November 2004

Greetings! It has been several months since our last Newsletter. The times...they are a changing! Like you, we are busy...when it pours. And, that's a good thing!

I think you will find this article below interesting. It makes the distinctions between 2 primary forms of coaching. Enjoy!

As the field of coaching has steadily developed over the last decade or so, many variations of coaching have come into existence. Coaching occurs on specific areas like: career, money, business, relationships, childrearing, life in general. Part of the result of the growth of this industry and field of management practice, the word "coaching" means different things to different people. This summary is offered to make some clearer distinction around these terms, and hopefully advance the dialogue.

Collegial Coaching is what I believe occurs between people working in the same organization. I term this Collegial Coaching , because it occurs between any two people who work together. It is quite different in focus, nature and form, and is the process I have written about in "The Heart of Coaching." This is a process whereby co-workers become effective in delivering feedback to one another - based on the nature of their working relationship.

The expression of coaching called Executive Coaching has become prominent with business organizations (for profit and non-profit), because this process offers an effective way for leaders and managers to receive help in becoming more effective, productive, or modify their behaviors. The coach is hired from the outside for a fee, and helps the coachee develop themselves and/or deal with problems associated with their work role.

The Executive Coach works from the "outside to the inside". The Collegial Coach works "on the inside."

A typical Executive Coaching process usually consists of:

  • Debriefing the coachee's 360 degree feedback (and any follow-up assessments) and supporting the development of an Action Plan for personal change
  • Interviewing various stakeholders (Managers, Peers, and Direct Reports) to supplement the feedback report with anecdotal information
  • Meeting (face-to-face or phone appointments) to support committed action and successful personal change

Collegial Coaching between teammates usually consists of:

  • Building an explicit coaching relationship where both parties invest in building rapport and trust
  • Setting clear shared expectations, goals and objectives for work and agreeing how they will work together
  • Sharing ongoing feedback from their day to day working experiences about how each perceive they are performing together, including the creation of relevant mutual actions that enhance both the working relationship and the shared work results

The following table represents the major distinctions between these two primary forms of contemporary coaching.

Distinction or Parameter

Executive Coach

Collegial Coach

Basis of Role and Nature of Relationship

Hired for a Fee - External Agent for Personal Change

Coachee is "client"

Manager, Peer, Direct Report - a Colleague with a working relationship and a vested interest in the success of the colleague - Colleagues are coaches for one another


Enhancement of Overall Effectiveness or Performance - can also be Corrective (i.e. changing problematic behaviors)

Building a relationship of openness & trust and either Performance Enhancement or Development/Growth

Feedback and use of information

Confidential with boundaries on use depending if purpose is Developmental (for Coachee only) or Corrective (Administrative use)

Personal use - Performance and Developmental feedback are both shared - Corrective (Administrative use) can occur for problems if they "escalate"

Flow of Feedback

Generally one way - coach to coachee

Generally two way - coaching flows between colleagues committed to being coaches for one another

Source of Feedback

360 degree Assessments and/or interviews with stakeholders

Day to day interactions and third party feedback

General focus of the Coaching Conversation

Review of what's working and what's not; Questioning to explore role the coachee played in outcomes; Exploring options; Creating a plan for the coachee to move forward

Mutual sharing of perceptions and working experiences to encourage mutual learning; Exploring problem-solving options; Creation of a plan both parties support in moving forward

Subject Matter Expertise of the Coach

Consultant, Psychologist, or other trained helping professional

Based on personal career experience of the coach acting as the coach

Structure of Coaching Interaction

Usually planned or scheduled

Often spontaneous but can be planned in advance


Built into scope of structured time period of coaching assignment

Flexible to the two parties to conduct follow-up actions based on coaching agreements

In my work as an organizational consultant, I see the creation of true "High Performance Coaching Cultures as the next wave. The clear possibility is that an entire culture can adopt this powerful collegial approach and common coaching process model of coaching, and create this compelling vision for their organization.

In a COACHING CULTURE, all members of the culture fearlessly engage in candid, respectful coaching conversations, unrestricted by reporting relationships, about how they can improve their working relationships and individual and collectivework performance.

All have learned to value and effectively use feedback as a powerful learning tool to produce personal and professional development, high-trust working relationships, continually-improving job performance, and ever-increasingcustomer satisfaction.

Crane Consulting is focused on helping organizations achieve the creation the culture that enables sustainable levels of high-performance from their leaders and teams. We invite you to join us on this journey.


Announcing in January, 2005...The Heart of Coaching workshop and certification are being held in San Diego, CA. Please click on News above for dates, location and registration information.

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