Outcome 1 
1.2 - Identify potential individual, operational and organisational barriers to using coaching or mentoring and develop appropriate strategies for minimising or overcoming these



Organisational factors that may affect coaching working 

Is the organisational culture conducive to coaching? 

Cost of training.

Time (for sessions and cover).

A lack of a buy-in from senior management.

No real evidence of outcomes/impact.

A culture where trust and openness are not encouraged.


Cost of training.

An obvious barrier for some organisations where only what is absolutely necessary in training is paid for. Unfortunately this often prevents any real development. 1 day ‘quick fixes’ can also be used where as many people are pushed to attend in as short a time as possible.

This often means organisations fall foul of the saying “Hitting the target but missing the point”.

What can be done? 

If your organisation is unwilling to spread training extensively then it is better to train a small group to a high standard and utilize them as a source of development internally.

Ensure the evidence of the impact of coaching and mentoring is shared with the appropriate people.

Use your own action research to demonstrate the impact of the approach within the organisation. 


Time (for sessions and cover).

Quality-focused thinking time can be very creative: it gives an individual the space to expand their thinking and can actually save time in the long run. It allows people to share their ideas, fears and difficulties in a confidential environment so that the process of change and/or acquiring new skills is less frightening.

What can be done?

Share research from external sources and from within the organisation (based on your own work) 

Be flexible in the way you carry out your coaching and mentoring. Use technology where possible and encourage as much prior preparation to a meeting as possible. 


A lack of buy-in from senior management

What can be done? 

If you meet resistance from senior management, hold a meeting with all the stakeholders to demonstrate how coaching or mentoring can benefit your organisation.

As with individual barriers, case studies are now freely available for discussion.

Ask to run the approach as a pilot scheme selectively before attempting to run the approach across the organisation.

Make sure that your objectives are in line with organisational goals and values will mean that you will have more chance of success



Providing evidence of outcomes/impact

What can be done?


When you introduce coaching or mentoring, you should set up a monitoring and evaluation programme to ensure there are frequent reviews on how individuals are progressing. Some effective monitoring methods are as follows:


Self-reflection on behalf of the coachee/mentee.


How the coachee/mentee feels they are progressing with regard to personal and organisational goals.


360 feedback at the beginning and end of the programme.


Staff surveys to measure behaviour changes and staff morale.


External evaluation.


The benefits of mentoring are well documented, and it is now recognised that coaching can impact positively particularly on staff motivation and retention as well as contributing to increased productivity.




Case study

Newcastle City Council evaluated the benefits they experienced from training over 100 staff in Newcastle schools and colleges in coaching skills.


The following are their conclusions: ‘From the evaluation of our coaching training and from my personal experience I have noticed the following:


  • Better teamwork and co-operation of staff

  • Improved self-management and achievement of targets and goals

  • Increased success through more effective planning and prioritising

  • More confidence and competence in a wider range of tasks and situations

  • Better decision-making.

I have recommended that we develop a structured programme of coaching over the next two years.’


A culture where trust and openness are not encouraged.

What can be done?


Try to gain the trust of a few key people who will champion your cause. You may need to take small steps at first and start with one or two people who are willing to be trained as coaches.


Reference: Coaching Skills for Leaders in the Workplace 

Coaching Overview Document

What it does:

It gives someone an initial understanding of coaching: what it is, its benefits etc

It encourages a coachee to begin thinking about any goals or objectives they might have.

When might I use it?

- During initial discussions about the potential of coaching .

- In advance of the first coaching session.

- When beginning a new coaching relationship, to give a new coachee some background information or reading.


1.1 - Context, definition and difference 

1.2 - Barriers to using coaching 

1.3 - The case for coaching 

2.1  - Knowledge, skills and behaviour

2.2 - Effective communication 

2.3 - Responsibilities to manage relationships

3.1 - Review a model or process 

3.2 - Rationale for contracting 

3.3 - Exploring expectations and boundaries 

3.4 - Rationale for supervision 

4.1 - Review elements required for integrated coaching


4.2 - Analyse how benefits evaluated