The SAIL Coaching Model


A Coaching Model By Ronda Harris, Blended Coach, NETHERLANDS

The SAIL A Coaching Model By Ronda HarrisThe SAIL Coaching Model

The SAIL coaching model is derived from the idea that charting a course through life – whether embarking anew or making a major change – begins with first seeking out a new horizon, analyzing current conditions to chart a path forward, implementing a plan to execute, and then launching (or setting in motion) the new endeavor or new way of being.

Ultimately, this coaching model is designed to help individuals navigate change in order to move forward in a new direction. As necessary, blended coaching may be incorporated to not only address the emotional aspects of the client’s journey but to also provide guidance and advice on specific areas related to their coaching goals.

Overview of the Model

I created this model to incorporate elements of change management (specifically, the Prosci© ADKAR model) and the Human Performance Technology (HPT) model. Change management deals with the phases through which individuals experience change – whether they initiate it or it is imposed upon them by another party or situation. Working through getting in touch with their own awareness about the need or reasons for change is the beginning stage. Then, focusing on what is meaningful to them about the change, helps to elicit a desire to embrace the changes that are needed to be adopted in order to move forward to achieve overarching goals. More precisely, “the ADKAR model has five elements that define the basic building blocks for successful change: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement…By its nature [it] is an individual change model” (Hiatt, J. 2006, p. 43).

Part of the journey involves coaching through emotions, addressing resistance, identifying resources, and recognizing when it is necessary to acquire knowledge or skills in order to facilitate the steps needed to adopt changes. The model is designed to enable the coach to utilize components of the HPT model to help clients analyze gaps between their current and future states (which may impact desire and resistance). This includes assessing the client’s work and home life, as well as their personal values; and analyzing environmental and individual factors to which gaps may be attributable. Ultimately, the approach is intended to work with clients to identify and then “eliminate or reduce conditions that may impede desirable outcomes” (Chyung, 2008, p.98).

Further, as the client works through addressing the gaps between their current and future states, striving to achieve desired outcomes, the coach will use a combination of powerful questioning, including those associated with Harless’ Front-End Analysis “Smart Questions” (Chyung, 2008, p. 124) to help define the appropriate interventions they may need to explore along the way in order to accomplish what they set out to do or change. As part of the overall coaching experience, and to the degree that the client wants to work, it is also recommended that the coach be able to continue working with the client to ensure that the changes are reinforced and that the client can later evaluate their own outcomes to determine that they have achieved what they desired.

The SAIL model is incorporated into the coaching practice by using powerful questions and providing space such that the clients can elevate their life experiences by working toward pursuing, self-actualizing, and ultimately achieving their goals. Whether they seek to find a new career or entrepreneurial success, or simply want to set out on a journey toward individual self-improvement, this thorough coaching approach is designed to impact people’s lives in a way that empowers them and helps them achieve great things.

Applying the SAIL Coaching Model

This model addresses people’s discomfort related to feeling inadequate, fearing success, having imposter syndrome, and being stuck and wanting to move forward or make changes in their lives, but not knowing how or where to begin. The methodologies upon which the model is derived help to guide the client to dissect underlying themes and analyze areas of their life that may be holding them back, and then move forward with the help of the coach, who is there to help the client reveal knowledge and raise awareness about themselves while building confidence and increasing motivation. Ultimately, through blended coaching, the client gains information, guidance, and the support they need to get unstuck emotionally and take action toward their goals. The model is further broken down as follows:

Seek: By definition, to seek means to attempt or desire to search for something or try to find or obtain something. This is a primal and essential part of the human condition. “In fact, neuroscience shows that the act of

seeking itself, rather than the goals we realize, is key to satisfaction, and… that of seven core instincts in the human brain (anger, fear, panic-grief, maternal care, pleasure/lust, play, and seeking), seeking is the most important” (Goodhill, O., 2016). Therefore, in order to self-actualize and attain satisfaction, it’s normal and healthy to seek to achieve more. Nonetheless, due to life’s challenges, this can be problematic for some, and thus coaching is an appropriate intervention.

Analyze: When one recognizes the need to seek out something and make changes to achieve that, it’s wise to first analyze the current and future desired states. Devoting ample time to this endeavor helps tap into one’s own intuition to make informed decisions and gain a better understanding of what’s required to forge a path forward and execute sound actions.

Implement: Taking action is vital to success. No plan, no matter how well thought out, can be effective without implementing the steps needed to carry it out. This part of the coaching model is useful for enabling the coach to “partner with the client to consider how to move forward, including resources, support or potential barriers” (ICF, 2021).

Launch: Part of the SAIL coaching journey is to ultimately launch. In this instance, by “launch” we mean to start or set in motion, the journey of embodying a new way of being and to reinforce and sustain the changes that have been adopted. This is the highest level of success that the coaching model strives to facilitate.

Learn How to Create Your Own Coaching Model

Your Coaching Model reflects your values,
philosophies, and beliefs and must communicate who you will coach
and the problems you will solve.
Read more about creating your coaching model


Cambridge University Press & Assessment › dictionary › seek
Chyung, S. Y. (2008). Foundations of instructional and performance technology. HRD Press, Inc.
Goodhill, O. (2016). Neuroscience confirms that to be truly happy, you will always need something more. Quartz, (May 15, 2016).
Hiatt, J. M. (2006). ADKAR: A model for change in business, government, and our communities – how to implement successful change in our personal lives and professional careers. Prosci, Inc.
ICF (2021). ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC) Markers. International Coaching

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