Creative Metrics Whitepaper
Advantages and Disadvantages of Internal Coaching
Glenn Hallam, Ph.D.
A popular trend in executive coaching is the development of a team of coaches within the organization – individuals who have other jobs, often within human resources and sometimes in leadership positions, who take on the added responsibility of coaching one or more executives. Aside from being less expensive than external coaches, internal coaches have the advantage of already understanding the organization’s business issues and internal dynamics. They are generally aware of the executive’s context: his or her pressures, opportunities, etc., and they speak the language of the organization. Also, if they have leadership experience in the organization, they may find it easier to gain the respect of the executive and build rapport. On the other hand, internal coaches usually have less coaching and feedback experience than external coaches, with fewer Compared to external opportunities to practice and maintain their coaching skills. coaches, internal They may lack a cross‐organizational perspective that would coaches usually have less allow them to put the executive’s behavior in the context of coaching and feedback what is normal and healthy in other organizations (the experience overall, and internal coach may be “blinded” by their experience in the company). They may perceive the coaching assignment to be fewer opportunities to less important than the other work they need to do, and have practice and maintain less time available for coaching. Because they often lack their coaching skills. relevant professional training, internal coaches may miss signs of depression, substance abuse, marital decline, and so on. Also, if the executive has some authority over the internal coach, the coach may be less inclined to confront serious issues. If the coach is at a lower level in the organizational hierarchy, the executive ...
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