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Wendy Buckingham / Creator, Life Coaching Professionally
Workplace coaching can be one of the most interesting and profitable niches to explore. This article covers the various ways your services can be engaged and paid for and some valuable tips for success.
FYI: I may receive commissions at no cost to you. Please see my affiliate disclosure for more.
Sometimes called Organisational, Corporate, Employee, Leadership or Executive Coaching, you can be engaged within a business or corporation in many ways. You might be employed internally or on contract and called upon to coach a team, support an executive in a new position or facing redundancy or other issues.
To work credibly and effectively with managers and other employees within the corporate or business environment, you need to understand the culture and preferably have either worked at executive level or be extremely familiar with it.
If you are a bit light on experience in this area, then an accredited course on executive life coaching is recommended. You might also find this book Coaching in Organisations by Ken Blanchard a useful reference.
However, despite the common expectation that in workplace coaching all issues may be work related, they can and usually will, tip over into personal issues that could be affecting the coachees performance.
You will come across things such as lack of confidence, poor communication skills and relationship challenges with colleagues. This is where your life coach training will prove invaluable. You have to be prepared, even in a business or corporate situation to handle emotions and even tears.
This option applies when a company has either instigated a coaching program as part of a HR initiative or agreed to pay for an individual staff member to receive coaching.
You may be contracted or even be put on the company payroll with the brief to coach for improved employee performance.
In most corporate and business situations there are two relationships. The relationship between the coach and the employee and the coach and the company paying the bill.
The department head may identify the issues to be addressed and may suggest possible goals and outcomes. You may even be asked to work with the department head him or herself to develop leadership coaching skills.
When the employer is paying a careful system of reporting needs to be in place that protects the confidentiality and trust of the employee client, while satisfying the needs of the employer to know how things are going.
The context of this needs to be set up before the coaching series begins so all parties have the same expectations.
For instance, clarify if you will be expected to report back to the client's superior after each session. To what extent will you be asked to reveal the content of the sessions? How much control will the client have in this? These are important privacy issues for the person you are working with as well as integrity issues for you.
In an ideal situation a company may agree to pay for a series of sessions for one of its executives or key team members without extensive reporting and only look to results to see the benefits of employee coaching.
Being familiar with and/or accredited in a personality or psychological profiling system such as Disc, Myers-Briggs - or one of the many other excellent profiling systems available, is also an advantage for the workplace coach. And if you become accredited and/or an affiliate to such a program provide your with an extra source or income.
An executive, manager or employee may decide there are issues where coaching would be of benefit and engage you at his or her own expense, with no company involved.
The issues to be addressed are usually similar to general Life Coaching but are probably relevant to the client's work situation.
The relationship is directly between the coachee and the coach and nothing to do with the company although the company may agree to pay and not require any reporting.
Sessions may take in such issues as:
And again you'll find personal issues will also creep in:).
There are executive coaching services that specialise in building a stable of coaches and referringthem to large businesses and organisations who do not want to employ coaches directly. If you meet their employment criteria, you can apply to be be listed as a preferred or associate member with them and featured on their website.
Learn more about how providers of coaches work for both life and executive coaches and some of the things to check out before registering with one.
Some larger companies put their team leaders and executives through a leadership coaching training course so they can learn leadership coaching skills to use with their teams.
So if you have management experience, investing in an accredited leadership training would give you credibility for training managers and executives in coaching skills. Your background plus leadership training certification would give you an edge in gaining employment or being contracted for this work.
You may also find the information on Team Coaching Skills on this site useful.