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There are many descriptions of coaching. The word “coach” originally comes from the French word “cocher” (coachman in English). It is the coachman’s job to accompany his passengers from the place they are at to the place they would like to be, as swiftly and as comfortably as possible. A coach does that as well. He or she accompanies the coachee on a journey the coachee has chosen to take.

In the workplace coaching takes on a different aspect, i.e. the organization may define the task or the role that the coachee will take. The relationship between coach and coachee is altered to include the expectations of a third party, the Human Resources, and possibly the coachee’s manager.

Coaching has progressed and changed shape within organizations as the use and benefits of coaching become more visible and better understood.

At The Talent Spirit, we have seen and assisted in the following changes:

Coaching for remedial performance improvement

Coaching was seen by managers and HR departments as a source of help for both the organization and the coachee, to provide neutral assistance where the organization could not.

Coaching for leadership and talent development

Leadership and talent development programs have been including action learning and coaching as ways of integrating learning between training and educational programs.

Selection of external coaches to create a pool for internal use

HR or Learning & Development departments have taken the time to formulate their expectations of external coaches, and selected a group of coaches which will fit the organization’s needs and culture.

Formulation of an internal coaching policy and processs

Again, HR or L&D have formulated and communicated their policy and process for coaching. All employees know who has access to coaching, its uses and timelines. In most cases, this has helped to demystify coaching internally.

Training the manager-coach

As managers have experienced the usefulness of coaching, they have become more skilled in coaching techniques. In a lot of organizations, training programs for coaching skills has become standard for managers and it is expected that managers will become more effective in their leadership style by integrating coaching skills. A major challenge for the manager is balancing his or her roles in evaluating and developing.

Moving towards internal coaches

Some organizations have taken the step to have internal coaches who provide coaching to the organization. Sometimes, these coaches work in the Learning & Development department, and sometimes they work directly for the business line. There are numerous benefits for the organization, as well as the challenge of maintaining the confidentiality of coaching.