Lead trainer Rachel Bamber: 7 reasons why brain-based coaching skills work

Lead trainer Rachel Bamber: 7 reasons why brain-based coaching skills work


I first trained in what is now called brain-based coaching skills over twenty years ago and whilst I have actively learnt other coaching methodologies and am familiar with many others, Neuroleadership Institute’s Results Coaching System™ is the one that I use in every coaching session with my private and corporate clients. Here are my top 7 reasons as to why it is effective:

1. Both brains are in the right state for coaching

In coaching we are 100% focused on the client; however ensuring that both the coachee and coach are in the optimal state for coaching will create an even more successful outcome. Having the knowledge about the brain enables this to happen. My corporate clients in particular love utilising the practical strategies to help their teams be in the desired state for productive work too!

2. Both brains are able to generate thinking & insight

For the most effective coaching to occur, the coach has to ask powerful questions to stimulate the client to think, create, make connections and generate insight. This does not happen by accident. The brain-based coach knows how to set up and structure the coaching conversation accordingly, so that this is far more likely and as a result, lead to a successful and satisfying outcome.

3. Pure coaching is different experience to being directive

The brain-based coaching skills approach reflects what I term pure coaching: the coach is facilitating the thinking and ideas from the client. They are not telling them what to do i.e. adopting a directive leadership style. Neuroscience has shown that when a person finds the solution for themselves they take ownership and are more motivated to take action. This works for children too.

4. The art & science of coaching combined

Everyone can learn to coach (if they are willing!) however some students will perhaps have existing strengths, such as a love of learning and people that predispose them to pick it up more quickly. Brain-based coaching skills combine both the art and science of coaching and make it accessible for all. I am heartened that even those that may struggle with doing things differently at first (e.g. not bringing their own agenda to the coaching session) find that with time and practice they develop into enthusiastic and highly competent professional coaches. However, if you would rather talk to machines all day, coaching humans is probably not for you.

5. It remains at the forefront in professional coaching

Advances in technology determine that we are constantly reviewing our understanding of how we best learn, communicate and get along in a group, be it at work or at home. Neuroleadership Group has pioneered brain-based coaching and led its own research, thus ensuring that it remains the leader in the industry – and its alumni benefit from this.

6. Structure makes a positive impact

I supervise and mentor new coaches, many who have trained with other coaching training providers around the world. What I consistently notice is that they value my knowledge of how to structure a coaching conversation, a coaching session and an entire coaching engagement – they do not seem to have been taught this elsewhere and appreciate the difference that implementing this makes to their coaching. Indeed, I have trained many coaches in Finland and other countries in the brain-based coaching skills methodology who initially participated in another programme and agree with this unexpected advantage.

Novelty is important for the brain however certainty and structure are also key drivers for peak performance (my work in elite sport has enabled renewed understanding). Hence, the brain-based coaching format with its reflection on structure and creating the right environment for the brain and focus on thinking, gives the edge on creating the foundation for delivering a useful and significant coaching session.

7. It works – globally!

Having trained thousands of professionals on six continents (hopefully Antarctica soon?) and run my own successful coaching practice since 2004, I can vouch that brain-based coaching helps people from a variety of cultures and countries to achieve their goals with a sustainable positive change in thinking, feeling and behaviour. Plus, the experience is fun for both client and coach!


Rachel Bamber is an expert in using powerful, brain-friendly strategies to deliver peak performance. She has trained and assessed 1000s of professionals in 6 continents. PCC (ICF), Coaching Supervisor, ICF Mentor. Rachel has worked with NeuroLeadership Institute as a Lead Trainer, Coach Assessor and Mentor, training and assessing executives in NeuroLeadership skills (Deloitte, Ericsson, Ernst & Young, Fujitsu, Google, KPMG, Nokia Siemens Networks  and Oxford University Press). Rachel has led brain-based coaching  programs in Finland, India, UAE, UK and USA for coaches located worldwide.