Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Contracting for the internal coach - issues in coaching

The complexity of the role of the internal coach hit home to me again last week. I was talking to Derek --not his real name -- a newly appointed internal coach who was struggling with the many competing demands on his time and the conflicting 'pulls' he was experiencing from different stakeholders.

To me this all came back to contracting - the practice of clarifying upfront what can be expected of the coach and the coaching relationship. Rightly, this is given emphasis in the external coaching world, with subsequent problems often tracked back to a failure to contract adequately. However contracting can often be underplayed in the organisational context where it can be assumed that roles are clear or conversations about 'ways of working' unnecessary.

Derek's life would have been simpler if it were just one client he had to worry about - his problem was that he had not one but multiple clients - his coachees, his boss, his divisional Director, the HRD etc... you get the picture. None of these agreed or indeed were very clear about what they needed of Derek and his role was in danger of becoming confused with the line manager or worse...some sort of organisational stealth police. Not good and can be avoided with some honest conversations upfront.

Here's some 'how to' advice on contracting - click here for more info.

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