An item in MIT’s Sloan Mgt. Rev., Vol. 48, Winter 2007 at 6, distinguishes between developmental coaching, where a supervisor addresses an individual’s knowledge or performance gaps, and executive coaching, which is more about peer guidance and addresses differences in behavior and managerial style.
In either situation, “coaching is set to address specific performance deficiencies or gaps, as opposed to general-purpose training.”
For lawyers in-house, the equivalent of executive coaching is more likely to be the appropriate technique (See my posts of April 14, 2005 on coaches for general counsel; July 14, 2005 on knowledge coaches; April 30, 2006 on the looseness of the term “mentor”; and July 14, 2005 on the difference between a mentor and a coach.). For those lawyers, on the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, basic skills and knowledge are presumed, but more subtle behavioral adjustments may be needed.