Before coaching can be successfully implemented to an organisation certain preconditions and ground rules need to be in place. Especially for corporate clients these points are even more important as the organisation itself is a body uniting different people and interests under one roof. If the following aspects find consideration the organisation prepares the right foundation for a successful coaching process.
Stakeholder management. Organisations are structures of high complexity. A corporate coach has to face at least three main players in this context – the client (the organisation itself), the sponsor (the person in the organisation who has initiated the coaching approach and will also pay for it) as well as the coachee (person who receives coaching) itself. The difficulty in this triangle in most cases is that the coachee is not the person who has initiated the process and therefore has to allow the process before coaching can take place. To avoid rejection or political involvement the coach needs to maintain a strong and discrete relationship with all three parties.
Expectations. All three parties should be aware that coaching is not a magic wand and that it requires a certain level of dedication and commitment in order to be successful. Both aspects need to be provided voluntarily. Nobody can be forced into coaching or change. Manipulation should never be part of the coaching assignment and would be uncovered. Client and sponsor need to honour both personal rights and individuality of coachees.
Confidentiality. Confidentiality is key for any coaching relationship as a secure space for the coachee needs to be provided. For the coach this means managing and administrating highly sensitive information over all levels. Lawful and decent handling of internal information has to be followed strictly as coachees will reveal a lot of information and data to the coach. The last instance of confidentiality should always be the coachee itself as he/she decides what information to share. Coach, client and sponsor need to respect this at all times.
Contract. The coaching agreement between coach and client as well as the underlying code of ethics are essential in a business context. A clear understanding of the assignment, outcome, information flow, fees, timelines, payments, measurements, responsibilities, boundaries and role of the coach need to be agreed. Especially terms of confidentiality need special attention.
Transparency. Both parties have to be open, honest and sincere towards the targeted outcome. Therefore the information flow between coach and client/sponsor needs to be secured during the entire assignment through frequent meetings, feedback and other exchanges to main stakeholders.
Commitment. The individual’s as well as the organisation´s welfare and development always need to be top priority for coaches. The client is responsible for his development by providing the agenda, committing to rules and taking actions. The coach is responsible for working to an agreed agenda by facilitating the right environment. This is valid either on an individual basis as well as on the organisation’s scale. Only by demonstrating real concern and interest in the client the coach will be seen as a helper and this way the all-important rapport and trust can flourish.
Professionalism. Another aspect of corporate coaching is that the coach needs to prove himself as a highly professional specialist. Delivery and efficiency of the desired outcome within the given time frame can also be proved by measuring key figures. A careful preparation is key to demonstrate the seriousness of the undertaken work.