Human Resources

Coaching

This page explores:

  • the essence of coaching and how it might help you. 
  • how the 'University of Bath Coaching Service' operates, how to access a Coach and what to consider before you do so. 
  • what might be on offer for teams during times of change or transition
  • how individual managers might enhance their coaching skills. 

The essence of coaching

Coaching is 'Unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.' 

Coaching is a confidential process which aims to help you discover how to address your challenges; develop greater self-awareness; identify goals and potential barriers; develop appropriate skills and strategies and feel empowered to take action. If you have management/leadership responsibilities, this may result in enhancing your ability to lead and communicate with others.

Coaching can help in these scenarios:

  • Talented staff with potential can be developed ahead of time
  • Support in improving skills, working relationships; managing conflict; dealing with underperformance
  • Can generate ‘creative reflective space’ which fosters innovative thinking
  • Can help build resilience of individual and their team
  • Improve coachee's ability to relate to and influence others; to manage his/her time or how s/he comes across.

'13 Myths About Coaching' is useful for anyone considering coaching support and explains why coaching is not the right solution for everyone all of the time. 

Coaching normally involves four 90 - 120 minute meetings, one every 3 - 6 weeks, arranged at a mutually convenient time for coach and coachee and set up from the start. The meetings are usually completed within 6 months and although coaching relationships can vary in length, it is not anticipated to extend past 12 months. After a few sessions, Coach and Coachee will review progress towards the Coachee’s goals and agree if more than 4 sessions are needed.

University of Bath Coaching Service

Bath launched its Coaching Service in February 2015 to provide access to internal and external Coaches for staff employed by the university to help them address specific work-related challenges or career development. When you have read all the information, if you feel coaching is the right solution for you and you have the agreement of your manager, your first step is to decide between an internal or external coach.

Internal Coaching Network

The network comprises 16 Coaches from a wide range of academic and professional services roles across the University, a diversity that brings valuable perspectives and understanding to the coaching role. They take on coaching assignments in addition to their main job roles and responsibilities and, unlike Mentors, do not need to have expertise in the work or discipline area of their Coachee. They will not be matched with a Coachee in the same department or anyone with whom they have a close working/personal relationship.

All Coaches have undertaken a rigorous training programme leading to Level 5 ‘Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring’ from the Institute of Leadership and Management. As members of the Bath Coaching Academy, they receive supervision from an external supervisor and take part in continuing professional development events.  They agree to adhere by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council's Code of Ethics.

The service of internal Coaches is free. Read what staff who have been coached by internal coaches say about its impact.

External Coaches

The University's Lead Coach maintains a register of approved Executive Coaches whom she has met, are suitably accredited, with excellent references. She provides a brokerage service to help individuals source the most suitable external Coach. The costs of the coach are paid by the Department or Coachee and we assume that manager's permission has been gained before completing the form, as meetings usually (but not always) take place during working hours. For information about the range of fees, contact staffcoaching@bath.ac.uk.

Requesting coaching

If you are requesting coaching, either using our internal coaching network or requesting an external coach, please email staffcoaching@bath.ac.uk. Your email will only be looked at by Staff Development in order to progress your request for coaching.

You will receive acknowledgement of your email, along with a short form to complete which will enable Staff Development to consider the suitability of coaching for you, or whether other support might be more appropriate. Once your form has been received, we will contact you to arrange an informal chat about your request, so that we can match you with the most appropriate coach.

Coaching teams and supporting change or innovation

If you are leading a significant project at the university and are wondering how you might best support project members, you may want to consider whether coaching key individuals or a specific team might be helpful. We can provide internal or external Coaches. The first step is to meet the Lead Coach to discuss your requirements, please email staffcoaching@bath.ac.uk

The Change management Toolkit is a good place to start your planning. 

Coaching skills for managers

These skills are incorporated into many of our longer, award-bearing management development programmes and a one day Coaching Conversations course, suitable for all staff.

Bath Coaching Academy

The Bath Coaching Academy has been set up to support, enhance and disseminate good ideas through a community of practice.