give a solution. That’s what this step is all about.

Find out

  • What is the current situation that you want to tackle with the goal? What are you satisfied / dissatisfied with?
  • What’s not perfect yet?
  • Where are you now?
  • What is happening in the current situation?
  • What’s up now?

First, keep a dissociated look at the current situation

When you stand in a doorway and look at yourself, what do you see yourself doing, what do you hear you say, what do you see in her posture?

Experience the current situation now associated

What do you feel? Which feeling goes with that? How strong is that feeling on a scale of 1 to 10?

Explore further

By asking the questions below, you further explore the current situation. In addition, with these questions you also try to find out whether the client is on the cause or effect side ( proactive or reactive ). If the client is on the effect side, find out what the authority or cause is in that situation.

Below are the questions to explore the current situation:

  • How long has this undesirable situation been going on? When did you choose to create this situation?
  • What happened the first time you had this? What emotions were present then?
  • What events contributed to the problem situation? What events have happened since that first time? What emotions were present then? In each of these events, what is the relationship between the event and your current situation in life? ”Remember that the content of these memories often serve as metaphors for what is going on in the client’s life. To this end, you can ask the following question: “What does that mean (to you)?” It’s important that you don’t interpret the reminder for the client – that makes it your metaphor instead of the client’s metaphor.
  • What have you already done about it?
  • What do you think of the current situation?
  • How do you know you have this problem? Then how do you solve the problem? Use the TOTE model  to find out the client’s strategy. How does he / she arrive at the diagnosis?
  • Make it specific: what do you experience, what happens, what do you see, what do you hear, what do you feel?
  • How are you doing the current situation? ( Tote Analysis)  Keep asking questions until you know how  the client constructs the problem. This means you don’t have to mind reading or guessing. Listen carefully and write down everything.
  • “How do you know you have {eg low self-confidence}?” {“I’m talking negatively to myself.”} The insight you can already take from this is that you can tackle that self-confidence with positive self-talk.
  • The cause: what is the recipe for ending up in such a situation?
  • What is the trigger that tells you it is time to exhibit this behavior in the current situation?
  • What’s the worst example?
  • What are the benefits of this current situation?
  • What do you achieve with this behavior?
  • What do you avoid with this behavior?
  • How does this behavior hinder you? How does it limit you?
  • Where does it hurt?
  • Why do you think you have this problem?
  • (!) What is the positive intention? Is there any reason to have this problem? Ask your subconscious.
  • What’s good about the problem?
  • Why do you have it / do you think you have that unwanted situation?
  • What would happen if you changed this behavior?
  • What are you convinced of if you continue this behavior?
  • What are you convinced of if you change this behavior?
  • What happens if it is not resolved, what will it cost you? What is it already costing you? What happens if it is not resolved in 10/20 years?
  • Why haven’t you taken action in the past?
  • In what context does this happen? So where, when and with whom?
  • How do you know you have this problem?
  • How do you know it’s a problem?
  • I know there are many difficulties and sad things in this world, but what if we lived in a perfect world where we could define our own reality: How did you decide to {problem}?
  • When did you decide it’s a problem? How did you decide this is a problem? When did you decide to have this situation created? Why? Ask this question to your subconscious.
  • Determine cause & effect: “When did you choose to have these symptoms?” “What was the positive intention of this, so what could you gain from it?”
  • When not to solve the problem in the current situation? What do you decide then?
  • How is this different from how you were before? How do you know that now?
  • What other changes would you like to make?
  • Tell me about your parents, brothers, sisters etc. What is the relationship between these people and your current situation?
  • Tell me about your childhood in relation to this current situation.
  • Use metamodel questions to explore the in-depth structure of the current situation / problem.

Identify the highest problem that creates the visible problems in the current situation

The problem is never the problem.

In addition, it is your task as a coach, while exploring the current situation, to recognize what examples are (20 ‘problems’) of a pattern (3 or more of the same kind of ‘problems’) that reflects the overarching core problem . What’s the big picture? Use the following questions to help you with this:

  • What should you do that you don’t really want to do?
  • What don’t you want to do what you should actually do?
  • What part of this problem can you not talk to anyone about?
  • What is the relationship between this problem and the problems you have in the other areas of your life? If you solve the problems in other areas, will the problem in this area also be solved?

Once you have identified the core problem, use the following  NIVEA tip to give your interpretation of what you think is the core problem back to the client:

‘I have an intuition, I have certain skills and I know a lot, but if it doesn’t apply to you, feel free to dismiss it: {Post your analysis of what the core problem could be}.

Observe / calibrate

  • I can see / hear your {observable behavior}.
  • What does that mean?

Make sure the client is now in a neutral state. For example, shake it loose.

Point 2 – Desired situation (DS)

At this point you are going to question the goal. The desired situation is the moment after the goal has been reached. When questioning the desired situation, use the ‘wonder question’, or the ‘what if framework’. It might be smarter to incorporate the ‘realistic’ element of a SMART goal into this as well. In that case, you can replace the magic wand wonder question with, ” If you had a Realistic wand, where would you like to be in a year?”

By the way, understand that it can be a scary process for the client to get to the desired situation, because the client has to sacrifice, let go or dare: it is out of the comfort zone. If necessary, reframe that: you have to hope that you feel uncomfortable. Confusion means you are learning. You can be grateful for that.

First, keep a dissociated look at the desired situation

Then, dissociated, you ask the following:

  • Where do you want to go, what do you want to achieve?
  • You see the desired situation in front of you. What is happening?
  • What do you see, hear and feel?
  • When you stand in a doorway and look at yourself, what do you see yourself doing, what do you hear you say, what do you see in her posture?

Now associate in the desired situation

Now that we are in the desired situation, we are doing an ‘as if’: we pretend that we are now in the future when the goal has been achieved.

  • Step to the desired situation! Imagine you are in the future at the time the goal is reached.
  • What do, see, hear, feel etc.?
  • What do you feel? What feeling goes with that?
  • Amplify the images, sounds and feelings, make them more brilliant.

Have the client dissociate and observe / calibrate

  • I can see / hear your {observable behavior, eg I hear high tones}. What does that mean?
  • See the differences and report the changes to the client.

Set the SMART target with the client

Setting goals is very important in an intake interview / the coach model. Use the model for SMART goals at this point .  You can also apply the method of the law of attraction to the desired situation.

Discover the contrasts between CS and DS for extra necessity and motivation (pain-pleasure principle)

Now is the time to get started with the pain-pleasure principle (click here for steps)  to increase the desire and need for this purpose. Perhaps you then realize that you need to change and the goal must get! However, the strongest pain is the pain within: knowing that you have “failed” for your own standards of your own life. Respond to that!

Return to a neutral meta position in the now. We are now going to set a goal (see next step).

Point 3 – Obstacles (OB)

Find out

  • It’s not that far yet, why is that?
  • How come you’re not there yet?
  • What stops you? What stops you from taking action?
  • What obstacles are there?
  • Which blockages or resistances do you experience?
  • What do you like your favorite way to achieve the goal, and sabotage yourself?
  • What do you want me not to ask you?
  • What have you not yet admitted out loud?
  • What is the most challenging aspect for you?
  • What triggers your behavior in the current situation? What makes you continue to display this behavior?
  • What is the problem in one word?
  • What are your limiting / limiting thoughts?
  • What is your biggest fear?
  • What are you taking pleasure in at this point in your life that keeps you from your goal?
  • Which three things that do not contribute to yourself, do you regularly do?
  • Detect more obstacles by using the 7 O’s they can come from: ambiguity, incorrect content, unfortunate experiences, false comparisons, conflicts between them, environmental factors and beliefs.
  • Bonnie Ware, a palliative nurse from the UK has asked several dying patients what their top 5 regrets are. This top 5 looks like this:
    1. I wish I had the courage to live my life according to my own beliefs. instead of how others think it should be.
    2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
    3. I wish I had expressed my feelings better.
    4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends more.
    5. I wish I had let myself be happier.
    What do you think your top 5 will look like?
  • Often the obstacles are limiting beliefs. Use the questions in the accompanying article to identify limiting beliefs.

Delve into it

By asking the following questions, you also try to find out whether the client is on the cause or effect side ( proactive or reactive ). If the client is on the effect side, find out what the authority or cause is in that situation.

  • What is the positive intention?
  • What’s good about the problem?
  • What do you achieve with it (ecology)?
  • What do you avoid with it?
  • What makes you continue to display this behavior or belief?
  • What is the trigger / stimulus of the obstacle? So how do you know you have this problem? What do you see or hear just before the problem starts?
  • How does it hinder you?
  • Are you sure this belief is true? Can you absolutely know that this is true? Are you 100% sure?
  • Where, when and how did you learn this belief? Where does this belief come from? What’s it like to know it’s from there?
  • Whose belief is it?
  • What’s the worst that could happen?
  • What happens if you believe that thought and if you stick to it? How do you react? What is happening?
  • What are you convinced of if you continue this belief / behavior?
  • What reason do you have for sticking to this?
  • Are they facts or thoughts?
  • What can I learn from this?
  • Who would you be without that thought?
  • How would you feel without that thought?
  • What would you be able to do if this limiting thought or fear no longer affected you?
  • What will it cost you now? What has it cost you so far?
  • What happens if you just don’t allow that anymore?
  • What are you willing to change? What are you not willing to change?
  • What do you want to change about this behavior? What would happen then?
  • Track down all presuppositions (implications) in the sentence the client says.
  • Your hair, does that belong to you? Yes. But not your beliefs. We are attached to them, and they have a positive intention, but we extend them (out of convenience) throughout our lives. Thoughts aren’t necessarily real either. Now nothing is happening with regard to what you are convinced about.
  1. Think of a belief you want to have, for example: I deserve success!
  2. Think of a belief that is absolutely true for you, for example: the sun rises in the morning.
  3. Trace the submodalities of this absolutely true belief.
  4. Place the desired belief in exactly the same submodalities as that of the absolutely true belief.
    Search: Change Limiting Belief.
    This is ‘mapping across.’
  • Whatever your limiting belief is, close your eyes and think about it now. I join you. I guarantee you: everyone has it, all of us. Imagine that story taking you down like a kilo of bricks. And I want you to feel for yourself for a moment about something you’ve never thought about: that you created it. it is not real, it has served you for a very small amount, and you are now ready to release it. And I want you to forgive yourself for being so hard on yourself.
    I want you to open your eyes, and I want you to imagine that just in front of you on the table is a button. And all you have to do is push that button, and a trapdoor opens beneath you, And all those bad heavy awful thoughts are flushed through it. What color is the button? You just flush that shit out of you once and for all. You can’t touch him yet. I’m going to count down from 3 and at 1 you are going to press it, scream your best scream you have. This is not an activity you are going to take it out.
    How did that feel? Jaa didn’t that feel right? Shake off your shoes last bit and scream.

Point 4 – Tools / Resources (Rs)

Find out

  • What would be the solution?
  • What do you need?
  • What could you do?
  • What are you willing to do to get it the way you want it?
  • Describe a moment when you felt in particular {motivated}.
  • Describe moments when you have overcome major challenges in your life.
  • What are you most proud of in your life?
  • What do you like about yourself?
  • What are you most complimented on?
  • What are you willing to stop doing to get it the way you want it to be?
  • How can we make that process fun (how can we enjoy it) while doing whatever it takes to get it the way you want it?
  • What drives you? (Often these are values ​​and goals!)
  • What resources are there, inside you and outside you?
  • What are your three strongest qualities / powers?
  • What are you so excited about regarding this goal that you are really looking forward to it?
  • Which person who has already achieved this goal can you model ?
  • Which people are in your network who have already achieved your goal for a while and who you know can help you with this?
  • How can you get the information you need?
  • What resources can you still learn?
  • What steps can you take?
  • What do you have to believe in to succeed?
  • What are your promoting / helping beliefs? That can be anything, something that comes from yourself.
  • What positive qualities, sources, (unusual) skills, moods or solutions do you already have?
  • What aids can you pretend to have?
  • What additional resources that you don’t have yet do you need to help you reach your goal?
  • “What’s so great about this problem?”
  • “How can we use what’s so great about this problem?”
  • What is the easiest way to still achieve your goal?
  • How important is this really to you?

Go into it

  • How can we use those resources?
  • You can possibly go through the logical levels with the resources as the subject.

Step 6 – Summarizing the conversation in we form

  • We just {summarize what was discussed and done}.
  • Go to the desired situation. Across the timeline associated, look back to the path you have traveled from the present to reach that goal and let your unconscious record what it needs to know to reach the goal. Literally look at the timeline and see all the obstacles being overcome and see everything unfolded in a way that puts you here now. What obstacles have you overcome? How did you do that? See them on the timeline.

Step 7 – Install the goal on the timeline

Even though we’ve laid out a physical timeline on the ground, we’re going to lock the goal into the timeline with our eyes closed. We do this with a technique from Time Line Therapy ®.

  1. Make a representation (this is a visualization) of the last step you take, after which you know: the goal has now been achieved! It is an associated image (you still have time to associate the client up to and including step 3) and what is especially important: the ‘security framework’. That means it is just as certain as anything that has already happened in the past.
    It is now {future date}. I, {name}, am / have successfully reached the goal.
    I see…
    I feel…
    I hear…
  2. Explore this representation further: ask, for example, what is happening in this representation.
  3. Make the image extra attractive. This is possible with submodalities  (stronger, brighter …). Especially the kinesthetic submodalities are important, so that it becomes a ‘real’ feeling.
  4. Dissociate, so step out of the picture (‘see your own body’).
  5. Grab the image, hover above your timeline above the now and breathe extra (life force) energy (mana) (chi) into the internal representation, with four deep breaths.
  6. Float with it into the future. Let go of the internal representation and let it descend into the timeline. Place the image in the timeline and click it.
  7. Look back across the timeline to the path you traveled to reach that goal. What obstacles have you overcome? How did you do that? What concrete steps have you taken? See them on the timeline, and see how all of these events re-evaluate themselves to support the goal and make it come true. The subconscious knows all the details!
  8. Orient yourself to the now.

You are already making the goal known to your body – your RAS.

Step 8 – Conclude with an assumption that the client is taking away something

  • What did you learn?
  • What do you take from here?
  • What has changed?
  • What’s different now?
  • What else? (Continue to ask)
  • What has it brought you?
  • Tell me three  other ways to {need}?

During the conversation, consider the following techniques

Use the coaching questions

Use the coaching questions to:

  • Mapping the structure of the subjective experience while associating in the desired and current situation.
  • Get higher in the logical levels.  You can also go through the logical levels with the current and desired situation!
  • Switch between observation positions.

Use language to reassure the client

  • I’ll stay with you, it’s OK

Use all other techniques for coaches

Among other things:

You have finished the coach model – But what comes next?


Apply seeding and priming several times during the call to prepare the client’s frame of reference for the desired outcome.

A (whole series of) intervention(s)!

You can now (probably in another appointment) proceed to an intervention (tip: it might be a nice idea to at least perform a mapping across to the current situation and the desired situation).

Tad James recommends doing all  TLT techniques first, to cover everything that came up in the intake interview. He then recommends doing a Parts Integration anyway, asking the client’s values ​​and performing an intervention with values. Finally, he recommends placing the goal in the timeline again after all interventions have been completed.

Ecology check

During (or before) doing the intervention, you can do an ecology check. You do this by checking whether the new options are OK for other areas and people in the client’s life.

In any case, also ask the subconscious whether it is OK to work on this theme. The subconscious is also part of you, and therefore part of the ecology. “Is there any reason it wouldn’t be okay for the changes to the intervention just made to take effect in the future?” For every objection that still arises, you can do a visual squash .

Give homework to the client

As you can read in the article with coaching tips , it is important to give the client homework. Change takes place in the actual execution. For example, you could take the following lines of thinking:

  • What activities could you stop doing?
  • What activities could you cut down on?
  • Which activities could you do more?
  • What could you continue with?
  • What activities could you start doing?
  • What could you do in the next 7 days to get closer to your goal?
  • What could you do now to take the first step and actually engage in execution?
  • Which action is the most important, so which action will bring you closer to your goal the fastest?
  • How can you organize your life in such a way that it facilitates this action?
  • What (monetary) consideration will you provide if you do not keep your agreements?

This was the complete coach model, or outcome model. This is taught in NLP Practitioner Courses , where this is called the Outcome Model, and in Coaching Courses, where it is called the GROW Model. Let us know how you use this model in the comments!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!