A person acting as a Coach, who is employed by a given organisation. The internal Coach may perform their job as an additional duty (for example they are an employee of the HR department or trainer on a daily basis) or devote 100% of their time to it.
During these past few years, the number of internal coaches employed in organisations has systematically increased. This is due to economic reasons; an internal coach presents a cheaper alternative to the recruitment of someone from outside of an organisation each time a coach is needed. Another advantage is that such a coach knows the specific nature of their organisation, thus it is easier for him (although this is not a rule) to conduct sessions.
However, there are also Challenges of working as an internal coach. For example, there is a risk of professional burnout, or possible difficulty in differentiating confidential information obtained from The client during sessions from that generally available. This may involve an unconscious sharing of information, therefore not abiding by the rules of Confidentiality.
It is especially difficult for a superior to act as an internal coach (working according to the methods of holistic coaching) in regards to his employees due to the difficulty of separating confidential information from that which is widely available. Additionally, subordinates may keep a distance (and in consequence have less Trust) because of their professional relationship with their superior.
The best situation is in large organisations, where there are a few internal coaches employed full time, because:
- The coach already knows his client,
- He knows the industry,
- He knows the organisation,
- There is no direct professional relationship or dependency,
- He can take part in the process of Choosing a coach exactly in the same way as when a coach is being hired from outside of the company,
- The process of contracting coaching is done according to the rules of practice (determining the Goals with the HR department, sponsor, etc. and verifying the effects after completing a whole cycle of meetings).
Quite often, internal coaches conduct sessions with employees only up to a certain management level, while executive coaching is performed by outside coaches chosen by The client himself.