Coaching models explored: CIGAR

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Tim Hawkes kicks off his series looking at the many coaching models out there by examining the CIGAR model.

Coaching Models

When you embark on the development of a coaching culture for your business, it’s important that you have a good toolkit at your disposal.

Over the coming months, we will be taking an objective look at some of the many coaching models that have been developed, and are in use, throughout the coaching world. 

We did not develop these models, and we don’t advocate one over another. All we are doing is offering you a quick overview of something that may be useful as you move towards coaching and a coaching culture.

The CIGAR model  (originated from the Full Potential Group)

C = Current reality

I = Ideal

G = Gaps

A = Action

R = Review

The current reality is pretty self-explanatory: Where are you now, and what is your situation? This is generally used to identify an area of concern, such as “I’m being overlooked for promotion”; “I feel pressured and the stress is making me ill”.

The ideal is a statement of what would constitute a good outcome for the coaching intervention in respect of the current reality; so in the case of the person being overlooked for promotion, the ideal might be: “I have been promoted, and am now enjoying my new role and the responsibilities it brings with it”; or in the case of the second example it might be something like: “I enjoy going to work. I’m feeling well and happy, and look forward to each day.”

Gaps are like airlocks: they stop things from happening. So identifying the gap that exists between the current situation and the ideal situation will help to eliminate that gap. Using the same two examples, in case one, the gap might be: “Whenever I get an interview for a position, I feel as though I fail to get my message across properly. They don’t see the real me”. In the second example, it might be something like “It feels as though every time I sit down to do something at my desk, I’m being watched and criticised. My clothes, my hair…I feel like I’m only there so others can have a laugh at my expense.”

Action is simply deciding to do something about the situation, establishing what that action might be and committing to undertake it. In our first example, the action might be to seek out and undertake training or personal development to enhance communication skills, thereby improving the chances of making a good impression at the interview stage, while in example two, an appropriate course might be to approach someone in HR to discuss bullying or to confront the situation directly.

The review stage, which comes after suitable action has been taken, looks at the situation in terms of results, so perhaps our first example might have a review phase that sounds like: “After I had the training, and I had rewritten my CV to more accurately reflect my abilities, I did well in the next interview, and even though I didn’t get the job, I’m satisfied that I’m now on the radar, and I’ll get the promotion soon.” Case two might review their situation as: “I decided to speak directly to the person who I saw as being the ringleader in the office. I told her that she was making me unwell, and said that unless she stopped talking about me behind my back, I would have to take up the matter with our line manager. She apologised and said she hadn’t meant any harm. Things are a lot better now."

See also: Coaching models explored: Introduction

Tim Hawkes is managing director of Unlimited Potential.

About Tim Hawkes

About Tim Hawkes

World Leader in Developing organisational coaching cultures

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