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Organizational Coaching and Professional Development: A Valuable Partnership

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Training and education have become prominent features in the professional development curricula of many contemporary organizations. In this essay, I briefly identify several of the reasons for this growing interest. I then suggest ways in which training and education are enhanced by several complimentary coaching activities. I identify the nature of and reasons for shifting concepts of training and education, and the closely related emphasis on retention and transfer of learning. I then suggest some of the reasons why organizational coaching might support and increase retention and transfer in training and education programs.

Coupling Training/Education and Coaching

One of the major interactions between organizational coaching and organization development in contemporary organizations exists in the domain of training and education. This interaction, in turn, seems to be a product of several emerging insights and concerns in 21st Century organizations. Three fundamental issues have emerged recently with regard to training and education that have encouraged the entrance of organizational coaching as an invaluable compliment to employee developmental programs.

First, there has been a fundamental shift in our notions about training and education.  Second, we are becoming increasingly concerned about not just the volume of what has been learned in an employee development program, but also about how much and what has been retained from this program and what has been used (transfer of learning) in the workplace. Third, there has been increasing realization that various forms of organizational coaching can assist in this retention and transfer process.

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