Workplace Coaching

What is Coaching?

Coaching supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is a means to help people move from where they are to where they want to be in a structured and supportive environment.

Coaching is personalized, customized, and conducted one-on-one for a defined period of time, usually with a specific purpose in mind. The primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one's work or personal life. Coaching cultivates increased self-awareness and confidence that helps people realize their full potential.

The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “…partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

Characteristics of Coaching

  • Present- and future-oriented
  • Focused on results / desired outcomes
  • Acknowledges that we are “whole selves”
  • A learning experience
  • A self-discovery and change process
  • Agenda is always driven by the coachee
  • Positions the coachee as the expert in their life

What Coaching Is (And What it Isn't)

Coaching is...

A partnership between coach and coachee

A process for the coachee to discover what is best for them

A future-oriented, goal-focused approach to help you get you where you wish to be next

An individually tailored opportunity to enhance knowledge (or skills) development

A forward-looking, positive way to explore development options and opportunities

Coaching is not...

Consulting: a method to get an expert’s advice on what to do

Mentoring: observing and learning from a seasoned professional

Psychotherapy: the focus is more on healing from the past and/or treating mental illness

Training: a set learning event that provides knowledge and techniques to develop skills

Remediation/Corrective Action: a way to “fix” employee problems or performance issue

The Value of Coaching

Effective coaching programs benefit both the coachee and the organization by promoting a development culture, unlocking potential, improving performance, supporting wellbeing, and increasing knowledge sharing. Coaching exists as a resource to support individuals and help them thrive in the face of everyday adversity, stress, and life challenges.

What Do You Want Out of Coaching?

Having a goal or topic in mind can help the coaching process along, however, goals can be specific or vague. The broader the goal, the better – it will evolve over time. Your coach will act as a sounding board as your goals change and develop.

Examples of individual coaching goals:

    • Discuss a personal or professional situation that is affecting my work
    • Explore options for career growth
    • Work on my leadership/management style
    • Increase my overall health and well-being
    • Talk through options for handling a workplace conflict
    • Work more easily and productively with others (boss, direct reports, peers
    • Increase work/career fulfillment
    • Contribute more effectively to my team and the organization (improve work performance)
    • Improve my relationship-building skills, communication skills, conflict management skills, etc.
    • Increase my self-confidence and self-efficacy

Roles and Expectations of Coachee and Coach

A positive coaching experience depends on a high level of trust between coach and coachee. The coach-coachee relationship is sacred. Trust depends on transparency and confidentiality; it is essential to establish expectations up front, so each party is fully aware of their role and responsibilities in the relationship.