Simon Hayward from Cirrus comments in ILM’s Edge magazine
There can be an assumption that coaching for those below the senior management team is a good thing to do and that the only debate to be had is whether the budget exists to pay for it.
One common mistake is to just train members of the HR team to be coaches. However, only when senior people from other functions are trained too will an internal programme be seen as truly prestigious and managers will be fully engaged.
One organisation to appoint coaches from different functions to its internal programme is The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). It selected five coaches in 2012 from the HR, project delivery and research and technical departments. This year the publicly-funded, industry-led organisation sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills will refresh its ILM-certified coach network with new blood because people have moved on or changed roles.
“We were going through a lot of organisational change and wanted to introduce more of a coaching culture as we moved from a hierarchical to a matrix working structure,” says head of HR and one of the coaches, Carolyn Gipson . “With different managers working on multiple projects we wanted people to feel more empowered and take more responsibility for their own role and work.”
Simon Hayward, CEO of leadership development company Cirrus, says the biggest challenge for any internal coach is to establish and maintain a professional coaching relationship with the coachee when both are part of the same organisation.
“It is important for the coach to turn up with a professional demeanour and a clear process that gives the coachee confidence that they are in safe hands and that they can trust the confidentiality and capability of the coach,” he says.
It is also important that people trained as internal coaches have the time and energy to do the job properly.
© ILM 2015
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