Internal Coaching

Human Resources for the Future

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When most non-Human Resources (HR) people think about this function, it’s typically not with a feeling of endearment. If you go back a number of years when it was more commonly known as the Personnel Department, the perception was even worse. However, in successful organizations today, the Human Resources function is redefining its role and, in many cases, being greeted with open arms and sought after. What has happened to cause this shift?human-resources-pic

In truth, the modern HR function is adopting a much more “proactive developmental” role, versus the traditional “reactive remedial”. The latter was very much associated with problem employees, policing the rules and administering policies that really didn’t add any value. However, today HR is truly stepping up and is gaining a place at the table purely on the merits of providing value added systems and support to the organization.

A key contributor is that the HR function is now the facilitator of performance growth or Organizational Development (OD). The emphasis is on assessing the individual relative to the job requirement and ensuring they have the skills / knowledge and, most importantly, the support to bring about significant performance improvements. There is ongoing monitoring of this rather than the traditional Annual Review that everybody hated and, quite frankly, did very little to improve performance.

The modern HR professional also has a new set of knowledge and skills. They are now utilizing the methodologies of Coaching and this is building credibility and sustainability into the professional development mentioned above. It is also modeling a set of behaviors that are essential to leadership. This is about being able to have the impactful conversations that get to the root causes in an empowering way and that ultimately leads to positive motivation and sustainable results.

Many organizations claim their greatest asset is their people but are not quite sure how to go about this. The reality is that people drive an enterprise; they are both the engine and the fuel. We are also dealing with a new more challenging type of people through the influences of technology and generational issues. A progressive and fully functioning HR function is now essential to serve the organization’s evolving needs.

Coaching “Intrapreneur”

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Professional Coaching is growing at an exponential rate as the public awareness of its effectiveness grows and more suitably qualified individuals enter this relatively new entrepreneurial endeavor. New coaches see the opportunity to truly leverage their existing skills, experience and wisdom to be the catalyst in people’s lives and truly provide tangible value to clients.

What is also fast emerging is the “intrapreneurial” variation of coaching. This is where people are consciously taking the methodologies and affecting real meaningful change within organizations by creating an internal coaching capability. Though primarily viewed as a skill set that could enhance the human resource function it is also emerging as a most effective way for supervisors, managers and executives to interact most effectively with their reports. Read more

Selling To Your Boss

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Selling is regarded as the remit of salespeople and many would admit that they hate to sell. This of course is due to the fact that there is a popular perception that selling is about trying to get somebody to purchase something they do not want. Of course the successful salespeople would tell you that selling is very simply all about solving a problem or addressing a need. You are just trying to present them with an option to help them succeed. When you think of it in those simple terms, in reality, most of us are actually selling something all the time. Read more

The Case for Internal vs. External Coaching

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Anybody involved in Coaching within organizations should read the book “Executive Coaching for Results” by Underhill, McAnally and Koriath. It is a wonderful resource that provides insights through a combination of quite specific research and case studies from companies that have immersed themselves in this methodology.

What might be of interest to many large organizations is the commentary on the benefits of External versus Internal Coaching. Though they both share the common goal of developing leadership competencies, the following “pros” and “pros” emerged. Read more

Can Internal Coaches work with Senior Staff?

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Popular belief would have it that Senior Executives would only consider being coached by somebody external to the company. External coaches do have some significant benefits such as it’s their dedicated profession, confidentiality is king and they are very removed from the outcome (and can be objective). So how can Internal Coaching overcome some of these concerns?

According to Marshall Goldsmith and together with some work done at GE Capital, they found that Internal Coaches could work with senior executives if they met the following criteria:

Confidentiality (Trust)

The executive needs to be able to trust the coach whole heartedly that the contents of their discussions will remain between them. Any doubts in this regard and it will be a total waste of time and money; and a backward step for all involved.

Credibility (Experience)

The executive must believe that the coach has sufficient knowledge and experience to me able to relate to the issues and challenges brought forth. Not unlike the selection process for an external coach, the coach must be able to demonstrate this. Read more

Calculating ROI for Internal Coaching

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Internal Coaches are being developed in organization as a means of making this methodology and capability available to more staff. The C-Suite typically has access to Executive Coaches but it is cost prohibitive to provide this type of coaching to others below this level. The solution – create your own cadre of coaches. But how would one calculate the ROI on such an initiative? Let’s look at this in qualitative and quantitative terms.



Undoubtedly there would be an addition of skills that would allow both the new coaches and those being coached to see and experience the effectiveness of such an approach. This would lead to higher levels of confidence both in terms of helping themselves and others.


The essence of the coaching approach provides for a behavioral mindset based on helping and developing other people. This in turn fosters far greater teamwork, sharing of ideas and higher levels of performance all of which that can be observed in how people show up and interact with each other.


New coaches, and those impacted by it, would also feel a greater connection with the company for making the investment in their development and promoting a much more collaborative approach to problem solving and managing the business. Read more

HR Personnel as Internal Coaches – Where’s the time?

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When HR Personnel are trained to be Internal Coaches, many perceive this additional training and skills equates to more work. Good coaches are very much viewed as “go to” people, so many will seek out their counsel and support. Before long however, the coach feels overwhelmed and unable to deal with all this seemingly “extra work”. So what are some tips for HR Coaches to efficiently deal with this capacity issue?

  • Accept the Initial Investment

Recognize that the time commitment to coaching is initially one step backwards in order to take two steps forward. In other words, there might be more work initially as you coach somebody to a solution, but in the long run they are most likely to think for themselves next time they have a challenge. Ultimately coaching supports independent thinking. Read more

What HR Type Make The Best Coaches?

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In very general terms Human Resource personnel typically fit into one of the following broad categories:

  • Process Oriented: They normally specialize in areas such as payroll, benefits, recruiting, etc. They apply a very systematic and sometimes rigid approach and for the most part they see things as either black or white. They are typically most concerned about the outcome from the company’s perspective.
  • People Oriented: This group more typically aligns with areas such as performance, discipline, training, etc. They are generally seen as flexible and more people friendly. They have this knack of been able to assess the situation and work out a diplomatic solution. However their outcome concern has more to do with the person than the organization.

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