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Internal Coaches and Mentors

goma manThis is a picture of Antony Gormley’s “Goma Man”. It’s a cast iron sculpture situated outside the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, facing the sea.

I chose it for a presentation to Engage for Success volunteers in December, to provoke some thinking. The individual is clearly ‘stuck’ and it made me think of the role coaches and mentors can play in supporting the development of managerial behaviours and qualities in our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.

Traditionally coaching senior managers has been the preserve of external coaches, who can bring new perspectives and challenges from outside the organisation. Yet there is a growing recognition that, with good sponsorship, internal coaches and mentors who are part of the very same system, can offer a unique/bespoke learning partnership.

I believe internal coaches and mentors are well placed to act as powerful agents for change – promoting employee engagement from within, by supporting colleagues’ practices on the journey from good to great. For example – if we map some of the opportunities against the four enablers of employee engagement:

Strategic Narrative – helping managers inducting new staff, to ensure understanding of the organisations’ purpose and culture – at that critical ’embedding into a new culture’ point.

Enabling Managers – supporting increased self-awareness and self-management of engaging managerial and leadership behaviours.

Employee Voice – encouraging people to work out what they really want to say and how to ask constructively.

Organisational Integrity – identifying themes and issues, when working at scale and within ethical boundaries.

It’s a challenging role and a growing area of expertise. In launching this new Thought and Action Group I hope people who join us will find a space to share thinking, explore potential, enhance current practice and offer ideas to others beyond the group.

So if this is your world and you’d like to get involved, please email me at katherine@engageforsuccess.org