Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Staff Development

Receiving Coaching

Coaching is a conversation with a purpose that provides you with time and opportunity to discuss particular problems, challenges or goals with a qualified coach.

Below are some frequently asked questions, take a look to find out more information on what's available for you.

What is workplace coaching?

A workplace coach will help facilitate your learning, your performance and your development. Your coach will not give you the answers, but through effective listening and questioning, will allow you the opportunity to realise your own solutions. Ideally, you would want to talk about workplace challenges, but coaching can also help you with areas such as career development, time management and personal issues.

What is the difference between workplace coaching and mentoring?

In theory, there are distinctive differences that can be made between coaching and mentoring, though in practice, this distinction can be hard to elicit.  Coaching, can be described as “unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance” (Whitmore, 1996), and mentoring, as “the long term passing on of support, guidance and advice” (ILM, 2013). 

To elaborate on these differences further, mentoring is often considered to be a more informal yet longer lasting relationship.  A mentor also tends to be someone who is more senior or experienced, and is often someone who will help and assist the mentee in their future career aspirations.  A mentor therefore, is often an individual with particular expertise, knowledge, skills and experience in a given area, from which the mentee can draw from. The skill of coaching however, due to its non-directive discipline, means that a coach does not have to be an expert in a particular field nor do they necessarily have to be senior, but they will allow you the space and time to consider your own solutions to move forward. 

Why have a coach?

Coaching can be extremely beneficial in the workplace. Challenges are a part of the everyday working world, but sometimes the right solution isn’t always apparent, nor is the opportunity to take time out to consider options.  Coaching is a wonderful opportunity to discuss options, explore challenges and gain some independent feedback.

What does coaching involve?

Coaching is a one-to-one coaching conversation between a coach and a coachee. Through intelligent questioning, active listening and considered feedback, the coach will help you to come to your own conclusions on issues you want to talk about.

How does it work?

Whilst no two coaching relationships will be the same, through the Loughborough University Coaching Network there are principles we would expect a coach to follow. Coaching relationships are usually shorter than mentoring relationships. Whilst we wouldn’t stipulate a set number of sessions, the majority of coaching relationships last approximately 5 sessions. Coach and Coachee will enter into a coaching contract that clearly states the expectations of both parties. All this will be explained thoroughly by the coach at the start of the relationship.

Is there a cost?

Coaching with an internal coach on our network is a free. There are no direct costs to the coachee and coaching is offered free of charge. External coaches will likely charge, so you will need to understand that upfront before engaging in a coaching relationship.

Is it confidential?

Yes. Coaching is confidential, and you will discuss the boundaries surrounding confidentiality with your coach at an initial meeting with them.

There is understandably however, some very exceptional circumstances in which your coach may need to discuss matters with another party, including:

Your coach would normally discuss this with you first, but this is not always possible.

Occasionally, in workplace coaching, a manager may organise coaching for a member of their staff. This would involve a three way contract, which would cover what, if any, information is to be shared with the manager. All three parties will need to be clear about expectations of the process, confidentiality and the reasons behind the coaching.  Managers, for further details on this contact your HR Business Partner or Claire Jagger, Staff Development Adviser c.h.jagger@lboro.ac.uk for further details.

How do I find a coach?

Loughborough university has a network of qualified coaches who are available to offer workplace coaching interventions. The Loughborough University Coaching Network coaches come from a range of different Schools and Professional Services and have a wealth of different backgrounds.

How do I choose a coach that's right for me?

First thing to do is to look at the coaching profiles of all the coaches on the network. Each coach has written a profile that showcases their experiences, history and any particular areas of expertise and interest. This will help you with your choice, depending on the topic that you would look to talk about. But remember, all coaches are able to have a coaching conversation without expertise in that area, and many coaching conversations cover a range of topics.

How do I request a coaching conversation?

There are two methods you can use.

What happens next?

You and your coach will have an initial meeting where you will discuss how the process will work. This contracting session will set out the ground-rules, cover expectations and allow you to both decide whether the relationship is right. Once you have had this meeting you will be able to start your coaching conversations.

How long does the coaching relationship last?

There are no set rules on how long a coaching relationship last, but on average you would expect approx. 5 x 1hr sessions. There are limitations on coaches’ time, so a coaching relationship at Loughborough University is unlikely to last beyond 6 sessions, although there can be exceptions.

Whilst we have a range of excellent qualified coaches available internally, we understand that sometimes, individuals would like to seek a coach outside of the organisation. The following websites offer a matching service.  Please note that there will be a cost involved with using an external coach, and we cannot be held responsible for the quality of the coaching offered.


Contact us

Tel: 01509 222381