Case Studies

Creating a Coaching Culture

By 6th December 2018 No Comments



Our client, a market leader in pharmaceutical research and manufacture, has recently invested in training ten of their managers to perform the role of internal coaches to support a shift towards a coaching culture in the business. Although all ten managers completed their coach training with an academic institution, they believed they were not sufficiently confident to coach in the business. The business was equally unconvinced and aware it had not seen return on its training investment. Westminster Coaching was engaged to consolidate the learning to date, identify any gaps that emerged, supplement the coaching skills of the managers, and provide internal coach supervision.

In parallel to supporting internal coaches, Westminster Coaching was engaged to coach members of the executive board.


The business goals were:

  1. Create a common understanding of how coaching can be deployed as part of creating a coaching style of management
  2. Deploy a team of high quality internal coaches to demonstrate best practice
  3. Observe and collect trends and development feedback to the business to support ongoing organisational development
  4. Provide a single point of contact for the HR team to manage the full spectrum of provision, training and ongoing support for the coaching programme


The Coaching goals were:

  1. Assess the level and competence of the internal coaches
  2. Encourage and enhance self confidence among the internal coaches
  3. Advise on internal coaching practices and support existing business processes
  4. Supplement and support skills and knowledge acquisition of the internal coaches
  5. Provide continuous professional development for the internal coaches
  6. Supervise coaching practice
  7. Provide coaching for internal coaches that demonstrate best practice
  8. Provide coaching for the executive board where internal coaches might be inappropriate


The development programme

The development programme had many different strands which could be grouped into Internal Coach Support and Senior Executive Coaching

An internal coach support programme was initiated consisting of a blend of activities:

  1. Initial workshop with all trained internal coaches to assess competence and understand their specific development needs
  2. Quarterly coaching (2 hours) for all internal coaches
  3. Quarterly supervision (3 hours) for groups of 6 coaches
  4. Annual learning event focussed on specific skills development topics
  5. Individual coaching and supervision (as required) for the most senior coaches
  6. Advice on further CPD for internal coaches wishing to develop their coaching skills

Executive coaching for executive board and other identified senior managers

  1. Individual coaching sessions: six 1.5 hour monthly coaching meetings over six months, or three three  hour sessions every other month
  2. 360° feedback followed by short coaching programmes
  3. Collation of trends and issues reported to the Human Resource Director for organisational learning purposes


This is work in progress and all the benefits have not yet been fully realized. However, early measures indicate that:

  1. The challenges facing internal coaches are better articulated and understood, and a support programme is in place to address potential issues
  2. Internal coaches are feeling more supported and able to coach – confidence has risen universally
  3. Internal coaches are being coached by two different coaches and therefore have an opportunity to experience coaching from the coachee viewpoint, and also to experience different coaching styles firsthand – best practice in action
  4. Supervision provides an opportunity to discuss and analyse the theory applied in sessions while demonstrating techniques and following up with case study analysis of good practice – bringing the theoretical into the real world.
  5. Senior managers are benefitting from their own coaching and two of them have subsequently been trained as internal coaches
  6. Organisational learning and trends are being collected that are already proving to be of significant benefit to the organisation at this stage of their transition to their new collaborative culture

Client feedback


“My session with (the Westminster Coach) went really well. Such a contrast between her and my previous coach. Very much listening to me and not jumping in too quickly to ask questions i.e. leaving me enough time to think about what I was saying.  She definitely demonstrated qualities that I hope to aspire to in my coaching.  Additionally, some of the theory that she applied in the session with me was discussed further in the workshop yesterday – so she was also demonstrating techniques and then following it up with this is how this tool could work for you in these situations – great!”

“(The Westminster Coach) was excellent. Significantly different to (the other organisation) in his approach however still using our known models!”

“Thanks for your excellent coaching sessions – this is the first time I have successfully addressed my career and life plans in a holistic manner. The discussions from a very practical beginning lead me into some quite personal areas which I am certain will form the foundation of the next phase on my plan.”

“This has been a very positive learning experience for me, probably because of the quality of the Coach. I am not the most organised, patient or reflective type but her style, understanding and support enabled me to make the most out of the experience”

“We had some really interesting and useful discussions, and great to know we can discuss our problems and concerns with somebody who can help us onto the right path should we stray!”

“Coaching with (the Westminster Coach) was great, both for my own coaching and for my relationship / effectiveness with my team – also to get a better understanding around the approach for coaching – i.e. that it is ok to provide food for thought for the coachee and not rely on them getting there through questioning alone. I also saw how I should now work to take my own knowledge and coaching to another level and have ideas around how I can push myself to do this. In summary, I found it highly motivational (probably the most motivating work conversation I have had in a long time), and that I learnt a surprising amount about me and others that I can apply further in a short space of time”

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