An In-Depth Look at Workplace Coaching

Krista Rahe, Organizational Development and Learning Department

​As part of my job, I work one-on-one coaching managers and supervisors. This part of my work is both challenging and rewarding.  I am often asked to help new managers and leaders who have been promoted because they were excellent at their jobs, and find that managing others is completely different. Many are initially struck by the distinction between being “liked” by their peers and the need to build credibility  to be a respected leader.

New leaders must build confidence and rely on themselves for recognition and acknowledgment rather than expecting it from external sources. Confidence is built by practice and  by recognizing one’s  own strengths and contributions. It can be enhanced by self-awareness activities and by seeking out opportunities to lead. New leaders must also learn self-care and maintain a healthy work life balance  to  help manage the stress of their positions.

Credibility involves creating healthy boundaries such as making decisions about what activities to participate in with employees, what information to share and how to share it fairly, and asking colleagues who were once peers for support in new ways. Learning how to confront negative performance is another key to building credibility, as is learning to be comfortable making tough decisions. These are  capacities we seek to build through coaching.

I help new leaders build those capacities one step at a time. With  each step, I help them see situations in new ways, from different perspectives, and help them challenge negative self-talk in this unfamiliar territory. I also help them see and eliminate roadblocks as we travel down this path together.

Coaching engagements  are temporary—I spend six to nine months helping my coaching clients build solid foundations that they can draw from as they move forward. I create a custom program for each client that has a stated purpose and outcomes. The plan includes self-observations, reading, and practices for increasing awareness and building new habits for success in future work. We review progress throughout the engagement and end by identifying ways for them to sustain their success and progress on their own.

I am happy to speak with members about the coaching process and its benefits. Please contact me at krahe@msec.org or call 303.223.5383.