Coaching is an individual-specific intervention comprising skilled conversation and activities around it, to help the coachee arrive at priorities for personal development, to plan out steps to bring about the development, and to spur self to stay on the decided path of development.

Business Imperative

Businesses frequently see potential in many of their managers to take on larger responsibilities, and also notice something amiss in them that might make it difficult for them to succeed when given such larger responsibilities. The issues are person-specific. This is when they need to deploy the coaching methodology to help such managers grow themselves in specific areas.

Typical Intervention Process

Typically, coaching relationships are commenced with for coachees who are participants in specific leadership programs – the choice of participants for the programs being dictated typically by their potential to take on larger responsibilities. Alternatively, a coaching relationship is commenced with for a particular coachee who, his or her manager believes, would benefit from such a relationship.

In a typical engagement of the latter kind, there is initial conversation with the coachee when both sides explore whether they feel that, given the coach’s skills, the relationship is likely to be of value – the so-called ‘good fit’ conversation. Thereafter, if the decision is to go ahead with the relationship, there is a diagnostic phase during which either a multi-rater survey instrument is administered, or the coach obtains feedback from 3 to 5 people dealing closely with the coachee. Typically, we also administer a psychometric instrument at this time – the choice of instrument is dictated by the range of issues to work on uncovered by the diagnostic phase.

Based on the data gathered, typically a 3 to 4 hour coach-coachee session ensues, during which the data is seen by both and the key behavioral patterns to be reduced or strengthened are identified. Action plans to reduce and strengthen the patterns are drawn up, and the reviews with coach are agreed upon.

Thereafter, as per agreement, there are follow-through sessions – telephonic or face-to-face. At his / her discretion, the coach might, in addition, wish to sit through a meeting or a presentation by the coachee in the course of his or her work, so as to be able to provide feedback for improvement.

Through this process, lasting typically 6 to 12 months, periodic reports are submitted to stakeholders – typically, manager and HR.


The value of such an individual-specific intervention can be significant. We are often reported behavioral changes that were noticed by people dealing with the coachee. Since the intervention is long drawn out, we also believe that it leads to lasting behavioral changes.


Coaching is an ancient art across cultures. Modern frameworks of coaching in the workplace can largely be traced to the work on Client-Centered Counselling by Carl Rogers in the middle of the 20th century. In addition, most contemporary coaching frameworks tend to bring in additional theoretical underpinnings.

To be effective, coaches need to have practiced counselling or coaching over time with varied people. They also need to have spent time at senior levels in organizations, so as to be familiar with issues and terminologies of businesses and of business organizations.

Case Studies

A globally distributed IT services business was struggling to find leaders to fill the senior level roles emerging due to its expansion. It had set up an elaborate leadership development program to address the gap. However, there were many high performing managers in the pool who were not matching up to expectations of strategic orientation despite many months of inputs as part of the program. Our consultant took on three of them as coachees, as part of the overall program. Following our disciplined approach, he was able to spur certain changes in perspectives in two of the three coachees within six months that led the management eventually to revise their assessment of potential of these two. As for the third coachee, his work kept him travelling internationally for long periods of time, which added to other factors that prevented any significant change in him.

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