National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Handbook on Building
A Guide for NASA Internal Coaches and HR Executives
NASA's Coaching Policy and Strategy .......................................................................1
NASA's Policy for Internal Coaches ...........................................................................2
Internal Coaching at NASA......................................................................................23
How Internal Coaches are Identified and Selected ....................................................4
How Internal Coaches are Utilized to Support NASA Goals ....................................45
How Internal Coaches are Trained and Developed .................................................56
Roles and Responsibilities ......................................................................................68
Appendices .......................................................................................................... 913
NASA’s Coaching Policy and Strategy__________________________________
NASA implemented coaching Agency NASA’s strategy for developing coaching
wide as part of its Strategic Human for mission results is threefold:
Capital Plan (SHCP) initiative. 1) To provide leaders, managers, and
supervisors with training, experience,
“The SHCP Pillar 5.0, Leadership, states and tools to incorporate coaching
that “NASA ensures it has leaders who conversations into their daily
are adaptable; who inspire, motivate, professional work.
and guide others toward goals; who 2) To develop internal coaching expertise
mentor and challenge the workforce; as a costeffective, crossAgency
and who demonstrate high standards of resource to draw from, and to ensure
honesty, integrity, trust, openness, and that NASA has the expertise to be a
respect.” Goal 5.1 of this, and retains a “smart buyer” of coaching services.
diverse, highperforming cadre of 3) To continue to utilize external coaches and
leaders who are nurtured through organizational development specialists to
training and development build on the Agency’s internal efforts.”1
opportunities,” which concurs with
Strategy 5.1.2, “Provide mentoring,
training, development, and coaching
opportunities to equip employees to
assume leadership positions within the
NASA’s Business Coaching Handbook, August
2006, Page 3.
NASA’S Policy for Internal Coaches_____________________________________
The field of coaching is growing and returnoninvestment possible for
changing. There are a number of issues our coaching dollars,
that can impact coaching effectiveness · be a “smart buyers” of external
and can potentially pose risk to both the coaching services,
individual being coaches and the · build and maintain coaching
Agency. capabilities, and
· understand and mitigate risks
In establishing the Coaching Program it associated with coaching for
was important for NASA to have the both the employee and the
expertise and ability to: Agency
· design, and deliver efficient and
effective coaching services to
ensure NASA receives the greatest
Internal Coaching at NASA________________________________________
NASA’s Business Coaching Handbook
(April 2005) states:
assessment tools to help individuals
“Internal coaching is a facilitative one become more effective. Through the
onone, mutually designated coaching insight gained from assessment
relationship between a NASA civil tools and observations by the coach,
servant, certified coach and a key NASA individuals become more selfaware
employee who is accountable for highly of their strengths and barriers, and
complex decisions with wide scope of develop strategies and plans to
impact on the NASA organization, reach their goals.
government, and industry as a whole.
The primary impetus for engaging in The role of a coach is that of a non
coaching is organizational performance judgmental, strategic business
or development, either of which may partner. The coaching relationship is
have a personal component as well. The built on trust. The details of coaching
results produced from this relationship conversations remain confidential
are observable, measurable, and between the individual and the
aligned with the performance coach in order for the partnership to
requirements the individual (or NASA work. When NASA provides
organization) has established. coaching, the relationship extends to
Coaching services are arranged the individual’s supervisor, who
through the Center Coaching Point of helps define the performance goals
Contact (POC).”2 and provides feedback on progress.
“Characteristics of Effective Coaches at NASA must demonstrate
Coaches Executive coaches help knowledge through their past
individuals set and achieve desired experience and application of basic
goals and necessary results. competencies. NASA has adopted
Coaches utilize questions and the competencies identified by the
International Coaching Federation
NASA Business Coaching Handbook, August 2006, (ICF). First, the coach must meet the
Page 6. ethical guidelines of the profession.
Other competencies include the Skilled at Problem Diagnosis – If
ability to: diagnostics instruments are used,
· Establish a coaching the coach must be appropriately
agreement certified to administer those
· Establish a trusting instruments to assess gaps, help
relationship with the identify blind spots for the
coachee individual being coached,
· Be fully present, attentive, determine outcome measurements
and spontaneous (score card for accountabilities
· Express active listening pre and post assessments to
· Ask powerful questions measure 360degree feedback),
· Be a direct communicator and facilitate communication and
· Create and raise personal feedback. (See Appendix D)
· Design and create action Results Oriented – The outcomes of the
plans and action behaviors coaching relationship should specify
· Develop plans and establish how the coaching success would be
measured, evaluated, and realized by
goals with the coachee
individual performance improvement
· Manage the progress of the
and NASA mission impacts.
coachee and hold them
Additionally, a coaching agreement for
accountable for their
the employee should be established up
front and refined throughout the
In addition to the above, effective
coaches believe in the potential of their
Knowledge and Application of
client and demonstrate a personal
Coaching Competencies, including
integrity in “walking the talk.”3
Interpersonal Competencies .
The coach must demonstrate
“Characteristics and Requirements
through past experience and
for Internal Coaches –
application of competencies
In addition to the characteristics of
an effective coach as noted above,
NASA has established the following
standards for selecting internal
Coaching Certification – All internal
coaches must have coaching
credentials from an ICFcertified
Tested Experience – The coach must
have the appropriate level of
corporate experience to understand
the development, political and
environmental needs of the
NASA Business Coaching Handbook, August 2006, NASA Business Coaching Handbook, August 2006,
Page 4. Page 6.
How Internal Coaches are Identified and Selected_________
Center Human Capital Director is · Ensure that the individual is
responsible for selecting individuals competent and has the requisite
who will serve as internal Center and background for this training.
Agency Coaches. Human Capital · Ensure that the program the individual
directors are required to: has selected is on the International
Coaching Federation’s list of approved
· Identify the Center’s strategy for programs.
executive coaching and the role · Commit to the expenditure of the
of internal coaches in that training and travel dollars required
strategy. to fully fund the individual to the
· Provide a statement that they are point of receiving final program
confident in referring this individual certification.
to coach senior executives at their · Commit to the continued development
Center and in referring these of Internal Coaches.
individuals to coach executives at
other NASA Centers and If funding is being requested from the
Headquarters. (See Appendix A) Agency the Center Human Capital Director
· Obtain the commitment from the must provide a memo containing all the
supervisor of this individual that above elements to the NASA Director of
he/she is committed to allowing Leadership Development and Executive
the individual to devote a Coaching.
minimum of 10% of their time to
coaching over the next three
How Internal Coaches Are Utilized to Support NASA
Internal Coaches are utilized as Center whether trained with Agency or Center
and as Agencyresources. Each Center funds are considered Agencywide
needs to have a Center Coaching Point resources.
of Contact (POC) who has received ICF
level training and who has the Internal coaches, coach all levels of
experience and ability to manage and NASA including Senior Executives.
oversee the coaching policies and Most internal coaching serves GS14
activities at that Center. This Center and 15 level supervisors and managers.
Coaching POC serves as an internal Coaching below the GS14 level may be
coach, along with other internal supported by internal coaches if
coaches. Together they meet the resources are available. Internal
internal coaching needs of the Center. coaches also serve as coaching
All certified, or intraining coaches, are resources to Agencywide and Center
required to provide a resume to the leadership and management
Agency Coaching Contact and may be development program participants both
asked to coach individuals at other during and after attendance in these
Centers or Headquarters as time programs.
permits. All internal NASA coaches
Internal coaches may be authorized by Return on Investment Requirement: The
the Center Coaching POC to coach creation of and tracking of individual
outside of NASA as a means of coaching agreements provides the data
maintaining or expanding their coaching from which Center Coaching POC’s will
capacity and skill at coaching. These evaluate the effectiveness of Center
outside coaching opportunities help the coaching efforts. In addition, an
coach expand their perspective and individual approved for training as an
observations which is critical to internal coach must devote a minimum
effective coaching. of 10% of their time to coaching for
three years after the completion of their
How Internal Coaches are Trained and Developed__________________
Training: To “seed” this expertise while the internal coach is in training as
across NASA, Agency coaching funds these individuals will be performing their
were initially used to train internal coaching under the guidance of a trained
coaches at each Center. The coaching professional as part of the
development of additional coaches program.
needed by the Center, and the funding
of continued learning of existing All coaching performed at a Center or at
coaches, is the responsibility of each NASA Headquarters must be scheduled
Center. NASA will provide Agencywide and coordinated through the Center
coaching development for internal Coaching POC. (See Appendix B and C)
coaches through ongoing learning This includes coaching performed by
opportunities via teleconferences and internal employees, internal
video conferences several times each contractors, or external contractors no
year. This training is not intended to be matter the contract funding source. The
comprehensive but, in addition to the Center POC shall be responsible for
training provided and/or funded by the determining the most appropriate coach
Center. or coaching vehicle for Center
employees. The Center Coaching POC
NASA Centers are expected to provide will also have oversight of all coaching
an ongoing training option to coaches engagements and shall be responsible
at least every 18 months. This option for maintaining the names of all
can include short term training, employees being coached at the Center,
attendance or presenting at a coaching and the goals, conditions and results of
meeting, conference, telecom or Vits the coaching engagement. The Center
training or other means. This training Coaching POC will have the authority to
may also be provided to internal require coaching engagements to meet
coaches by the Center Coaching POC. the assessment requirements identified
in NASA’s Business Coaching
Development: Developmental Handbook.
opportunities for internal coaches will
continue to take place in the form of Program Certification: All NASA
coaching NASA employees. Centers are Coaches whose training is funded by the
expected to sanction only internal Agency or their Center must complete
coaches who have completed training in an International Coaching Federation
one of the ICF certified schools. approved Coaching Program. All
Coaching of NASA employees will begin internal coaches are required to obtain
the certification associated with their the Center Training Officer. Centers are
training program. also responsible for funding the internal
coaches training required to obtain and
Coaches Assessment Capabilities: All maintain these certifications.
coaches are expected to be qualified in
the use and provide coaching on NASA’s Coaches are required to have
multirater instrument the 540 Degree knowledge of an extensive number of
Feedback Instrument (See Appendix E). assessment instruments that may
In addition coaches should be certified in support the coaching process.
the use of at least one Personal Appendix A provides a list and the
Preferences/ Behavior Instrument and a individuals at NASA who are certified to
Conflict Resolution instrument. The use these instruments. Internal
Personal Preferences/Behavior Coaches can request the support of
assessment instruments commonly used these certified employees to perform
by NASA include MBTI, DISC, FIRO B and assessments and provide feedback to
Birkman. The Center Coaching POC the employees being coach.
along with the Center Training Officer
may also determine that other ICF Certification: Internal coaches can
assessment instruments are also needed go on to obtain ICF certification
by internal coaches. Ensuring that center however, neither NASA nor the Centers
internal coaches have the appropriate are under any obligation to fund costs
qualifications and certifications to safely associated with obtaining or maintaining
perform coaching is the responsibility of this certification.
Roles and Responsibilities_________________________________________
Training and Development Officers:–
NASA: The Agency is responsible for Establish mechanisms for oversight and
determining the overall policy for evaluation of coaching and for planning
coaching at NASA and for the strategic and budgeting for coaching resources
utilization of coaching resources. including the initial certification training
and continued develop of internal
Center Director: Determine the strategy coaches.
for effectively utilizing coaching as a
developmental option for high potential Center Coaching Point of Contact (POC):
Senior Executives. The role of the Coaching POC is key in
enabling the effective management and
Human Capital Director: In addition to implementation of the coaching program
the responsibilities defined above in at the Center and in enabling the Center
selecting internal coaches the HR to maximize their ability to acquire
Director shall determine how coaching Agency coaching dollars and resources.
can best be utilized to meet Center
Human Capital strategic goals this
includes determining the number and
best qualified individuals to be trained
as internal coaches. The Human Capital
Director is also responsible developing
a strategy for identifying the best
candidates for coaching.
Responsibilities Include: Internal Coaches – Provide quality
coaching to meet employees needs.
· Ensuring that coaching is the best Complete all required paperwork as
and most cost effective option to required by NASA Coaching Guidelines.
meet the employee’s needs and Provide information and
supporting employees in identifying recommendations to Center POC.
the most appropriate coach either Maintain capabilities through training,
internal or external. coaching or other means. Provide
coaching a minimum of 10% of their time
· Overseeing all coaching performed for three years after training is
at the Center. This requires that all completed.
coaching performed at the Center
be requested through the POC Internal Coaches Supervisor: Support the
including coaching performed by internal coach in attending coaching
internal coaches, and internal and training and acquiring certification. Make
external contractors, regardless of 10% of the employee’s time available for
the organization conducting, or coaching.
funding, the coaching activity. It
also includes coaching being
performed as part of a Center or
Agency training or development
· Processing requests for coaches
and following up with the employee,
supervisor and coach as needed.
POC’s are also responsible for
maintaining records of all employees
being coached and the number and
duration of the coaching, when that
information is not being maintained
at the Agencylevel.
· Assessing whether the Center
coaching goals have been met, for
evaluating the effectiveness of the
centers coaching program, and for
providing recommendations and
guidance to Center leadership.
POC’s have the authority to require
all or part of the coaching performed
at the Center to meet the
assessment reporting requirements
identified in NASA’s Business
· Serving as the Center
representative on the Agency
wide coaching strategy team.
Employee Being Coached: Provide all Employee’s Supervisor – Provide
required paperwork. Be available and guidance and support. Provide required
responsible for the coaching process. feedback and reports.
Be open to feedback and flexible in
gaining new learning.
Required Qualifications for External Coaches_____________________
The contractor will be provided the following matrix as a means for rating and ranking
% of Rating Rating Areas Excellent Meets Fails to Meet
10 Number of years 10 + 79 56
10 Certification ICF Approved Other Coaching Related
Certification or University
Relevant Course Work. Ie:
Graduate Degree Human Behavior,
20 Skill and Method Very High Degree Usually High Moderate Degree
of Problem of Proven Ability. Degree of Proven of Proven Ability.
Diagnosis* Use of Valid & Ability.
Reliable Tools &
25 Ability to Achieve Always Meets Meets Goals Usually Meets
Results* Goals Identified in Identified in Goals Identified
Coaching Coaching in Coaching
Agreement Agreement to a Agreement
10 Familiarity with Broad Experience Broad Industry & Broad Industry or
Industry & in Both Industry Government Government
Government and Government Experience Experience
20 Knowledge & Possesses All of Possesses All of Possesses Most
Application of the Characteristics the of the
Coaching of Effective Characteristics, Characteristics
Competencies, Coaches Identified Some to a Lesser Some to a Lesser
Including in the NASA Degree of Skill. Degree of Skill.
Interpersonal Coaching Guide to
Characteristics a High Degree of
5 Discretionary High Degree of Some Additional Minor Additional
Additional Qualifications Qualifications
* Degree of proven ability in Problem Solving and Ability to Achieve Results will be
ascertained through examples of tangible evidence.”5
NASA Business Coaching Handbook, August 2006, Page 8.
Procedures for Obtaining Coaching by NASA’s Internal
The following process is used for obtaining NASA Internal Coaches.
Who Does What How To Whom
Employee Makes request Any (Face to face, Center POC
Coachee Fill out forms A (Coaching Paper or Electronic Supervisor for
Supervisor Signs form A If paper – mail/fax Center POC
If electronic – e
Coachee & * Fill out form B (Preference Paper or Electronic Center POC
Center POC Guide)
Center POC Forwards Form A Paper or Electronic Agency Coaching
ACC Contacts potential Internal Phone or email Internal Coaches
Coaches for availability
ACC Forwards Form A to available Paper or Electronic Available Internal
Internal Coaches Coaches
ACC Sends 23 Resumes Email Coachee and cc’s
Coachee Reviews/Interviews potential Phone, Faceto Available Internal
Coaches within 30 days of receipt face, etc. Coaches
Coachee Notifies selection Phone or email Center POC
Center POC Notifies selection Phone or email ACC
Coach Schedules initial meeting Phone or email Coachee
Coach Fill out and submit Form C Paper or Electronic Center POC
(Coaching Agreement) with
Center POC Reviews and files Form C Paper or Electronic N/A
Coach Conducts MidPoint Assessment Paper or Electronic ACC
with Coachee and forwards to
Coach Gives Final Assessment (Form E) Paper or Electronic Coachee
at the final coaching session
Coachee Completes Final Assessment and Paper or Electronic ACC
forwards to ACC
Coach Notifies end of engagement within Email or phone Center POC and ACC
10 days of completion
Coach Conducts Followup Assessment Paper or Electronic ACC
with Coachee 6 months after
completion and forwards to ACC
Coach Conducts Supervisory Paper or Electronic Coaching Contractor
Assessment (Form G) with
Supervisor 6 months after
completion and forwards
* The Center Coaching POC should fill out the NASA Preferences Guide with the
potential coachee if there is any doubt as to whether or not Coaching is the right tool for
the individual. Contact the Agency Coaching Coordinator for the Preferences Guide
Key. The preferences guide is found in NASA’s Coaching Guide on the NASA Training
and Development web site.
From NASA’s Business Coaching Handbook________________________
“II. The NASA Coaching Process agreement regarding the desired
results of the coaching relationship.
Formal coaching relationships are
based on written agreements between HQ and Centers should align their
the coach and the individual being coaching efforts to the philosophy and
coached. This written agreement strategy outlined in these guidelines.
delineates the goals and mutual The coaching process may begin in a
expectations for how the coaching variety of ways including conversations
relationship will work. The individual, with HR specialists, supervisory
coach, and supervisor must be in referrals, or employee request. In
general, the process consists of the
following additional step
coaching application (Form A). This
Step 1: Meet with Center Coaching request form is designed to help the
POC POC better understand the individual’s
needs and professional goals as they
If the employee is confident that he or begin the coaching process.
she can benefit from and is willing and
ready to participate in the coaching During the meeting with the POC, the
process, the next step is to set up a individual may complete a preferences
meeting with the Coaching POC at his or guide (Form B). This questionnaire is
her Center. Prior to this meeting, the designed to help the POC identify the
employee will be asked to complete a learning option that is best suited to
meet the individual’s developmental
Step 2: Coach Assessment and Selection
Based on the information provided in The best way to select a coach is to
step 1, a pool of potential coaches will review the bios of two or three coaches,
be identified for the employee. The and then conduct a screening interview
individual will then review the coaches with those that meet the individual’s
identified and conducts interviews. personal criteria. Both during the
screening interview and throughout the
Selecting a Coach coaching process, the individual should
continue to refine and adjust their
Each coach has his or her own unique style, assessment of how the coach is helping
personality, strengths, preferences and them achieve his or her stated
Similarly, each individual has his or her own Screening Interview Questions
unique developmental needs, personality, · Describe your career history.
preferences and learning style. For this
reason, selecting the best coach is an · What coaching education and
important first step in ensuring the success training have you completed?
of the coaching engagement. · Have you worked with Federal
agencies before? With NASA?
· Have you coached individuals at · How will you keep me
my level? accountable for results?
· Can you work with me to help me · How do you normally
understand how to work more communicate with coaching
effectively with others? clients?
· How will you maintain my · What type of clients do you work
confidentiality? with most effectively?
· Describe your coaching · What are the essential skills for
approach. being an effective coach?
· What assessment instruments do
you use as part of the coaching
· How will you measure
new explanations for behaviors,
After the interview process is completed discover new possibilities, generate a
the individual will contact the Coaching baseline of information about the
POC to finalize their selection of a individual being coached, build the
coach. coach/client relationship, and facilitate
identification of the coaching
Step 3: Coaching intervention. All assessment data will be
kept confidential between the client and
At the beginning of the relationship, the the coach.
coach typically conducts an
assessment. Assessments are tools Once assessments are completed, the
used to gather information about an coach will review the data with the
individual’s values, behaviors, individual being coached and provide
competencies, goals, interests, and feedback. The coach and coachee then
potential opportunities for development. work together to create a development
plan and a set of objectives based on
This assessment can range from being the data results and the individual’s
very formal to informal depending on goals. The coach and individual will also
where the individual is in the identify the roles of stakeholders
development process and their past (including the individual’s supervisor
experience. and the coaching POC); significant
milestones related to their progress;
An informal assessment may consist of and measures of success. Additionally,
a brief questionnaire, facetoface the coach and the individual will work
discussion, or simple observation. The out the terms and logistics of the
coach will determine the appropriate coaching relationship and gain
assessment instrument tool to use in the appropriate approvals. (See Form C for
coaching process. a Coaching Agreement.) The coach is
responsible for providing copies of the
Assessments are used in a coaching Coaching Agreement to the Center POC
relationship as a way to provide and the coaching contractor.
valuable information to guide and focus
the relationship. Assessments provide
Step 4: Periodic Assessments Followup Assessment
Midpoint and Final Assessments The final phase of the coaching
assessment process is the followup
The midpoint assessment will be assessment. This is normally conducted
conducted half way into the coaching six months to a year after the end of the
contract. This assessment is designed coaching contract. Coaches are
to track the progress with the coaching responsible for obtaining a followup
contract, relationship, and coaching assessment form is included at the back
process. During this phase some of the of this guide (Form F).”6
following questions may be asked:
· What is working well?
· What needs improvement?
· How can we do things
· Are we on track in accomplishing
After this assessment, the coach sends
the completed assessment to the Center
coaching POC and the coaching
contractor. A sample midpoint
assessment form is included in Form D.
At the end of the coaching engagement,
the coach and coachee will determine
whether to stop or continue the
coaching process. The coach gives the
coachee the final assessment form to
complete and is responsible for
providing a copy to the coaching
contractor. This information is kept
confidential and only aggregated data is
given to the coach and NASA. A sample
final assessment form is included in the
back of this guide (Form E). At this time
an assessment from the supervisor is
obtained (Form G) by the coach and
provided to the coaching contractor.
NASA’s Business Coaching Handbook, August
2006, Pages 1011.