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The Human Resources Institute of New Zealand

Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ) is the professional body for those involved in Human Resource Management and the development of people.

HRINZ represents the interests of 3,000+ individual members who make up around 45% of the known New Zealand HR market. Read More

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What is Coaching?

The dictonary definition of coaching is, "to train or tutor or to act as a trainer or tutor".
It is reasonable to say that most of us have experienced training or coaching in some manner or form in the workplace from our line managers or collegeaus. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect managers to be "coaches" as well as "managers" of their employees.

Although to be an effective coach, you need to display the following attributes:

  • Be person-centred rather than work-centred
  • Look for the potential in people
  • Know their interests and motivations
  • Show confidence in their direct reports, but expect it to be justified
  • Do not do the thinking for the direct reports
  • Recognise their conflicting roles*

* What is meant by this point is that to be an effective coach, managers must recognise that they have two, potentially conflicting roles. As manager, when observing and supervising the employees performance, the manager is acting as a judge. But as a coach, the manager is attempting to work closely with the employee to improve job performance.

The main basic difference between coaching and mentoring is that coaching uses work experiences as learning opportunities and can be carried out by line managers, the mentor shares their experience and lessons learnt with the mentee in order to be able to encourage the mentee to plan and implement plans for career development issues; acting between the teacher and guide roles. Generally a mentor is some impartial who is not well known to the mentee, who could come from a different part of the organisation or externally.

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Disclaimer: This information has been written for and submitted to HRINZ for publication and has been published in good faith for the general information of HRINZ Members of the Institute. HRINZ accepts no legal responsibility for the contents of the Knowledge Base and appropriate professional advice and assistance should be sought in particular cases.

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