Coaching for UMass Amherst Faculty & Staff

Workplace Learning & Development (WLD) offers professional coaching services for faculty and staff to assist them with improving their work performance and effectiveness.  This is one of the many fee-based services WLD offers to faculty and staff.

What is Coaching?

Coaching is an ongoing, confidential partnership between a faculty or staff member and a WLD coach that allows for a thought-provoking and co-creative process, inspiring fulfillment of professional potential.

Coaching is considered to be a positive and proven approach for helping others explore their goals and ambitions and to develop skills, abilities and impact. Coaching includes listening, observing, and customizing an approach to the individual’s needs. It has been proven to help deal with issues and challenges before they become major problems.

How does Coaching work?

Inquiry:  An individual may contact WLD themselves to explore coaching as a method that would assist with their professional growth and/or performance improvement; or a supervisor may suggest to their employee that coaching is a method that they would like their employee to utilize, then the supervisor would contact WLD.

Duration:  A coaching session will typically take place as a series of 1 hour conversations between the coach and the coachee (person being coached) over multiple sessions. WLD recommends a duration of at least 3 months for an employee or supervisor coaching service.

Coaching format:  Coaching focuses on helping the coachee discover answers for themselves. Coaches ask questions seeking to elicit solutions and strategies that enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the individual already has.  The WLD staff member will share resources as appropriate and identify with the coachee helpful ways for assessing progress.  

Role clarification: WLD staff utilize coaching skills in their work as employee development consultants.  Staff have received specific coaching training to apply specific frameworks, skills, awareness, and knowledge for effective coaching. WLD staff are not counselors or psychotherapists.  WLD staff can assist in referring individuals to such resources if the need arises.

Topics Frequently Discussed

Individuals often wonder about appropriate topics to bring to a coaching conversation.  Some of the topics most often discussed in coaching include:

  • Creating a legacy
  • Developing cultural competency
  • Enhancing professional performance
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Managing challenging relationships and situations
  • Managing organizational change
  • Navigating diverse cultural norms
  • Performance Improvement
  • Strategic thinking
  • Supervisory leadership
  • Team leadership and development
  • Time management and project organization
  • Work life balance

WLD’s Guiding Principles for Coaching

At WLD we strive to uphold essential skills and values in our approach to coaching in the workplace:

  • Humility and non-judgment
  • Asking powerful questions
  • Openness
  • Self-awareness
  • Acknowledging and appreciating differences in norms and values
  • Deep listening for meaning and for beliefs about values
  • No assumptions or stereotyping

What is required if I decide to use WLD’s coaching services?

To be successful, coaching asks certain things, all of which begin with intention. Additionally, coachees should:

  • Commit to the process and a schedule of sessions.
  • Focus on one's self, the tough questions, the hard truths and one's success.
  • Listen to one's intuition, and be aware of one’s assumptions and judgments.
  • Challenge one’s existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and develop new ones that serve one’s goals in a superior way.
  • Leverage personal strengths and overcome limitations to develop a winning style.
  • Take decisive actions, however uncomfortable and in spite of personal insecurities, to reach for the extraordinary.
  • Show compassion for one's self while learning new behaviors and experiencing setbacks, and to show that compassion for others as they do the same.
  • Commit to not take one's self so seriously, using humor to lighten and brighten any situation.
  • Maintain composure in the face of disappointment and unmet expectations, avoiding emotional reactivity.
  • Have the courage to reach for more than before while engaging in continual self-examination without fear.

Coaching Fees

Coaching is included as one of WLD’s fee-based services that a department or organization would cover.  Contact WLD for more information regarding current fees.