The SPACE Model for Executive Coaches

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Just a few notes on SPACE – the new model for executive coaching at the iNLP Center, developed by iNLP Center trainer Steve McVey.

SPACE is an umbrella model that informs all aspects of executive coaching. Executive coaches use SPACE to assess their clients’ needs and create action plans to achieve lasting success. Every significant element of executive coaching is encompassed by the SPACE executive coaching model.

Here is a break down of the SPACE executive coaching model


  • Are you in the right job for you?
  • Do you know specifically what your entire job entails?
  • Are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Can you self-regulate your thoughts and emotions?
  • Do you know how you typically come across to others?

Performance Goals

  • Do you have performance goals?
  • Do those goals align with organizational goals?
  • Are your goals SMART?

Action Plan

  • Do you have a clear, simple-to-execute strategy for achieving your goals?
  • Are key players in the organization supporting you?
  • Is your strategy simple, effective, and ecological?
  • Are you taking consistent action?


  • Do you possess the necessary skills to execute your action plan?
  • Which skills do you need?
  • Which do you need to acquire to be successful?
  • What capabilities do you need others to have?
  • Do you know how to motivate yourself?
  • Do you know how to overcome inevitable obstacles?


  • Does pursuing your performance goals in alignment with corporate objective present a risk to your personal time, values, or other important elements of your life?
  • Do your performance goals or their execution pose any threat to the overall health of the organization?

The SPACE executive coaching model suggests than any executive coach issue can be categorized into one or more elements of SPACE. Discovering how an issue relates to SPACE provides automatic insight into what needs to be done to create a solution.

For any given issue, all letters in the acronym SPACE need to align with each other, or at least not conflict. Here are some examples. Imagine the following:

  • An executive wants to set goals but isn’t clear on what’s actually required of the job. Self-awareness would require a clear understanding of one’s agreed-upon duties before setting goals that may or may not align.
  • A client needs to accomplish an objective for which s/he is not properly trained.
  • An executive is setting work goals that may not align with corporate goals.
  • The client has goals but no plan of action.
  • And so on.

For executives to be successful, all elements of SPACE need to be aligned.

How to Use SPACE in Executive Coaching

First, discover where the client’s goals and issues fall on the SPACE model. Is the issue a client talks about related to self-awareness. goals, action plans, capabilities, or ecology? FYI ecology is pervasive and applicable at all levels of SPACE. Everything needs to be ecological!

Next, starting at the top of the model (self-awareness) assess where the clients issue falls. Which level of SPACE is the highest level that’s relevant? Start at the highest and work your way down, always being aware of ecology.

Then, create a coaching plan to address the specific level of SPACE that will move the client forward.

Finding Yourself Again After A Breakup

As a freshly single woman living in New York City, it can feel like the world is your oyster and the world is incredibly scary all at the same time.

It’s hard to find your bearings when you find yourself newly on your own, especially in a big city that makes such big promises about what it has to offer someone in your exact situation.

Dealing with your newly single status can be difficult. You have to fight the urge to stay inside so you won’t run into your ex. You have to fight the urge to run home to your parents and let them take care of you for a while. Before you give in to these urges and become an agoraphobic who lives with her parents, try the following coping techniques.

Dive Into Your Hobbies

There are undoubtedly things that you love to do for fun, right? Maybe it’s going to the movies. Maybe it’s jogging. Maybe it’s crafting. Whatever it is that you love to do (but that you kept having to put off to accommodate someone else’s schedule and needs), go do it!

The point of a hobby is to do something that you enjoy just for yourself a little bit every day. Consider, for example, the many benefits of developing a gardening hobby.

Try Something New

You know those things that you’ve always said you wanted to do and then immediately excused away because they didn’t fit in with your current self-view? Try a few of them! Do you daydream about starring on Broadway or becoming a cabaret star (and don’t want to admit that it might have been part of your motivation for moving to New York)?

Sign up for a few singing classes to hone your chops. Or try out a few dance classes. Have you daydreamed about opening up your own web design business? Take a coding class!

Find Friends

You are going to need your friends as you work on shedding who you were and developing who you are now (even if you feel like the same person, there will be subtle but sure changes). Unfortunately, along with your relationship status, your social circle might also be going through some changes.

The Daily Mail says that people lose, on average, eight friends after going through a breakup—especially if the relationship was long term.

This is where those hobbies and those new things you’re trying are going to become more important than ever. Thanks to sites like Meetup, you can find groups of other people who are interested in the same things you are.

Spend some time with these groups—you might not find a new best friend on the first day but you will likely find at least a couple of people with whom you can grab a coffee or see a movie.

Take Your Time

You’re going to feel pressured to get right back out there. Depending on the circumstances of your breakup, you might even be itching to get back into the dating pool. Try to go slowly.

Give yourself time to heal and evaluate. It is important to take some time to yourself and spend some time on your own. The last thing you need is to start trying to define yourself through another person’s eyes right now. Go be you!

Remember: the process is different for everybody. Some people get through a break up quickly. Others take a while to process things. Go at your own pace. Stay true to yourself and remember: you will get through this! Good luck!

The Importance of Setting Healthy Boundaries

Without healthy boundaries one thing is for sure, you often feel depleted. 

Everything seems to drag. It almost feels like you are carrying around sand bags on your shoulders, well it certainly did for me! Everything from doing the laundry to bringing the kids to school, going to work to actually doing my daily job felt hard. When we are not setting healthy boundaries, we are neglecting our needs. 

Are you feeling depleted?

Depleted because you are always there for everyone, caring for the needs of others but in doing so you put your needs to one side. Is your life feeling like it is constantly filled with overcoming obstacles, taking care of your family, and work? Maybe on top of that you have parents that you need to care for. 

And sadly, when we do finally get some time to experience “time for our self” it becomes overshadowed with feeling guilty.

Like so many women, I didn’t not know how to ask for what I wanted. I wasn’t able to take care of my needs, because many times, like so many of us, I hadn’t even defined my needs. 

There is a fine balance between self-care and care for others. I wanted to be there for others, but I was doing it to the detriment of my own wellbeing. Actually, I was neglecting myself!

So, my question to you is: How are you balancing the care for yourself and for others? Do you give from a place of overflow, or do you give from an empty cup, which has you overextending yourself and therefore depleting yourself?

As a mother, I will never stop going the extra mile for all those I care for, but I have learnt to set healthy boundaries, to pay attention to my personal needs as much as I give it to others.

And in doing so, I have experienced a new sense of aliveness. 

Rachel Goss is a Life Coach at Thought Performance Coaching. Rachel is a compassionate, caring and insightful Life Thought Coach. She is passionate about supporting people to step out of suffering and limitation and step into fulfillment. With her support and guidance, you connect to your inner wisdom, unleash your true potential and optimize your emotional well-being. Experience inner freedom and see your life through a different lens. Read about her Creating Healthy Boundaries coaching program.