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Abstract

The purpose of this article was to describe and compare coaching models and to address their relevance to the advancement of leadership. Coaching has become a popular strategy for leadership development and change in complex environments. Despite increasing popularity, little evidence describes the necessity and impact of coaching. An integrative literature review from 1996 to 2010, retrieved through seven databases, reference tracking, and consultation with academic networks, led to inclusion of peer-reviewed articles on coaching models. Themes and critical elements in the selected coaching models were analyzed. The search yielded 1,414 titles. Four hundred twenty-seven abstracts were screened using inclusion/exclusion criteria, and 56 papers were retrieved for full-text screening. Ten papers were included: two coaching models from health care settings, seven from business settings, and one from a medical education institution. Critical components of coaching models are: coach–coachee relationship, problem identification and goal setting, problem solving, transformational process, and mechanisms by which the model achieves outcomes. Factors that impact positive coaching outcomes are: coach's role and attributes, selection of coaching candidates and coach attributes, obstacles and facilitators to the coaching process, benefits and drawbacks of external versus internal coaches, and organizational support. The elements of coaching models identified in this review may be used to guide future research on the effectiveness of coaching as a leadership strategy.