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Coaching in the Project Environment

Welcome to this ebook, Coaching in the Project Environment. We hope you find it useful.

A number of the APM People Specific Interest Group (SIG) Committee members blogged on coaching and mentoring in 2013 and received a significant amount of interest and feedback from the wider APM membership.

Among this feedback appeared to be a fair degree of confusion between coaching and mentoring. This is something we sought to address in the blog. We then ran a pilot coaching session for those new to the topic.

This ebook seeks to build on those initial blog discussions and the coaching pilot by providing a useful resource for colleagues in the project environment.

You will notice a different style within each chapter. A different author was chosen for each chapter, aiming to provide a variety of points of view and emphases. The one thing all the authors have in common is that they have benefited from coaching and can attest to its value.

Moreover, each uses coaching in their ‘day job’. Some are ‘internal’ coaches, i.e. they use coaching techniques within their organisation only. Others are professional coaches who earn a living from their coaching interventions.

We set the scene with Miles Huckle, who uses case studies from his experience of coaching in the project environment to bring the benefits to life. Project managers and learning and development professionals provide a raft of quotations to illustrate the power of being coached.

Carole Osterweil uses storytelling to good effect as she presents case studies from the project manager’s and project director’s perspectives. We hear stories that will be all too familiar to some readers. Carole moves us beyond one-to-one coaching into team coaching to create a high performing project team.

Robert Blakemore then takes up the question of whether coaching or mentoring is the right approach. It will come as no surprise to most readers that the answer depends very much on the specific situation. Robert was one of the key APM People SIG bloggers on this topic and his chapter builds on his blog posts and brings his insights as a project management practitioner to the subject.

Susanne Madsen makes it personal to the reader. She explores what you should consider when looking for a coach. Her concluding section is a list of powerful questions we can all benefit from asking ourselves, including whether you want to move forward formally with a coach or not.

Anthony Onabanjo concludes the book by looking at some of the evidence for the effectiveness of coaching. While coaching is used extensively in organisations worldwide, Anthony was struck while writing his piece by the lack of research carried out into the efficacy of coaching specifically in the project environment.

All in all, the book spans a rich variety of writing styles and perspectives from those who have been coached and those who coach. Hopefully, you will find something of value here that will help you in your development.

Download the full report