What is it?

The Federal Government is at the vanguard of integrating coaching into executive and managerial leadership.

Experts say

Cynthia S. Mazur, director for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Division, Office of Chief Counsel, at FEMA, writes about The Coaching Revolution in the Federal Government for the Association for Talent Development website.  She is a certified coach herself and praises the results oriented benefits of coaching. 

What I love

As a DC native who is the daughter of two federal employees, its gratifying to see federal employees at the forward edge of the management curve.

Key takeaways

  • Many federal agencies are already using coaching for the Federal SES level.
  • Some agencies are starting to expand coaching into the emerging leader ranks at GS 9 and up.
  • OPM performance standards expect employees to exercise coaching skills on the job.
  • The best way to learn to coach others is to be coached – you learn first hand how it feels.
  • The government is setting up programs to train internal coaches.

Best quote

Coaching in the workplace can bring remarkable benefits to the organization. Many articles, books, and studies assert a major return on investment (ROI) for providing coaching to employees.  Coaching is about forward motion and taking action in service of goals and commitments. Many employees become more focused, engaged, motivated, and loyal. Productivity increases and employees become more accountable for their workplace.”  — Cynthia Mazur

How my coach views this

I think it’s great that OPM is developing a cadre of trained, internal, federal employees who can offer free coaching as part of their collateral duties.  My observation is that for Federal SES and top political appointee coaching, it also makes sense to continue to hire outside coaches with a broader perspective and no internal role.   Top leaders come to federal positions from an entirely different background and operate under tremendous expectations.  They are under pressure to innovate and produce in a relatively short period of time.  Working with an independent high level coach whose only focus is you allows the relationship to deepen and get to the heart of what is needed at that moment.