Time for a Change? Get a Coach! (No Fees for Feds)

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Did you know that there’s a cadre of internal certified federal coaches available to help federal employees—at no additional cost?

Are you working to get a promotion? Get a coach!

Are you transitioning to a new role? Get a coach!

Do you have a performance gap that’s holding you back? Get a coach!

Are you having trouble with a boss or colleague? Get a coach!

Many people pay coaches hundreds of dollars a session to address these kinds of issues. As a federal employee, you can get coaching services at no additional cost through the Federal Coaching Network.

Federal Coaching Network--Growing Internal Coaches Governmentwide

What is the Federal Coaching Network?

Quite simply, the Federal Coaching Network (FCN) is an interagency labor of love. It was envisioned by passionate civil servant certified coaches, who saw an unfulfilled need. Without any funding, they took a “back-of-the-napkin” vision and turned it into a full-fledged service that supports several agency leadership development programs, certifies coaches, connects coaches to people in need, and helps shape federal coaching policy.

The Federal Coaching Network offers training to certify federal employees who want to become coaches. Based on that training, it has assembled a database of approximately 200 (and growing) coaches available to help any federal employee. Cassandra” Cassie” Brennand directs the program for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Alan Myers, a certified coach at Health and Human Services (HHS), is the FCN Director of Training.

Through the Federal Coaching Network, federal employees can benefit from:

  • Confidential, personalized development, focused on their unique needs
  • Someone to listen to them and ask questions to guide them to their own solutions
  • Feedback and alternative perspectives
  • Someone to help hold them accountable for what they say they want to do
  • Someone who can help them make the impossible possible

As one federal employee told me about her reasons for pursuing coaching, “I’m already working on the things I know I need to fix. A coach can help me uncover what I don’t know about yet.”

Studies have shown that coaching delivers results. The Defense Acquisition Workforce Pilot in 2010 showed a 743% return on investment of coaching. A 1980s study of teacher development showed that while training produced a 10% change in behavior and practice produced a 20% change in behavior, coaching produced a 90% change in behavior.

How Do I Get a Coach?

If you’re ready to make a change, here’s how to get an FCN coach to help you:

  1. Contact your Agency Coach Point-of-Contact (POC) (usually works with your agency’s Chief Learning Officer (CLO)) and explain your goals and any desired coach characteristics (e.g., male or female, in your agency or not in your agency). For example, Larry Westberg, one of the FCN’s founders, is DoD’s Agency Coach POC and is passionate about helping fellow employees develop and reach their goals through coaching. Larry also runs the Government Community of Practice for the International Coach Federation through the Maryland and DC Chapters (www.icfmetrodc.org).
  2. The FCN Agency Coach POC will check the coach database and find a coach that meets your needs.
  3. The FCN Agency Coach POC will then connect you to your coach.

After that, it’s up to you. You’ll need to get in touch with the coach and set up a schedule for your sessions. Most coaching sessions are offered over the telephone, but you may want to start with a face-to-face session, if possible. You’ll co-create and sign a coaching agreement that specifies your goal, the coaching schedule, and your commitment to the coaching process. Then you need to attend your scheduled sessions and based on your discussions with your coach, determine ways to make progress on your goal.

So What Are You Waiting For?

Make that change you’ve been dreaming of—with the help of a coach from the Federal Coaching Network.

Claudia Escribano is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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12 Comments

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Claudia Escribano

Since the FCN is not an official government entity, there’s not a central point of contact. There are coaches in most agencies. I’d suggest asking your HR department or your Chief Learning Officer about it. There are people out there who know about it. If you still aren’t able to find it, please get in touch, and I’ll see what else I can do to help.

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Claudia Escribano

Since the FCN is not an official government entity, there’s not a central point of contact. There are coaches in most agencies. I’d suggest asking your HR department or your Chief Learning Officer about it. There are people out there who know about it. If you still aren’t able to find it, please get in touch, and I’ll see what else I can do to help.

Reply
Laura

Are these coaches already federal employees and this is just something they do above and beyond their normal jobs?

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Claudia Escribano

Yes, that’s right. All the coaches are Federal employees who are interested in coaching. They went through training and are certified coaches. They volunteer their time to continue development of their coaching skills.

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Liliana Soto

Hi,

I contacted a coach through the icfmetrodc website but she was not familiar with the free Federal Coaching Network program. Would you happen to have the Southern California Chapter for this program? Thanks much.

Reply
Channah Broyde

I have been trained in coaching and would love to serve as a coach in this network. How do I go about doing so?

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