In the following, you will find detailed information on WU’s coaching services, based on frequently asked questions regarding this topic. Just click on a question to view the answer. Of course, we will also be happy to provide personal advice to you, if you are interested.
Target group: Who is the WU coaching program aimed at?
Professors and faculty members with a venia docendi from all academic units
Post-docs returning from parental leave
Management personnel from all WU service units
What is coaching? What does coaching mean to us at WU?
As we see it, coaching is a type of personalized support service – usually for management personnel – that is goal and solution oriented, limited in duration, and focuses on specific issues related to the context of your work.
“Personalized” means, first of all, that we provide one-on-one coaching sessions (team coaching sessions are also an option, and we offer them as part of our personnel development consulting services). The coaching sessions take place in a private setting, and they involve only you and the coach. In addition, personalized coaching also means that it is not about ready-made recommendations and one-size-fits-all advice. Instead, you sit down with your coach to develop solutions that address your specific issues and that work for you.
You’ll be bringing one (or more) specific question(s) to your coaching sessions, which means that you’ll define the goal you want to achieve through coaching. The appropriate coaching techniques are then selected based on whether they can help you find solutions that bring you closer to your goal.
The personalized and goal-oriented work that is possible in a one-on-one setting is very efficient. A single coaching session usually lasts between 50 and 90 minutes, and depending on the type and scope of the issue(s), sometimes the coaching process may be completed after only a single session, or it may continue over several appointments. In any case, our experience shows that a maximum of seven sessions is usually sufficient.
Coaching requires your active participation, starting with the specific topic from your management work that you bring to the first session to set your goals all the way to identifying an appropriate solution together with your coach. As we see it, just sitting back and listening to a coach tell you what to do is not really coaching but professional consulting.
Coaching is not therapy: It is not intended to deal with private problems, your personality, or help you come to terms with your childhood. It focuses strictly on work-related issues.
What does the coaching process look like?
Since the approaches taken by the different coaches vary and coaching conversations unfold on an individual basis, it is hard to give a general blueprint of what coaching involves. Very often, however, coaching sessions follow a specific structure, including the following basic elements:
Introduction: arriving, building trust, discussing open questions and general conditions
Exploration: describing the topics, issues, problems you’re currently dealing with
Goal definition: defining what you want to achieve in the coaching session
Solution work: your coach works with you to achieve your goals
Conclusion: defining specific steps to be taken, review of goal achievement
What are possible topics, issues, problems, or questions?
The range of topics that can be addressed in coaching sessions is so wide that only a few, from our point of view particularly frequent, issues can be listed here as examples.
Dealing with conflicting expectations regarding professional roles
Dealing with stress and stressful situations
Preparing for difficult conversations
Adjusting to new responsibilities and/or positions
Help when it comes to making complex decisions
Processes of change
Finding new ways of approaching familiar situations
Dealing with challenges in supervising employees
Are you unsure whether coaching could help you address some specific issue you find difficult to deal with? You’re welcome to contact us or the coach of your choice to arrange an initial meeting to discuss in advance whether coaching is the right approach for dealing with the matter.
What benefits can you expect from the coaching sessions?
Gaining new perspectives
Stepping out of your everyday routines and experiencing an appreciative, non-competitive environment
A neutral and competent sparring partner who can help you address specific issues
Suggestions and pointers that may help you break free from ruts and dead-ends
How can I use coaching services at WU?
Reach out to your Personnel Development Office contact person. We’ll recommend two to four potential coaches to you after a preliminary chat. You only need to tell us as much as you want about the issue at hand, your topics, etc. Coaching sessions are subject to strict confidentiality. It’s always up to you to decide if you would like to share details about your coaching sessions with us, and how much you would like to tell us.
Contact the coach of your choice and make an initial appointment. During this first meeting with the coach, you’ll define the number of coaching sessions you think you’ll need to address your issue, fill out our WU Coaching Services Application form together, and send it to your contact person in the Personnel Development and Planning Office. Please note that costs can only be covered for coaching sessions that have been agreed upon in advance with the Personnel Development and Planning Office! If you have any doubts or don’t feel comfortable working with the coach after the first meeting or during the process, you’re welcome to choose another person.
Based on your application, while also taking budgetary considerations into account, we will approve the coaching and inform you and the coach about the amount of coaching sessions that have been approved.
You can then go ahead and make appointments with the coach according to your needs.
The coach invoices us directly. The invoices do not include any information about you as the coachee.
We will contact you when the coach has billed us for the approved number of coaching sessions, or, if we haven’t heard anything from you in a while, check back with you to see if the process is still ongoing. You don’t have to use up all the approved coaching sessions. If you feel that you’ve achieved a sufficient degree of closure in the process and that you don’t need any (further) coaching, it’s not necessary to make any further appointments. In this case, please let us (and ideally also your coach) know that you consider your coaching to be over. If you need coaching again at a later date, you can always request another coaching process. This also means that you do not need to save up any approved coaching sessions, i.e. it is not necessary to drop any coaching sessions you’d actually like to use because you feel that you need to save them for later. If the approved sessions are used up and you still need further coaching (or need coaching again for dealing with a new issue), please just contact us.
Once the coaching process is finished, we ask you to complete our feedback form. This is important for quality assurance, so please note that the Personnel Development and Planning Office can only cover the costs if you have completed the feedback form. In cases where you need to pay a deductible (see next question), we’ll send you an invoice at the end of the process.
How much do I have to pay for the coaching sessions?
A deductible of €30 per coaching session (up to 60 minutes) applies (provided that the coaching has been agreed upon in advance with the Personnel Development and Planning Office and the feedback form has been completed). This deductible does not apply to newly appointed management personnel, however – if you belong to this group, the coaching is completely free of charge for you.
You can either pay the deductible yourself or from the budget of your organizational unit.
No travel expenses are charged for coaching sessions held within Vienna. If your coach charges travel expenses for sessions held outside Vienna, these costs cannot be covered by the Personnel Development and Planning Office.
What key principles do we consider essential for high-quality coaching?
For coaching to be successful, it’s essential that coach and coachee work together based on a relationship of trust. This also means that everything discussed in the coaching sessions should remain between you and your coach. Any sensitive information that you may choose to share with us for the purpose of identifying a suitable coach will of course also be kept confidential between you and the Personnel Development Office.
In the invoicing procedures, special care is taken to ensure that invoices are anonymous and that the identity of the coachee is never disclosed during the processing of the invoices. If you would like to share any details or information from your coaching process with other people, you are of course free to do so at any time.
A coaching conversation should take place on equal footing. We believe that no one knows the specific challenges in your field and the context of your work better than you. It is therefore not reasonable to expect your coach to provide ready-made solutions or tell you exactly what to do. We see coaching as a process where the coach helps you to develop an outcome that is custom-tailored to you, based on the coach’s expertise in steering solution-oriented conversations and opening up new perspectives.
A solution-oriented approach:
You’re looking for sustainable concepts for the future, which is why most coaching approaches don’t dedicate a lot of time and energy to looking at the past and the problem itself. The focus is clearly on finding solutions that work and are tailored to your specific needs.
The coach is always working to serve your interests, as long as the interests of WU as your employer and certain ethical principles are not violated. For example, we wouldn’t expect our coaches to support you in bullying colleagues, covering up criminal offenses, etc.
The coach should be unbiased towards you. For example, when recommending a coach, we make sure that the coach has not previously worked in your immediate environment at WU. Based on our quality standards for coaching, having one and the same coach work with colleagues from the same department or with management staff who report to each other is definitely a no-no.
The client is in charge:
You decide if and when you find coaching to be helpful (the coach will not tell you to make appointments for further sessions if you feel you don’t need them).
You decide whether a coach is right for you. Successful coaching must be based on a relationship of trust between you and your coach. If you don’t feel comfortable working with a specific coach (a gut feeling also counts, you don’t need to justify your reasons), don’t be afraid to look for a different coach.
Who is included in WU’s pool of coaches?
The WU Personnel Development Office works with a pool of about 40 experienced external coaches with different backgrounds with regard to experience, approach, specializations, and also personality. The diverse range of coaches included in the pool helps us to address your individual concerns and preferences.
On the basis of a preliminary meeting, we’ll be happy to recommend two to four coaches who we think would be a good fit for you. You can then select the coach of your choice from these recommendations.
All coaches in our pool meet the following criteria:
Well-founded qualifications in coaching or equivalent training
Regular participation in continuing education programs
Relevant experience according to the principles indicated above
They have had a personal meeting with Personnel Development Office staff to get to know one another