Coaching in the Workplace

I was lucky enough to attend a seminar focused on coaching in the workplace, and the success one organisation has achieved by adopting a coaching framework. Interested? Read on for more!

Megan Fraser from BAE Systems was the main speaker, and shared a wealth of insight into how she and her colleagues had developed a coaching program within BAE.

For an insight into what I learnt, read on for three takeaways from the presentation.


Lesson #1: Developing a coaching culture takes time

The title of the session was Coaching, change and the seven year walk. The choice of seven years, Megan explained in her presentation, was specific and considered. That is around the amount of time it has taken for her and her colleagues to build and grow the coaching culture and expertise within their organisation.

While tempting, HR and Change Management professionals cannot rush or manufacture the development of these programs. Failure to do so might result in programs not seeing their full potential and being cut short.

Lesson #2: Organisational readiness and sponsorship are incredibly important

Within her presentation, Megan made multiple references to organisational readiness and sponsorship. With each reference, Megan made it clear these were both of paramount importance for her and her colleagues succeeding with their efforts to integrate coaching within BAE.

While this is a little obvious, the lesson for anyone wanting to take on an organisational development or change initiative is to ensure that you have support. With support, any type of initiative is far more likely to see successful results.

Lesson #3: Coaching is not mentoring

This came as a little bit of a surprise to me, as walking into the session, I had envisaged coaching and mentoring to be fairly similar. On the contrary, each takes quite a different approach to personal and professional development.

Put simply, a mentor will guide their protege through the stages of their journey, whatever that may be. The mentor will be able to advise on the challenges and emotions they experienced during their own journey.

Meanwhile, a coach will help the person (or people) being coached to develop their full potential by asking questions and leading the client to gain a better understanding of themselves or the situation they are facing.  Coaching often involves helping a client discover and implement a solution, as compared to giving it to them outright.

Until next time,



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