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Coaching As A Learning Practice In Organisations

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In order to be considered as a growth oriented organisation, developing Human Recourse should take a place in organisation’s priority .HR is a resource with undefined potential capabilities where can be invested in. Human Resource Development “is a system deals with this potential by identifying, focusing on it to design activities with specific time to produce behavioral changes that benefit the organisation and the employee” as Leonard Nadler defined HRD. Coaching is a tool that HRD use to change employee’s behaviors by improve their skills, knowledge and abilities.

This essay will discuss how coaching can be used as a learning practice in organisations. This will be seen, firstly by discussing the coaching nature and differentiate it from training and monitoring, compare and contrast the perspective on learning by coaching and its types from researchers, scholars, managers and HRD professionals’ sides and then see what implications these perspectives do have for HRD, and lastly will see which practices are more practically useful to implement in the workplace. In this essay will be focusing on peer and managerial workplace coaching.

Nature of coaching

Coaching seen as a not clear concept. As per HRD professional’s perspective, they have seen coaching as a term is similar as mentoring, training, instructing or counseling and other one on one tool that used in the HRD learning facilitation. (Toby Egan, Robert G. Hamlin 2014). Similarly, the researchers claimed and even gave evidence of how HRD textbook has been neglected coaching topic. According to Andrea D. Ellinger and Sewon Kim (2014) there is recently no global definitional agreement on coaching. However, coaching from managerial perspective, they indicated that it has been signified in the literature since 1950s (Hagan and Peterson 2014). As per the majority coaching as a terminology is needing to have more attention and more research that clarify this concept.

Growth of coaching definitions

Nowadays there are predictable 53,000 practicing coaches world-wide (Forbes, 2017) and the number of coaching linked to academic courses has increased rapidly in the past 10 years (Grant, 2016). Which improve that coaching is an efficient tool that take a place in development HR.

Coaching is defined as “a human development procedure that includes structured, focused communication and the use of appropriate strategies, tools and techniques to promote suitable and maintainable change of benefit of the coachee and others”. (Bachkirova, Cox and Clutterbuck 2014).

Coaching, mentoring and training

To distinguish between coaching and mentoring we can see that mentoring seen as long-term procedure created by shared trust and respect that focused on building an informal relationship between the mentor and mentee while coaching is for a short period of time, follows a more planned and formal style. On the other hand, training is about transferring knowledge while coaching is about enhancing knowledge.

Coaching as a learning presented

The primary reason of establishing any organization is to make profit out of its operation and to ensure sustainability. Sustainability occurs by improve the individual learning and developing human potential. As per Cox coaching is gaining popularity and become one of notable activities that assist the learning and development aims of HRD. As per coaches’ perspectives they stated that “clients coming back because of coaching works.”

Managers see that using coaching style helped them to change in organizational culture. On the other hand, employees confirmed that coaching was more motivating and created more trusting relationships with their managers. Since everyone has different leaning style, some learns more visual than others, and other learns by doing while other learns by reading and writing, thus when coaches choose how client best learns, they can develop their best coaching practices that can bring the maximum benefit.

Area of knowledge relevant to coaching.

Many theories of adult learning seen as a key in the process of learning and change that happened during the coaching process. (Andragogy, experimental learning, transformative learning.) these theories influence the coaching practices.

There are three key foci for coaching relationships structure, theories and approaches that bring insight explore the interaction richness of coach and coachee relationship. Cox see coaching should have all the three components from structure to the theories reaching to the approaches adapt. In fact, the coaching relationship is viewed as a vehicle for change. Coach has to focus on his/her relationship with the coachee not only on how to improve the performance. Coach should have many competencies such being active listener, excellent communicating skills that can build a trust with the coachee. Malybia et al (2014) present how should both coach and coachee have similar role in coaching process not only the coach. Coach with strong interpersonal capacity and a readiness to be a real helper and to engage as a dyadic partner can contribute to impactful coaching relationship more than in coaching team.

Forms of coaching

coaching is a growing HRD-related area that has many forms like internal or external workplace coaching, dyadic or group coaching, managerial or peer coaching. I will focus on managerial and peer coaching. As per Hagan and Peterson they claimed that managerial and executive coaching got more researchers attention than peer coaching similarly Dimas, Rebet and Lourenco confirmed.

Managerial coaching

Managerial Coaching is become increasingly popular in organizations. Managers, by acting as a coach, are taking more responsibility for helping employees succeed excellent performance. On the other hand, organisation is trying to develop its own competency from its own manager. Managerial coaching is developed to guide HRD practices, (Gallup Poll .2015) found that up to 70 percent of employee engagement is impacted by the relationship between employees and their manager. Because managers have such influence over how engaged their team members are. Hence, it’s important to skill managers with leadership skills.

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Cognitive-behavioral approaches have proven successful in improve managers coaching skills, increasing rational beliefs, increasing their general fulfillment towards the teams they were coordinating, as well as the performance of these teams David, (O. A., & Matu, S. A. 2013).

Peer coaching

Experience transferring when there is no power of authority exist. Researchers have different point of view some see it as one to one (2 people relationship), while others refer it as a team activity or a group of two or more relationship.

Aspects of peer coaching seen as clear and specific goals. The goal of peer coaching

As per scholars’ point of view is skill acquisition while researchers said goals should be determinant and be a part of process. The greatest agreement appears to consider peer coaching as a process method or approach.

Implications of coaching for Human Resource Development: Peer coaching used as low-cost tool and when no power differential exists.

In organisations they use Whitmore’s GROW model which focus on coaching process through goals development, review of multiple options and sustained effort.

It is used and has obviously impact seen in nursing and medical context.

The peer coaching outcomes:

  • Personal outcomes in term of development and growth
  • Professional outcomes in term of performance improvement and skill sets
  • Intended outcomes.

Managerial coaching used when power of hierarchy implemented. In each organisation there is a mission and vision determine its identity, and strategic goals designed to achieve them. HRD job is to improve the contribution of their employees to be aligned with the organisation goals. Since each employee has different learning style and in order to perform better, coaching practice should be design and choose according to employee learning style to make sure that best outcome will be the result of coaching process. From the point of view of HRD, “selecting and engaging coaches would mean careful consideration of the current learning and development agenda of the organization, knowledge of the main coaching orientations and genres, and consideration of matching between them.”

Best coaching practice

The diversity of coaching approaches allows coaches to apply the most appropriate model to meet organizational and employee’s needs, there is need to consider the issues facing the employee and the organization decide which model appears to drive the coaching learning and performance and select appropriate coaching approaches.

From my point of view, and depending on what the researchers has been done on coaching topic I found managerial coaching most effective. especially if the manager has high interpersonal and social skill. Although researchers argued that external coaching has more effective than internal but I relay on what Gallup mentioned about how employee influenced by their managers. Beside manager- employee is a long-term relationship, which has impact in long term as well. Any form of coaching can be effective if designed based on what suit coachee style of learning. Coaching is an effective tool to bridge the gap that employee has. Organisation should implement it in its developmental plan for its managerial level in order to improve the performance management system.


As has been mentioned, coaching is considered as a learning style in the organisations. Additionally, the coaching approach depend on the target of coaching, the client(employee) level of education and best way of learning that can help employee to achieve their coaching aim parallel to the needs of the organization. Human Resource Development (HRD) plays a very important role in improving the employees’ learning and performance. So, Coaching is an effective tool to help each employee in the organization to fully use their abilities, knowledge and skill. Coaching can be in different form can be as a peer or managerial or workplace coaching. Coaching helps in sustaining a relationship between the employees in an organization. It has positive effect on organisation outcome overall.

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Coaching As A Learning Practice In Organisations. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from
“Coaching As A Learning Practice In Organisations.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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Coaching As A Learning Practice In Organisations [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Feb 4]. Available from:
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