Why organisations need both external and internal coaches

by | March 28, 2019 | Blog |

Organisations who tap into both internal and external coaches  become leaders of their industry. Read this article to learn why

Is your organisation experiencing a difficult situation which somehow hinders it from becoming a leader in the industry that it’s in? It may be a problem with an employee’s behavior or it can be the performance of a certain department. If so, your organisation may be in need of an internal and external coach. Continue reading this article to learn why internal and external coaches are essential to your organisation’s success.

Internal and external coaches


Internal coaches are trained coaches that are employed by an organisation to coach their fellow employees. Nowadays, internal coaching programs are becoming more popular since they are less expensive and more culture appropriate. Internal coaches understand the organisation’s culture and processes better than that of external coaches. Because of their immersion in the organisation’s culture, they know what kind of training programs and coaching methods are best for the organisation and its employees. However, hiring internal coaches alone may have some disadvantages. Because of their immersion in the company, internal coaches can be less objective than external coaches. Their coachees/co-employees may be more guarded in divulging their personal thoughts and feelings especially when it has something to do with the organisation as they may think that their ideas may not be well-received by someone who is working in the same organisation.

External coaches on the other hand, are coaches who are not employed in the same organisation as their coaching clients. Most external coaches work with executives and high-level leaders. Great external coaches have completed an extensive, accredited training program and specialise in a certain skillset that matches the need of their clients. Since external coaches are not employed by their client’s organisation they are less prone to internal politics. They are also able to offer sensitive feedback that is significant to their client’s performance improvement. However, external coaching also has its disadvantages such as: being costlier, being unfamiliar with the organisation’s processes and culture, and the availability of the coach.

What kind of coaching is best for my organisation?

An ICF Report (2014) recommends using all categories of coaches (external, internal, and managers and leaders trained as coaches) as appropriate to the situation and organisational level. They report that internal coaches are particularly effective with entry and mid-level employees, and that coaching should be offered to individuals of all ages and experience levels. Coaching should be delivered daily by managers and leaders as coaches of their direct reports; designated internal coaches and external coaches/consultants should coach daily, weekly or monthly as the situation requires. Roles should be clearly defined, as well as expectations and outcomes clarified and, in relation to internal and external coaches, formal contracts should be put in place to cement the commitment to coaching.

Benefits of having both internal and external coaches in your organisation:

1. Personal Development for both leaders and their direct reports

When your leaders are trained and coached by an external coach, they will know what areas of their lives and of their leadership they need to improve on. And because of this, they in turn can apply what they have learned to their direct reports and coach them in accordance with their needs.

2. Increase in employee participation

Knowing that there is a coach who will support and help them improve themselves, employees are more likely to become productive since they are more engaged and supportive of their organisation’s vision.

3. More effective teams

A coach can help improve a team’s function by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each team member through coaching. This will help the organisation create strategies in order for their teams to become more effective.

How about you? What is your organisation’s commitment to coaching? Are your managers and leaders trained by a professional coach-training school, or are they just left to “carry-on” as best they can with limited knowledge and skills?


If you want to incorporate coaching into your organisation and become a professional coach yourself, you can contact the Australian Institute of Professional Coaches 1 300 309 306 or email us at careers@professionalcoachtraining.com.au . We look forward to speaking with you soon.