Coaching is a method of work-related learning which relies primarily on one-to-one conversations. The two colleagues in the coaching conversation have different roles. The coach is focused on facilitating the coachee’s learning and development process. As such, the coach’s primary concern is that the coachee takes care of him- or herself. The coach may be a more experienced colleague, an outside professional with the same expertise as the coachee, or an outside adviser who is experienced primarily in ‘coaching professionals’ and is not — and has never been — active in the coachee’s field of expertise. Coaching by one’s own manager (‘coaching leadership’) is usually not geared solely towards learning, as in the definition above, in view of the judgmental nature of the managing relationship. In general, ‘managing by coaching’ means applying coaching techniques in the practice of leadership.
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