Cut the coaching confusion

Coaching is the fastest growing form of training provision, yet it is also the one most surrounded in mystery. Part of this confusion can be attributed to its rapid growth.

The past few years have seen coaching develop from a purely one-to-one executive activity which was the sole preserve of high flyers, to becoming both a learning methodology and a non-directive style of management which aims to boost performance by making it easier for staff to develop critical thinking skills for themselves.

This is exciting stuff, but even as the high-speed coaching movement gathers pace there are two potential road barriers to impede its effective progress.

One is managers – do they really understand what the term means for them and their organisation? The other barrier is the uncertainty as to what coaching actually is and who can effectively implement and guide the process.

On this count at least, there is a glimmer of hope. As Margaret Kubicek reports there are plans afoot from the CIPD to provide professional standards for coaches, and there are various movements to clarify the competencies required from coaches. However, we are still a long way from a rigid set of definitions and standards.

In the meantime you can catch up with this multi-faceted process in our coaching special report which starts on page 21.

As always we welcome your feedback. Write in to me at the email address below with your definitions of effective coaching and how it should be recognised – I look forward to hearing from you.

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