Corporate Coaching and the Coaching Triangle

Corporate Coaching and the Coaching Triangle

A recent client highlighted the opportunity and issues of The Coaching Triangle. The triangle is the relationship between the client, the organization and the coach. When coaching in an organization the company hires a coach, usually after the client has had a chemistry session to ensure they and the coach can work well together, for a specific coaching goal or objective.

The opportunity is that the client gets personal coaching to help them develop and grow. The issue is that sometimes the client is not aligned (or worse yet, not aware) of the organization’s objective for the coaching.

My client was not really sure of the coaching goal. The coaching had been offered to help him improve a relationship with someone in head office which was light compared to what I had been told. I had to explain to the client the broader goal for the coaching that his boss had shared with me. The broader goal was that he needed to balance HOW he got things done, not just focussing on WHAT got done. This was with many people in the organization not just those in head office.

The organization didn’t want to explain the goal to the client (a symptom of why there are issues) which raises more systems’ coaching opportunities – which is a whole other area.

Once the client heard the goal, he disagreed with it. He believed, with the exception of the one person in head office, he received very positive feedback on communication, teamwork and engagement. He could provide evidence of such on a recent project.

Part of the coaching then becomes helping the client understand the goal – whether that’s how to talk to their manager or HR, whether we do a 3-way meeting of me, the client and the organization, whether they seek input from others through 360 or other tool. If the client doesn’t accept the goal it then becomes coaching around accepting the goal regardless, what success looks like with or without buy-in to the goal or working on what they feel they want and see if that has an impact that’s acceptable to the organization.

What triangle are you operating within that would be improved with a discussion?

Stay tuned for how this develops.