- Coaching for researcher development
- How to provide coaching in your institution
How to provide coaching in your institution
Four key considerations for setting up coaching provision:
1. The context of coaching provision
What 'buy in' is required and from whom? Is the coaching being provided within a wider 'coaching culture' of the university, alongside other programmes of researcher support provision? What resources are required? Is agreement about a specific researcher's involvement needed by supervisors or line managers?
2. What is the best form of coaching provision?
Depending on the goals of the programme and funding available, different forms of coaching can be provided. There are advantages and disadvantages to external, internal, manager (or supervisor) and peer coaches.
3. How will the coaching be evaluated?
The level of evaluation required will depend on the goal of the coaching programme and requirements of various stakeholders. Researcher experience and learning of the coaching programme can be integrated into the coaching process itself, however, establishing actual changes in behaviour and tangible results will require a more formalised evaluation process. The risk is both under and over estimating the impact of coaching.
4. The coaching contract
What agreement will be in place for the coaching relationship, in particular:
- what are the parameters of the coaching focus?
- how long will the sessions be, how many sessions will be provided and where will the sessions be held?
- what agreements of confidentiality and ethics will need to be in place?
- who needs to know that the coaching will be taking place (e.g. manager, supervisor)?
- what form of documentation, if any, will be generated and kept (from each session as well as the series of coaching)?
- how will the researcher be held to account?
- how will the coach be held to account? Will they be required to have supervision?
The CIPD provides a detailed guide, ‘Coaching and buying coaching services', (CIPD 2008), about commissioning generic coaching programmes.