Coaching is understood differently, because after all, the setting is considered the most individual training format. There is a discrepancy between very similar coaching processes and very different coaching understandings in the companies, which are mostly characterized by the corporate culture.


Four types of coaching comprehension

The coaching understanding of companies not only influences the coaching process, but also the decision when and for what coaching is used. Is coaching something that should primarily benefit the individual or something in which the organizational benefits should be in the foreground? This results in dimensions of autonomy versus control and person versus organization (Bachmann artop GmbH, Berlin 2017). In an empirical study by Bachmann with 96 companies, four different types of coaching emerged.

Autonomy – personality development and change

The most common types of coaching understanding we find in the area of ​​autonomy of personal effects such as emotional relief and personality development. It is about self-reflection and support.

Empowerment – self-organization

In the intersection of autonomy and organization is the second most common type of coaching understanding of companies. It also relies on autonomy, but clearly has organizational impact in mind, such as better task and role fulfillment, working with others, and strengthening identification with the task and organization.

Expert advice – optimization

In the third most common type of understanding in the intersection organization – control, the focus is again on the organizational goals in combination with the control. The coaching process should be transparent, the organization wants to know what is happening and wants to control the coaching process.


The fourth type is found in the intersection of person and control, only this is not the focus of the organization, but the individual person who is to be “educated” to something.

Which understanding is the best?

Every understanding has its justification. Each of these describes coaching, but none alone adequately describes it. The very specific understandings in the companies show at the same time that many facets and possibilities of Coaching are not seen, why the Potenzial of the setting in the enterprises is usually not sufficiently exhausted. The first two types are most commonly encountered in practice.

Example of how a coaching understanding of a company is shaped by the corporate culture:

For example, a company with a pedagogical educational coaching concept, ie a person- and control-related concept, sends a manager into coaching if one observes that this person is causing some problems in their work. From this it is deduced that the manager is missing something, something a soft skill, which should then be developed together with a coach. In coaching it turns out, however, that it is not the manager, but the organizational structure, the client (department or HR) is deaf in this ear, because he wishes in his view a staff-specific solution from the coach and no starting point for organizational changes.
In most cases, the coach bends over the pressure and works on a pseudo-solution that bypasses the actual problem.

Coaching understanding influences what coaching is used for.

The understanding of coaching in a company determines the coaching events significantly, but also what coaching is not used for, even though it might be an excellent setting for it. In companies with an understanding of coaching as a personality development, v.a. Edited topics such as Work.Life balance or self-management. In organizations with an understanding of empowerment, coaching

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