The Double Triangle Coaching Model


A Coaching Model By David Chong, High Performance Coach, AUSTRALIA

The Double Triangle Model

I have worked with people managers and leaders whose worlds are turned upside down by individuals who are labeled as “difficult”. Sadly, this way of thinking often spirals into pulling rank/hierarchy and generally forcing people to comply, which leaves the individuals becoming uncooperative, resentful, and even maliciously compliant. This is a lose-lose situation, often resulting in the less-than-desired outcome of somebody leaving the team or company.

This model uses the acronyms ARMMS & MMIP as a framework for coaching primarily interpersonal problems. I recommend this model to help clients articulate their part in the problem they are facing, reflect on what is in their control, and then visualize and choose a different more empowering path.

Once the client has introduced their problem, begin the 2-part coaching model.

Part 1: Current State – Reflection & Insight Part 2: Future State – Explore & Plan

Stepping through ARMMS for deep reflection and to gain multifaceted awareness of the current state (including the perspective of the other person).

Stepping through MMIP exploring possibilities for the future state that will push them forward toward their goals and an invitation to commit to the positive changes they have discovered.

A.R.M.M.S is an acronym for:

  • Actions– The client reflects on what actions they made that may have contributed/led to the current situation.
  • Result– The client articulates the results or impacts to themselves caused by the current situation.
  • Motivation– The client reflects on what emotions they feel that motivated them to the actions.
  • Mind – The client reflects on what words and thoughts were going through their mind at the time.
  • Shoes– The client reflects on what it would it like in the other person’s shoes (i.e. the other person’s perspective).

M.M.I.P is an acronym for:

  • Motivation – The client explores the type of emotions they want to be motivated by.
  • Mind – The client explores the thoughts and words want to help with their motivation.
  • Ideal outcome– The client envisions their ideal outcome in the situation they are in.
  • Plan – The client explores options and commits to steps forward to reach their ideal outcome.

Note: The ARMMS MMIP acronym model does not need to be performed in a specific sequential order. The coaching process is an organic conversation that is, of course, client-led.

This Coaching model adopts principles and practices from Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine, such as the negative or positive emotions used to motivate people, and the SELF Framework by Michael Sahota on how to stop pushing when meeting resistance.

I recommend the double triangle model for coaching managers &leaders to help them manage interpersonal conflict and gain personal insights and awareness.

Part 1: Current State – Reflection & Insight


The client likely holds the perspective that they are a victim of their circumstances and that is all somebody else fault. The reflection, intent is to help your client better understand what makes this a problem for them, what was in their control, and what actions they took which may have contributed to or escalated the situation.

Coaching questions:

  • What makes this situation a problem for you?
  • For this problem, what is in your control? What is not in your control?
  • What part, if any, did you play in the problem/situation?


Solidify the awareness by getting the client to verbalize the connections between their actions and current state.

Coaching questions:

  • What did you say or do that may have contributed to the problem?
  • You said (insert client words), what did that do to get you closer to a resolution?


Explore the emotions the client was feeling at the time, and how these emotions are motivating them (e.g.anger, fear, stress) and linked it to their current situation.

Coaching questions:

  • How did it make you feel when they said/did (insert client words)? What emotions did you experience?
  • What emotions are surfacing when you think about the situation/problem?
  • What kind of emotions are you using to motivate yourself?


Explore the words & thoughts that were going through the client’s mind at the time, and the relationship these thoughts are motivating them and linked to their current situation.

Coaching questions:

  • What words & thoughts come to mind pop into your head when you are engaging in this problem?
  • You said (insert client words/thoughts), what did that do to get you closer to a positive resolution? How is thinking this way helping you?


Taking the perspective of the other person. The client reflects on what it would be like to be in the other person’s shoes.

Coaching questions:

  • If you were to put yourself into the shoes of (other person’s name), what would their perspective be?
  • What would (other person’s name) say about your actions?
  • What thoughts do you think are going through (other person’s name) mind?
  • What emotions do you think (other person’s name) is experiencing?

Part 2: MMIP Future State – Explore & Plan

Now that the client has greater awareness & insight into how their current state is not helping them, we will explore what needs to change in the future.


Reflect on the emotions they said they felt, explore how they want to feel instead, and how this would make a difference in their motivation and the situation.

Coaching questions:

  • I wonder… what if you were to replace the (negative emotion) with (positive emotion) to motivate you?
Motivation based on Negative Emotions

Motivation based on Positive Emotion

  • Fear
  • Stress
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Insecurity
  • Empathy
  • Curiosity
  • Creativity
  • Passion
  • Purpose
  • What have you learned about yourself?


Reflect on the words and thoughts they said were going through their mind at the time, and explore what thoughts they want instead, and how this would make a difference in their motivation and the situation.

Coaching questions:

  • I wonder… what if you were to replace the (negative action/word) with (positive action/word)?
Negative Actions/Words Positive Actions/Words
  • Tell
  • Urgency
  • Driving
  • Control
  • Sell
  • Convince
  • Mandatory
  • Direct
  • Empathy
  • Curiosity
  • Creativity
  • Passion
  • Purpose
  • What have you learned about yourself?

Ideal Outcome:

The client will imagine the ideal state/outcome. What would they want to happen and what does it look like?

Coaching questions:

  • When you think of your new perspective (i.e. positive motivation), how do you feel?
  • What would be the best outcome for this situation?


Explore the possible options & solutions within their control to take positive steps toward the outcome they want to achieve.

Coaching questions:

  • Based on what is in your control (i.e. your perspective, emotional state, your response), what are your options? (e.g. acceptance, change yourself, decline & walk away)
  • What else can you do about the situation?
  • What does it feel like to say and do this?
  • Now that you have a plan for the next steps, when will it happen?
  • What do you foresee, if any, that could possibly be an obstacle?
  • What will you do if you encounter that obstacle?

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


How to Overcome Resistance in Your Agile Transformation – The Power of Invitation
|Michael K Sahota | Shift314
Chamine, S. (2016) Positive Intelligence, Greenleaf Book Group Press

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