Internal Coaching: critical reflections on success and failure in workplace coaching

Thesis


Smith, Sue 2015. Internal Coaching: critical reflections on success and failure in workplace coaching. Thesis
AuthorsSmith, Sue
Abstract

This research study focused on the coaching practices of five internal Regional Learning and Development Managers in a multimedia organisation from 2009 to 2011. Twelve written narratives were initially used to gather information from both coaches and clients about their perceptions and experiences during a coaching session. Survey questionnaires were sent to all 135 managers who had completed the Coaching Programme since its inception in 2009, to supplement the information established from the narrative stage. Three problems were identified: employed Learning and Development Managers were expected to deliver a coaching programme in the workplace for which they were ill-equipped, unqualified and inexperienced; there was a lack of tangible benchmarks to demonstrate the success of the clients’ development; and an inconsistent standard of coaching was delivered potentially compromising ethical coaching practices and behaviour. Coaching is a specialised field of people development, which can have a noticeable impact on both employee performance and on achieving business aims. ‘Internal coaching’ has evolved from a necessity to develop people within the workplace using internal resources and a limited budget. The study reflects on an example of internal coaching and discusses the successes and failures of such a practice. According to the narratives and survey it is the coach who is the key to the success of coaching and a successful coach must be trustworthy with confidential matters; objective and able to understand the culture and operations of the company; have business credibility; is independent of the person being coached and, therefore, is not their line manager. A customised blend of appropriate styles including mentoring, instruction and coaching is recommended to achieve the best results in coaching.

This research study focused on the coaching practices of five internal Regional Learning and Development Managers in a multimedia organisation from 2009 to 2011. Twelve written narratives were initially used to gather information from both coaches and clients about their perceptions and experiences during a coaching session. Survey questionnaires were sent to all 135 managers who had completed the Coaching Programme since its inception in 2009, to supplement the information established from the narrative stage.

Three problems were identified: employed Learning and Development Managers were expected to deliver a coaching programme in the workplace for which they were ill-equipped, unqualified and inexperienced; there was a lack of tangible benchmarks to demonstrate the success of the clients’ development; and an inconsistent standard of coaching was delivered potentially compromising ethical coaching practices and behaviour.

Coaching is a specialised field of people development, which can have a noticeable impact on both employee performance and on achieving business aims. ‘Internal coaching’ has evolved from a necessity to develop people within the workplace using internal resources and a limited budget. The study reflects on an example of internal coaching and discusses the successes and failures of such a practice.

According to the narratives and survey it is the coach who is the key to the success of coaching and a successful coach must be trustworthy with confidential matters; objective and able to understand the culture and operations of the company; have business credibility; is independent of the person being coached and, therefore, is not their line manager. A customised blend of appropriate styles including mentoring, instruction and coaching is recommended to achieve the best results in coaching.

KeywordsInternal coaching; coaching; business coaching; coaching and mentoring; qualities of a coach; qualifications of a coach; coaching style; blended coaching style; pure coach
Year2015
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/576157
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Deposited01 Sep 2015, 10:17
Publication datesAug 2015
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ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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