The Disney Coaching Process

Every life coach and business coach should know how to use the popular Disney Coaching process, otherwise known as the Disney Strategy.
This is lesson #9 from our free Life Coaching & Business Coaching onramp.

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#1. Power Formula

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#2. Why Life Coach?

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#3. How to Life Coach Goals?

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#4. Avoid these life coach mistakes.

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#5. Can you Life Coach?

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#6. How to Life Coach in 20 minutes or less.

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#7. How to use Life Coaching Wheels?

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#8. 3 Magic Success Numbers for life coaches.

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#9. The Disney Coaching process.

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#10. Real vs Fake life coaching.

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#11. ICF Credential Guide.

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#12. Free Enneagram e-book.

LIFE COACHING LESSON #9: Learn the Disney Strategy.

The Disney Coaching process is inspired by the actual methods that Walt Disney used to envision and plan for projects with his team.

It’s easy to learn and powerful. It has many applications including coaching: big goals, projects, strategy, dreams, purpose, etc.

​This is an actual coaching process (one of over 50) that is taught in our ILS Professional Coach qualification course.


The Disney Coaching process covers the following, but there is an unexpected twist.

  • Vision
  • Planning
  • and Critic phase
The Disney Coaching Process
Disney Coaching Process

“The cycle always involved the three rooms.
The outcome was that either an idea did not survive
Room 3 and was abandoned, or it met with silence in Room 3, which indicated it was ready for
Keith V. Trickey

The Origin of the Disney Process

If there was ever a role model for coaching big goals (and there are many) I’m sure you’ll agree that Walt Disney is among the most respected and inspiring.

Robert Dilts studied Disney and especially his methods of guaranteeing maximum creativity. These methods have been transformed into a life and business coaching method, which is commonly called the “Disney Strategy” or “Disney Coaching”.

Coaches the world over use the Disney Strategy for coaching strategy, visioning and big dream planning.

How did Disney do things differently?

During the planning stages of the full-length cartoons that made Disney famous – Snow White, Pinocchio, Bambi and Fantasia, he used a groundbreaking approach.

He moved his team between 3 rooms, each room had a different focus for discussion.

Here dreams were dreamed, ideas were spun, with no restrictions, and no limits.


So during this phase, the sky was not even the limit, and every idea no matter how outrageous and creative was freely developed.

Here the dreams and visions from Room 1 were given grounding by being coordinated and a storyboard created.

Did you know that the storyboard was a Disney invention?

Room 3 CRITIC:
Sometimes called the “sweat box” – was a cramped room where the entire crew would critically review the plans and project.

This worked well because it was the project under scrutiny and not an individual. Solutions would be found but the dream was left pure and free.

Then the idea would be returned to Room 1 to continue again.

The genius of Disney Coaching is:

  1. Never let the CRITIC interact directly with the VISIONING (keep visioning free and unlimited).
  2. Find solutions to the CRITIC raised issues through exact PLANNING.

Understand the Disney Thinking Coaching Process

Offer the exercise and then explain the 3 stages to the client or team.

This life coaching and business coaching exercise is best for BIG dreams and BIG goals.

Once you have thoroughly gone through the 3 Disney stages and even gone back to Vision if you need to at any time, you can consolidate and finish with a good Step 3.

This exercise can take 30 minutes, at best 1 hour, or even an entire day (especially with a group.)


watch this video

Go Disney!

I have a dear friend named Stephen, who I’ve been friends with since we were 13, and I call him my “Disney friend” because he has always inspired me to think bigger, and to not let my inner critic stop the flow of creative dreaming.

If you get nothing from this free on-ramp but perhaps some inspiration to go Disney for yourself, to dream and them to work to make a real difference in the world that that is enough.


Creator of InnerLifeSkills



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