Transactional and transformational coaching are two forms of life coaching.
Even if those approaches have some differences, they are both used for the same purpose, which is helping people to create the desired change in their lives.
These changes could be about solving some current problem or working toward achieving a goal. You can use life coaching almost for any area of your life. Many people know that coaching could help in business. But now it’s becoming more and more popular also for personal goals. For example, it could be some relationship problems or goals, improving wellbeing, changing jobs, creating a better work-life balance, making important decisions, going through difficult or uncertain periods, finding what you really want, making plans with specific steps for achieving it. Coaching also helps to get more clarity, confidence, connection with your own wisdom and strength.
Transactional coaching is used when a specific outcome is required. Usually, when the client has a short-term goal and needs to achieve it by creating a change in performance. It is a very practical approach and focused on actions. For example, you are looking for a new job and want to find it in 2 months. You can use it as a specific, measurable goal for coaching. During the sessions, you will decide what you want, make a plan, work on your motivation, and maybe confidence. After each session, you’ll have specifics steps to do before the next one. The life coach can also be an accountable person for you in this case. But most of the work is done on the surface.
Transformational coaching is used to go deeper and work under the surface. This approach helps the client to change their paradigms, not just performance. Our paradigms can control our lives because they create the way we see this word, how we feel or think, what we believe in, how we make decisions and react in different situations. For example, you changed a job, but you are not happy about it. Or you want to change it, but you don’t understand what you really want. Or maybe you’ve noticed how some patterns or situations repeat in your life. Some people want to get healthier, but they fail with diets or doing regular exercises again and again. Someone may want to have a happy relationship, but they feel like they can’t meet the right person. Some people want to start their own business for several years, but some fears or circumstances stop them again and again. It could be anything that bothers you for quite some time, and you feel that you want to continue your life differently. In this case, instead of using just a short-term problem-solving approach and doing the same actions again and again without getting long-lasting results, you can benefit greatly from transformational coaching. By going deeper, this approach can help you to create a paradigm shift, and this is how transformation begins. The insights that you are getting during transformational coaching and those paradigm shifts will make you think differently, and, as a result, you will start taking different actions, which will lead to different results. That’s how you change your life by changing yourself.
However, while transactional coaching can exist by itself, transformational coaching instead can’t exist without elements of the transactional one. During coaching, we continue to live our lives. We need to solve problems, take actions, set goals, make decisions, and other things. That’s why in my work, I use both of those approaches depending on the desired outcome. Sometimes it can be a transactional approach with some elements of the transformational one, but most of the time, I use transformational coaching with a bit of the transactional approach. This is because I’ve noticed that most of my clients benefit more when we keep focusing on the inner transformation, that then helps to create long-lasting tangible results in their lives.