A Coaching Experiment


I’ve come to an interesting conclusion that relates to you, but it’s only a temporary conclusion. I can’t call it a definite conclusion until I test it out with as many people as possible – which I plan on doing between September and December. So here’s the temporary conclusion and an invitation to take part in the experiment:

Temporary conclusion (I guess some people might call this a hypothesis): Depending on where you are at in your life and career, the type of coaching you will most benefit from, falls under one of two categories, Brief Coaching or Expansive Coaching; the Solution Focused approach to coaching is perfect, on its own, for Brief Coaching, whereas a combination of Solution Focused Coaching with Creative Problem Solving tools and techniques is best suited for Expansive Coaching.

What’s the difference between Brief and Expansive Coaching?

1. Brief Coaching: This is the type of coaching that you might access when you are under immediate stress. When something is not working out, or you are not sure how to proceed, or what the next best move might be. It is sometimes called Executive Coaching or Leadership Coaching – because those are the people who often get this sort of service paid for by their employers. But it’s really something that we can all benefit from in times of stress, when it’s hard to think clearly, when there are too many complexities involved or when we want to act with the end in mind and with integrity to our values. Brief Coaching is called Brief because it can make a real difference in just one or two sessions. It can tackle all areas in which you have decisions to make: relationships, career, parenting, financial goals, community involvement, etc.

2. Expansive Coaching: This is the type of coaching that you might want if you wish to tackle a more persistent problem or pattern or you want to create some big changes in your life. Some people call this Career Coaching or Life Coaching. The focus is often on creating a better life for yourself, finding work/life balance, living at your full potential or changing the path that you have fallen into. Like Brief Coaching, it can tackle all areas of life: relationships, career, parenting, health (nutrition & fitness*), financial goals, community involvement, etc. The difference is that there’s a bigger gap between your “preferred future” and your “current reality” and bridging that gap is likely to require more than one or two coaching sessions.

*Nutrition or Fitness Coaching: This is extremely helpful when you want to make a long-lasting lifestyle change in order to prioritize your health, vitality and longevity. It is a sub-category of “Expansive Coaching” except there’s a lot of knowledge transfer that takes place in this type of coaching. Whereas in other types of coaching you are considered the expert on your own life, and the coach is more like your thinking and planning guide. In this case, you are the expert on your own habits. The coach’s role is to share knowledge and expertise and help you pivot your habits so that you can reach optimal health.


Every week between September and December, I am going to be doing Brief coaching sessions with students at the University of Toronto (as part of a project with the Canadian Centre for Brief Coaching). I will also free up some time to offer both Brief Coaching and Expansive coaching to anyone who wants to take part in this experiment outside of the University – that’s where you come in. It won’t be entirely free (cause I still have to make a living) but you will get a 50% discount for every one-on-one coaching session you attend between September and December. No commitment to any fixed number of sessions. You can choose to get one session or end up getting five, depending on what you decide is most valuable to you. To learn more about our coaching services or to book your first session, visit this page: https://www.neole.ca/coaching-service/ or email [email protected]

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