Corporate Coaching: The Essential Guide

Worldwide, organizations invest heavily on their employees to enhance their capabilities and manage growth and build competitive advantage. Through a comprehensive approach, Corporate Coaching shows how organizations can use coaching as a development tool to improve the effectiveness of employees at all levels of management. This book focuses on how to improve individual and organizational performance using coaching, develop the leadership pipeline and evolve a coaching culture.

The book is a ‘How To’ guide for corporate coaching, written primarily for human resource and learning and development professionals. It will help readers understand the nuances of corporate coaching and make better decisions in introducing coaching as an intervention for organization development. Sponsors or decision makers of coaching intervention can use the methods given in this book for measuring the return on coaching investment and evaluating the effectiveness of corporate coaching.


This book is the culmination of my long years of experience of working in various corporations in human resource function and then taking up coaching as a profession. During my initial phase of coaching career, I came across several books on coaching, did lots of browsing on Internet and went through various research journals to get myself fully equipped on what works and what does not work. I also understood how to address challenges of corporations in coaching interventions and what differentiates coaching intervention in the organizations from the other developmental strategies. Unfortunately, the process was long, tedious but not of much of use. Then I started discussion with my coaching mentors on the challenges faced by majority of executives in corporations as they struggle to navigate their path in highly complex, polarized, chaotic and uncertain environment. Sheri Boone and Jim Clarkson are two of my mentors, who have always provided me new insights on coaching within an organization.

I am deeply inspired by the seminal work of Dr Marshall Goldsmith and Sir John Whitmore. I believe their contributions in coaching are immense and all coaches get insights on how to address the critical issues of coaching corporate clients. I am also influenced by the work of Martin Seligman and Mithaly Csikszentmihalyi on positive psychology, which is reflected significantly throughout this book.

I owe gratitude to Prabha, Vijay, Madhav, and Tapas, who were some of my initial corporate coaching clients. They gave me different perspectives and new insights. I owe my gratitude to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (a large public sector enterprise in India), where I was involved in large-scale deployment of internal coaching program. The participants of this program (i.e., manager-coaches) have sown a seed of enquiry in me about what corporate coaching is all about and distinguishing it from other niche of coaching. I am also indebted to International Journal of Coaching in Organization, International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching and International Journal of Evidence-based Coaching and Mentoring for publishing my action-research papers, which reinforced some of the thesis on coaching.

My deepest gratitude is to all men and women from various organizations, multinational to national corporations, large to small, profit to not-for profit, who have shared their experiences, stories, challenges and dilemmas, while undergoing coaching conversation with me.

I am grateful to Libby Robinson for writing the Foreword of this book. She was the first person with whom I shared my idea on writing a book in this domain a few years back. Deep gratitude is expressed for Dr Marshall Goldsmith, Dr John Hoover, Dr Santrup Mishra, Deborah Tom, and Dr Brian O. Underhill for going through the thick manuscript in spite of their busy schedule and providing me their valuable inputs as well as endorsements for this book. It really meant a lot to me personally. I am also thankful to my good friend Dr Gopal Mahapatra for encouraging me to write the book on this subject and sharing his experiences.

I am thankful to SAGE publications for agreeing to publish this book. In particular, I am thankful to R. Chandrasekhar, Associate Vice President, Commissioning, who happens to be my key contact for my earlier book also.

Finally, I am grateful to my parents for sharing their compassion and affection, to my wife, Urmi, for encouragement and support and my son, Neil, for pursing his quest for excellence.

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