Coaching für Mitarbeiter

Coaching for executives, managers and specialists

The term “coaching” is used as a generic term for different methods of temporary support and guidance for executive managers and employees.


In contrast to “consulting”, no solutions are suggested by the coach, rather the development of own solutions is facilitated. “Coaching” refers to structured conversations between a coach and a coachee (client), e.g. on questions of everyday professional life. The goals of these conversations range from the assessment and development of personal competencies and perspectives to suggestions for self-reflection and overcoming conflicts with employees, colleagues or superiors.

The coach acts as a neutral, critical sparring partner and, depending on the goal, uses methods from the entire spectrum of personnel and management development. He promotes the ability for self-management (help for self-help).

Corporate Clients
Private Clients

Coaching differs from (psycho)therapy in that in the latter a medical diagnosis is made by an “expert” and emotional problem reactions are dealt with in a longer period of targeted change work.


When is coaching used?

Coaching is used in many areas, e.g. in sports, in medicine or in private life. In the work environment (private and governmental organizations) coaching is used especially for performance improvement, competence development, conflict resolution, and in leadership. The advantage of coaching is that it can be used in a short-term and targeted manner. Therefore it can be used very widely depending on the topic.

Coaching is considered useful in the following topics in the work environment:

In the personal field:

– Improving social and management skills
– Overcoming performance, creativity and motivation blockades
– Reduction of monoperspectival behavioral and judgmental tendencies
– Personality development
– Dealing with crisis and stress situations
Career development

In the organizational field:

– Preparation for novel and complex tasks or situations
– Coping with change processes
– Sales development
– Dealing with rigidities induced by the organizational structure
– Support in introducing a new culture in connection with mergers and acquisitions
– Helping to change leadership styles
– Support for more autonomy and teamwork
– Start-up assistance for new employees
– Career management
– Conflict management in the group

Coaching as a personnel development measure makes it possible to respond to the coachee’s individual needs and to support him/her in a situation-specific way and to help him/her move forward. The coach fulfills the function of a “mental catalyst”. 

Forms of coaching

The forms of coaching can be divided on the one hand according to the approach:

Classic Coaching

Classic coaching describes a situation in which the client has a coach available for a certain period of time to work on situational unpredictable topics of everyday work (without having agreed on specific topics or objectives beforehand).

Theme-centered coaching

In contrast, theme-centered coaching focuses on a specific pre-agreed issue, although other issues may be addressed. It is also often scheduled for a shorter period of time. On the other hand, the forms of coaching can also be structured according to the number of people and the topic:

Individual Coaching

In this type of coaching, a single client is coached. The popular one-to-one coaching is often (incorrectly) equated with coaching a manager by an external consultant. However, one-to-one coaching can also be used for staff and by internal line coaches and supervisors.

Group coaching (team and system coaching)

In this type of coaching, several clients are coached. The generic term group coaching also includes the variants of team coaching or system coaching, and project coaching. The size of the group usually does not exceed 15 coachees.

Project Coaching

This type of coaching is a special form of team coaching, in which a project team is coached. The project team usually consists of people from several departments and hierarchy levels, who work together for a limited period of time and only for a special task with a strong focus on performance and goals. In project coaching, in addition to the technical topics of the project management process, topics such as cooperation and temporary project roles are also coached.

The setting (general conditions)

The coach as sparring partner

The coach does not impose his own ideas and opinions on the client, but should always take an independent position. The coach is not the “doer”, but a neutral feedback provider and sparring partner. Under no circumstances does s/he impose his/her own values on the client.

Rules of the game (psychological contract)

The coach works within the framework of previously agreed “rules of the game”, which the client – like the entire coaching – accepts voluntarily. The basis for this is a personal relationship with the client(s) based on trust.

Coaching can only work under clear rules of the game that are understood and accepted as meaningful by the client. This “psychological contract” clarifies the rules of cooperation (coach and client should “match” in these terms), the client’s critical faculties, the willingness to critically question one’s own values, the extent of problem awareness, expectations, pre-assumptions, fears, the total duration and possible goals, approaches and methods used, the extent of desired change, boundaries and “taboo zones”.

Coaching Arbeitnehmer

Persons involved

Two persons are set in the context of a coaching session: the coach and the coachee (client). The client is the person seeking the support. There can be more than one client in a group coaching session.

Often there is also an additional person involved in the coaching: the supervisor. Especially if he/she has initiated the coaching, a joint goal-setting session is often held to develop the same understanding of the issues being addressed for all parties involved.

How does a coaching meeting work?

The procedure is to enable the “client” to organize him/herself through feedback, self-reflection, planning and training (principle of self-management). This includes the steps of autonomous goal setting, independent planning and organization up to self-control (result or progress control) with regard to the implementation of the self-set goals (implementation competence). 

Coaching

  • Goal setting: What do you want to achieve? Formulation of goals according to the SMART principle (Specific, Measurable, Attractive and Realistic).
  • Planning: What is the best way? (ways, resources, time)
  • Organization: What are the concrete steps? (concrete, goal-related actions/processes)
  • Control: What has been achieved? (progress, milestones, results)

What is employee coaching (employee development)?

The trend in leadership and organization is moving away from a strongly hierarchical order to an agile organization with decentralized decision-making structures.

By increasing the personal responsibility of employees, promoting self-learning and through coaching programs, there is a step-by-step increase in vertical development – and thus an overall strengthening of the company.

By recognizing and promoting their potential, employees feel valued as persons and perceived as competent. This promotes motivation and a positive attitude toward the employer, which in turn benefits the entire company.

What are the strategies for personnel development?

Many large companies today rely almost exclusively on coaching, because it allows specific challenges to be solved in a targeted manner in the short term. The classic strategies for personnel development are:

  1. External training (seminars, distance learning, e-learning)
  2. Internal training (seminars, e-learning)
  3. Training on the job:
  • Job Enlargement (additional tasks)
  • Job Enrichment (additional tasks of higher value)
  • Job Rotation (other tasks)
  1. Project work (specific topic-related tasks)
  2. Mentoring (guidance by an experienced colleague)
  3. Coaching

Specific coaching measures for employees

The coaching for employees focuses on the

  • Individual coaching on the topics mentioned in the personal field (see above),
  • Group/team coaching on communication, conflict resolution, and the forms and roles of cooperation,
  • Project Coaching similar to team coaching, but with a focus on achieving the goals and deadlines set in project management.

Preventing redundancies/staff reductions

In individual cases, coaching can be a measure to prevent a dismissal. Particularly in the case of poor performance or conflicts, coaching individual persons can solve the problem and thus prevent an expensive dismissal and new employment.

In the case of groups of people, coaching in the framework of career development (career management) can also prevent a staff reduction. Especially the case in a change process due to a change in strategy, this can be achieved by addressing the changes in competencies and a change in culture at an early stage and by anticipating them through personal development. This saves the employer the costs of staff turnover (loss of operational know-how, on-boarding costs, etc.).

What is executive coaching?

Leaders are part of the management and lead one or more employees. The essential difference to other employees lies in this leadership task. Therefore, executive coaching focuses on leadership competence and leadership behavior. Often three levels of responsibility are distinguished:

  1. Lower management (when taking over the first leadership responsibility)
  2. Middle management (responsibility for several managers)
  3. Top management (overall responsibility for a company)

because the management task develops as a function of the number of employees.

Coaching für Mitarbeiter und Führungskräfte

What is meant by leadership competence?

Leadership competence is the ability to set goals and to influence and lead the behavior of other people in such a way that these goals are translated into results. As a leader, you have an influence on the performance of your team, e.g. through the motivation of your collaborators and the working atmosphere in your area of responsibility. The team must therefore perform its day-to-day tasks in the best possible way so that you can achieve the goals against which you are measured. In the context of these tasks, the following competencies are important: 

  • Organize meetings, sessions and workshops efficiently
  • Exude sovereignty in your appearance
  • Confidently master critical leadership situations
  • Conflict management: resolving conflicts over goals, distribution, power and values in a sustainable manner
  • Dealing skillfully with “difficult” employees
  • Confidently mastering important management tools (target agreement, delegation, appraisal interviews, control, motivation/frustration)
  • Dealing skillfully with power and influence
  • Develop an authentic leadership style
  • Giving and receiving effective feedback (self-image and external image)
  • Assessing employees and promoting them in a targeted manner

What motivates someone to be a leader?

Behind the motivation to become a leader there is often the reflection on professional development opportunities and thus the consideration of the own career. It is also curiosity and interest in the new task and the financial incentive.

The motivation to be and remain an executive mostly resides also on career and financial considerations.

However, for many executives, interest in the task, with the possibility of “making a difference”, is an important motivation.

How can someone become a leader?

Taking on a leadership responsibility is, as the word implies, a big step in any professional life. The first prerequisite is the will to take on this responsibility. Some employees fail to take on this responsibility and choose the career option of specialization. The second prerequisite is that my supervisor recognizes this potential in me and suggests an appropriate position. If this does not happen, I must seek a discussion with the supervisor, or change job.

Promotion to manager often has a fundamental flaw. The person is functionally given the role of a supervisor, but is not prepared or trained for this role, especially in small companies. It is in these situations that coaching can be very valuable.

The 10 most common mistakes as a leader

  • They lack energy and enthusiasm
  • They do not properly fulfill their role model function; thus, they lack the greatest influence on the behavior of their employees
  • They are satisfied with mediocre performance (objectively speaking)
  • They do not have convincing goals and perspectives (despite actionism)
  • Their decisions are based more on subjective interests and old habits rather than on the common task and challenge
  • They do not value cooperation and promotion of (result-relevant) skills very much
  • They formulate expectations towards others, but they themselves do not adhere to them
  • They are resistant to change, to new ideas or different opinions
  • They do not learn from mistakes when dealing with others
  • They fail to create a positive work environment and constructive interpersonal relationships
  • They fail to develop the strengths and skills of their employees (productivity) (and consequently have a personnel cost problem).

What is the process of executive coaching?

An executive coaching usually includes the following steps

  • Need for consulting: identifying the need for individual support
  • First getting to know each other: establishing contact and scheduling the initial meeting
  • Conclusion of contract: formal and psychological contract
  • Clarification of the initial situation: determination of the actual and definition of the target situation
  • Goals setting: Goals and solution paths are developed
  • Interventions: Discussions and other measures
  • Evaluation: review of the achievement of objectives
  • Conclusion: final discussion, formal end of the coaching process

The main phases of coaching include (1) clarification of the initial situation, (2) goal setting, and (3) interventions.

Differences between employee and executive coaching

Here you will find a comparison of these two types of coaching.

Employee Coaching

Topic related:

  • Communication
  • Conflict
  • Performance barriers
  • Motivation barriers
  • Project Management
  • Improvement of social competence
  • Etc.

Qualification of the coach with appropriate thematic background and experience

Executive Coaching

Leadership related:

  • Leadership as coaching
  • Leadership style
  • Leadership competence
  • Communication in leadership
  • Leadership tools
  • Result oriented leadership
  • Etc.

Qualification of the coach with education, appropriate curriculum (own leadership experience) and experience with the target group.

What does an employee or executive coaching cost?

The price of a coaching consists of different elements. Basically, the qualification of a coach (education, own professional experience and experience in coaching with the target group) determines the hourly rate per coaching session. After that, frequency of sessions and duration of the program determine the total price.

Duration of a coaching session

Coaching findet in mehreren Sitzungen statt und ist zeitlich begrenzt. Coaching kann durchaus über einen längeren Zeitraum stattfinden. Da es aber immer das Ziel eines Coachs ist, sich überflüssig zu machen, muss ein Coaching logischerweise auch zeitlich begrenzt sein.

Tips for the selection of coaches 

For organizations that want to use coaching, it is important to find competent and suitable coaches. Here it is beneficial to work with a larger provider who can guarantee this quality. Below are some tips for the search and selection of coaches:

  • Look for references and recommendations
  • Inquire about specializations & experience of the coach
  • Find out about the qualifications of the coach
  • Ask for a preliminary interview
  • No coach is right for every occasion 
  • Ask about successes & failures
  • Pay attention to whether or not the coach maintains discretion
  • Trust your feeling
  • Pay attention to the independence of the coach
  • Ask for an explanation of the coach’s methods
  • Ask about the selection criteria of the coach
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