Stretching the Coaching Model

Date01 July 2014
Published date01 July 2014
C R Q, vol. 31, no. 4, Summer 2014 435
Published 2014.  is article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Published online in Wiley Online Library ( • DOI: 10.1002/crq.21097
Stretching the Coaching Model
Samantha Levine-Finley
is article provides an orientation to a general coaching model
employed within the NIH Offi ce of the Ombudsman, Center for Coop-
erative Resolution (OO/CCR), and explains how it fi ts within the
framework of our interpretation of the ombudsman role and compares
to other approaches in the coaching fi eld.  e article describes steps that
ombudsmen may employ as the coaching relationship becomes more
established and as trust develops between the ombudsman and visitor.
It also describes indicators of potential problems in coaching and how
an ombudsman might respond to them.
The concept of coaching has broadened over the past several decades
far beyond the conventional image of the sports coach who, armed
with a whistle, clipboard, and booming voice, helps his or her athletes
win the big game. Today there are life coaches, birthing coaches, execu-
tive coaches, fi nancial coaches, and coaches in any number of other areas
where people fi nd they need help. For decades, internal organizational
ombudsmen have served as coaches for the people with whom they work.
Most ombudsmen describe coaching as one-on-one conversations in
which they provide a range of assistance, such as helping parties in confl ict
prepare for a diffi cult conversation or negotiation, helping leaders weigh
how to manage a politically complex organizational change or guiding a
person through a process of self-refl ection about a pattern of interpersonal
confl ict (Brinkert 2006). Indeed, ombudsmen coach to some degree in
almost all cases.  e coaching role can result in dual benefi ts. For the
employee, the ombudsman-as-coach can off er meaningful, organization-
ally savvy assistance. For the ombudsman, a coaching relationship pro-
vides another avenue to gain considerable insight into the employee’s

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