The Greatest Threat to Success and How to Avoid It...
Can internal HR professionals do an effective job of coaching leaders? Definitely.
Will most internal HR coaches be effective in coaching leaders? Maybe.
My friend, Linda Sharkey, did some outstanding research on internal HR coaching when she was at GE Capital a few years ago. The findings were very clear: Not only could internal coaches do as good a job as external coaches, internal coaches often did a better job than external coaches!
There are four unique challenges facing internal HR coaches:
4. Time: From my experience, this is the biggest challenge. Many of the great HR professionals I know can manage confidentiality, have great credibility, and are well-trained as coaches. The challenge is that they are so over-committed that they don’t have the time to take on this type of assignment.
Four reasons why the GE case study was a success:
3. Coaches were trained to reinforce the specific goals of GE and deal with the specific issues faced by their clients.
4. Coaches were given the time they needed to devote to their coaching clients. This was seen as part of their job not an add-on.
As this research showed, when the coaching process is designed to ensure success, internal HR coaches can do a fantastic job. For more information about this research, see Linda Sharkey’s article “Leveraging HR: How to Develop Leaders in ‘Real Time’” in the book Human Resources in the 21st Century.