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Training and Development Policy Wiki

Page History: Coaching in Government

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Page Revision: 1/7/2013 1:46:34 PM

Coaching in Government

The International Coach Federation defines coaching as "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential." Coaching's primary emphasis is on maximizing people's potential by working on their perceptions, self-confidence and creative drive.

Coaching programs can be conducted standing alone, or integrated as part of a training and development program within an organization. Federal agencies, like their private sector counterparts, increasingly offer formal coaching programs to enhance the career and personal development of their leaders and employees.

While coaching may be a formal relationship between a professional coach and coachee, the development of coaching skills are increasingly seen as an essential part of effective management and leadership. Supervisors frequently use informal coaching as a management style when providing feedback to employees and facilitating effective teamwork. [1]

Coaching and Mentoring in Government
Coaching, like mentoring, is a ‘helping’ activity. Individually or together as part of a package of personal development, they enable individuals to achieve their full potential. Mentoring is a process that focuses specifically on providing guidance, direction, and career advice.

Solve Problems

(What are some coaching resources available to me?)

For those interested in learning how to coach, the Office Of Personnel Management offers training classes through its Leadership Development and Training website.

Stay Current

(What can I learn to help me refresh my knowledge base and add value?)

Mentoring and coaching are instrumental to maximize learning and development. The American Management Association’s document Coaching: A Global Study of Successful Practices 1 explains results of a survey of more than 1,000 business leaders around the world on effectiveness of coaching as a means of increasing employees’ individual productivity. These documents can be useful in developing, maintaining and evaluating your mentoring and coaching programs.

Coaching in Government Group
The Coaching in Government group is entirely committed to the best practice of coaching within the Federal Government. It's objective is to bring together coaching leaders across Federal Agencies to discuss strategic challenges and opportunities related to running a coaching program while, at the same time, attending to broader goals such as collaboration between agencies, innovation in developing leaders, and identifying efficiencies within Government.

National Cancer Institute (NCI)
The NCI offers executive and leadership coaching to GS-13's and above. These individuals may participate in the coaching program through self or supervisor referral. GS-13's must have supervisor approval to participate. Coaching is offered by a cadre of internal coaches that have been certified through Sherpa Coaching. For more information, contact the NCI Office of Workforce Management and Development at

NCI has also offered a comprehensive cohort mentoring program since 2004 for employees at all grade levels. The Knowledge Management program consists of monthly professional development sessions as well as formal mentoring relationships, and gives participants tools for professional growth over the course of one year. Participants build a strong network across the organization as they work with other members of their cohort to share best practices and lessons learned. For more information, contact the NCI Office of Workforce Management and Development at

Discover Helpful Tips and Resources

(What other tools and resources including guides, articles and websites are available to me?)

Evolution of Coaching in the Federal Government:
This article explores the evolution of executive coaching and how it is used in the Federal Government.

The Career Coach is In:
Career coach Marshall Brown writes articles for Washington Post online on how people may achieve success in their lives.

The Federal Coach:
Tom Fox from the Partnership for Public Service writes a blog on Washington for Federal employees on leadership development.

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