University of Nebraska Medical Center


faculty member speaking

Interested in being coached? Learn more about what coaching is and if it is right for you.

Discover Coaching

Creative Coaching Program

Learn more about the faculty coaching program at UNMC.

Coaching Self-Assessments

A list of assessments and questionnaires commonly used in coaching.

Coach Directory

A directory of UNMC's trained faculty coaches.

Coaching Resources

Additional tools and resources to educate on coaching.

Coaching Overview

What is coaching?

Coaching is a creative, generative, developmental process that is facilitated by a partnership between a coach and faculty member. Through coaching, faculty members shape their own individualized plan based on their personal professional goals.

What does coaching accomplish?

Coaching maximizes personal and professional awareness and growth. It enhances faculty members' performance by assessing and mobilizing strengths and strategizing experiences to help them reach their full potential.

What does a coach do?

Coaches have specialized training to guide people in any field toward achieving their own identified goals. A coaching relationship is not dependent on profession-specific expertise, rather the coach acts as a holistic thinking partner. Depending on coaching focus, self-assessment tools such as 360 feedback or CliftonStrengths Assessment may be used, which provide coaches and coaches with additional data to inform a development strategy.

Benefits of coaching

Coaching helps individuals:

  • Elevate career growth with intention
  • Examine the impact of unproductive systems, habits and behaviors
  • Explore leadership skills and opportunities
  • Identify habits that support peak personal performance
  • Strategize actions and reactions in complex situations
  • Tap into their own creativity to solve problems
  • Weigh communication effectiveness in a variety of modes
surgeon washing hands with coach in operating room

A Coach in the Operating Room

"No matter how well trained people are, few can sustain their best performance on their own. That’s where coaching comes in." Read Atul Gawande's powerful New Yorker article about why you need a coach. (Illustration by Barry Blitt)

How is Coaching Different?

Coaching, mentoring and sponsorship are three distinct developmental approaches. See the table below for distinguishing characteristics to help you decide what is right for you.

 Advises Empowers Advocates
 Talks to you Talks with you   Talks about you
Long term, fluid relationship  Short term, set time frame Long term, many years 
Reciprocal, formal or informal Functional, results-driven Hierarchical
Provides guidance to navigate career choices and decisions Provides developmental support to reach goals and potential Uses influence to help expand visibility and provide opportunities for career advancement
Usually has more experience with a similar background Trained/certified in coaching, not necessarily in your field Senior-level leader operating in circles that exceed your own
Gain knowledge, new ways of thinking Achieve performance improvement  Obtain career advancement opportunities

What are you looking for?

Bill Gates suggests that even great teachers can get better with smart feedback -- and lays out a program from his foundation to bring it to every classroom.