Answers to common questions

A lot of websites have a page of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that orbit around the products or services on offer. I thought that with the amount I’ve written over the past several years it would be interesting to create an FAQ page, not about me, but about the topics I’ve written about.

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Why is coaching supervision important for organisations?

Coaching supervision plays a vital role in the professional development of internal coaches and adds strategic value by identifying emerging trends from coaching conversations across the organisation. Through the aggregated insights from hundreds of coaching relationships, supervisors can observe cultural themes, topic trends, and areas of concern – all whilst protecting individual confidentiality. This enables organisations to be more agile in responding to challenges their people face.

Can coaching supervision help address issues like burnout and change fatigue?

One meta trend I’ve observed is people feeling overwhelmed by continuous demands to do more with fewer resources amid change and uncertainty. Coaching supervision can highlight this burnout and allow coaches to be better supported with strategies to help clients establish healthy boundaries. It also provides insights for organisations to adopt more sustainable work practices.

What the challenges with adopting coaching across different cultures?

In some cultural contexts, coaching is still viewed as a corrective rather than developmental tool. There are difficulties breaking free from that mindset. As remote work spreads, increasing cultural diversity means coaching approaches that resonate in one context may not in another. The foundational processes to effectively integrate coaching into talent management also vary across cultures. Building coachee readiness is critical.

Why is revisiting core coaching skills and ethics important for internal coaches?

Even experienced internal coaches often seek guidance in supervision on fundamental issues like boundaries between coaching and mentoring, managing tricky situations with coachees, and whether certain actions are permitted. Consistently revisiting these basics through CPD and supervision enables steady professional growth. It’s also a reminder that more complex coaching needs may be better served by an external coach.

How is the changing world impacting what internal coaches need to navigate?

Rapid technology changes, social/political upheavals, and issues like climate change are pushing some coaching conversations into very challenging territory. Coaches are having to develop new tools and consider how to ethically support clients grappling with highly complex, seemingly unsolvable problems. Supervisors will play a key role in guiding coaches through this evolutionary period.

Is it really necessary to measure the ROI of coaching?

Whilst measuring ROI feels like a sensible thing to do for most organisational activities, coaching presents some unique challenges that make formally validating the investment tricky and potentially counter-productive. Coaching is not a predictable, repeatable, linear process – conversations can start anywhere and go in unforeseen directions. The personalised nature requires new thinking for each individual. Trying to force measurement risks undermining the freedom and innovation that skilled coaches allow.

What are some ways to identify the benefits of coaching for ROI purposes?

A clear understanding of the objectives the coaching aims to achieve is needed, both at the individual coachee level and across the entire programme. This can be captured through the final coaching session, a post-coaching debrief (potentially with the coachee’s line manager), or an automated questionnaire. The key is not forcing quantification where it doesn’t exist naturally – good coaches can highlight tangible outcomes organically through skilled discussion.

How should the coaching ROI be calculated?

The cost is more than just fees to an external provider – coachee time and lost productivity must be factored in, as well as the coach’s time if using internal coaches. Rather than take an ad-hoc approach, it’s better to partner with the CFO to create a framework fully aligned with the organisation’s financial priorities. This enhances engagement as coaching is positioned as an investment rather than a “tail wagging dog” HR initiative.

What are some common mistakes made when trying to measure coaching ROI?

The biggest mistake is doing nothing at all, either through lack of confidence or fear the data may undermine the value of coaching investment. Another pitfall is the Hawthorne effect, where coaching behaviour changes due to awareness of being measured. There’s also a misalignment when coaching’s deepest mindset benefits take time but are measured on short-term quarterly cycles.

How can I balance financial coaching ROI with more intangible benefits?

The impacts of individual coaching relationships should only be captured at a sensible point, not session-by-session which risks altering coach behaviour. For finite programmes this may be at the end or even later. For ongoing coaching, incorporating coachees once change has had time to manifest is wise. The process should validate value intrinsically generated by effective coaching, not attempt to be a change tool itself.