first_img Comments are closed. Seniormanagers can benefit from both internal and external advice, by Julian AvissSenior managers and high-fliers often want specific help on certain issues.Rather than opening themselves up in front of a group of peers, many find itsafer to talk these issues through with a coach whom they respect and trust.Often the coach is either an internal HR practitioner or an externalspecialist. But there is no reason why senior managers cannot have both. The escalating interest in executive coaching provides a real opportunityfor HR practitioners to extend their sphere of influence. Those in HR arealready well placed to provide an internal coaching role, offering seniormanagers a different perspective, challenging them and encouraging them toconfront the performance issues they need to address. Such a relationship can be informal. It does not necessarily need a specific”contract” covering issues such as where to meet, how often, for howlong or prior agreement on the specific focus and goals of each session. Senior managers generally want more than an internal sounding board who is a”good egg” and can empathise. They want someone credible, withexperience and an understanding of the business who can give praise andpositive feedback and also add value. If you are a trusted, respected individual who can listen and steer people’sthoughts about their own performance, you can enhance your internal profile byfostering these ad hoc relationships. However, if the person being coached isto benefit, you must realise your own limitations. Roffey Park is publishing a management discussion paper this week whichidentifies the key aspects of corporate coaching and describes the process as acontroversial meld of consultancy and psychotherapy. Certainly, coaching crosses the boundaries between counselling andmentoring. It is important to know which role an HR professional is providing.For example, if personal issues are being introduced, there is a real dangerthat you may – if you are not a trained counsellor – enter territories beyondyour expertise. It takes a high level of self-awareness to recognise that your manager maybenefit from an external perspective. It takes an even greater amount ofself-confidence to advise the person being coached that someone else may bebetter suited to helping them with these issues. Such honesty may come as a relief. If it involves a senior person who needsto come to terms with issues relating to their own behaviour, self-confidenceor self-esteem – or improve their management of personal relation- ships atwork – they may prefer to talk to someone who is perceived as more impartial. By recommending that the high-flier also gains an external perspective, youare not severing your relationship. It is possible to create a coachingtriumvirate, working in partnership with an external coach to provide acost-effective and timely solution to the coachee’s needs. HR practitioners must overcome any insecurities when working in conjunctionwith an external specialist. The internal and external coaches must trust eachother and ensure they are working to the same agenda. The external coach needs to be clear about what development interventionsare available internally. He or she may also need a knowledge of the internalrelationships to know which issues would be better addressed by the internalcoach. As with any coaching relationship, the coaches must aim for the employee tobecome independent, so the issues of dependency and closure must be clarifiedat the outset. With the right blend of individuals and firmly established boundaries, atriumvirate app-roach to executive coaching can be a most effective way to helpsenior managers further improve their performance at work. Julian Aviss is director of in-company development and consultancyservices at Roffey Park. What Makes Coaching A Success? will be published byRoffey Park today (30 May), tel: 01293 851644 Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Coaching execs gives HR chance to steer key staffOn 30 May 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more