Laser Coaching

When you decide to turn a question from a direct report into a coaching opportunity it’s time for some Laser Coaching.

Laser coaching sessions are short, to the point and get right to the heart of the matter. They focus on the blockage or opportunity to get the coachee moving ahead quickly. Laser coaching sessions can be 20 minutes or less. They are often called ‘Coaching in a Hurry’ or ‘Coaching on Demand’. They may be initiated by the Coachee asking a question or by the Coach making an observation. Either way, there is no time to prepare so I thought a couple of models might be helpful to guide you on your way.

On Demand

Your Coachee asks you a question. Ah, ha you think. I have an answer, however this is a good time to use my coaching skills. But time is tight – for you and/or for the Coachee. So the Full Monty GROW process may not be the best route to go. On the other hand it’s not an emergency situation so you don’t have to slip into command and control mode. You can step back, reflect and take a thorough but sharp and focussed approach to the question. Then you answer a question with a question. Example: “That’s an interesting point you raise. I’d like to take time to explore that with you. Do you have 10/15/20 minutes right now?” The trigger for this was a question. It’s now time for Laser Coaching. 

Observe & Respond

As part of your daily leadership work you observe opportunities for ad-hoc coaching. You decide to react to situations with your direct reports. You make a judgment these are opportunities that cannot wait until the next monthly one-on-one session. You act decisively. Based on what you observe, you translate the implicit needs and concerns of your direct reports into ad-hoc coaching interventions. You are there with them and you respond in the moment. Since this is a dynamic situation, you may lead into the session with specific feedback and a time check. Example: “I notice you are working on XYZ at the moment. Would you like some feedback on how I see this? Do you have 10/15/20 minutes right now to discuss this?” The trigger for this was your desire to give feedback on what you observed. It’s now time for Laser Coaching.

Laser Coaching 1







  1. Ask the Coachee to state the problem with examples and in objective terms (R);
  2. Ask the Coachee to describe their ideal outcome (G);
  3. What are the blocks to achieving the ideal outcome (coachee, other people & situation) (R);
  4. Brainstorm for ideas (O).

You can see this makes use of a short version of Goal (G), Reality (R) and Options (O) from the GROW model, but not in the order you might expect.

© Copyright acknowledged ‘The Tao of Coaching’ by Max Landsberg published by Profile Books.


Laser Coaching 2



  • Ask the Coachee “What’s happening NOW?” (R)
  • Ask the Coachee “What is your IDEAL?” (G)
  • Ask the Coachee “What are the BLOCKS/BARRIERS?” (R)
  • Ask the Coachee “What IDEAS do we have?” (Brainstorm). (O)

This also makes use of a short version of Goal (G), Reality (R) and Options (O) from the GROW model. I call this the NIBI model. I have been using it for years and cannot find its origin or if anyone claims copyright.

Author: Trevor Sherman

Trevor Sherman: Author, Blogger and Coach. What do I do? I develop leadership training material and personal learning modules. I am the owner and operator of this Blog. I coach senior executives for their development and role transition. I am based in Northamptonshire UK and operate globally - in person and through technology.

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