The Coaching Imperative – An Interview with Alison Hendren, Master Certified Coach

 Executive Coaching 2

There is no doubt that the fastest growing competency in business today is that of Coaching. The reason for this is clear and quite simple – it works! The ever-increasing body of evidence around the ROI and cultural impact of Coaching is quite astounding.  From Fortune 500 companies to small entrepreneurial ventures, “C” suite executives and other organizational leaders, to the rank and file front line employees. All are seeing the value and benefits of Coaching as a core part of how they operate, the impact on people, and the bottom line.

I recently sat down with Alison Hendren, a pioneer in the coaching profession and founder of Coaching Out of the Box®, a Canadian owned and operated leader in coaching education. Coaching Out of the Box® works with companies in North America by training and supporting the development of coach trainers within an organization, or by the delivery of training directly to an organization by Coaching Out of the Box® itself. Although other programs like their coaching practicums are quickly growing in popularity, its flagship 5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training Program™ is gaining a tremendous amount of attention. They have had over 8,000 people attend their programs.

Bruce: So Alison, let’s cut right to the chase, why Coaching and why now?

Alison: Today’s fast paced and competitive work environment requires that we maximize the strengths and talent of all people in an organization. No longer does command and control work, and in order to retain talented and valued people, we must up our game to better support their ongoing development and satisfaction.  Honestly, it is a burning platform and organizations need all hands on deck!

Bruce: Why are leaders and organizations embracing Coaching at such a feverish rate?

Alison: It works!  One of our clients said to me recently, not only are you teaching people how to coach, you are creating raging advocates for Coaching.  People are energized when they are really listened to. They are excited to be challenged and enthusiastic to go and use these skills in their work and personal lives. They feel relief when they realize they are not responsible for figuring it all out on their own. Now they have a way to tap into the talent and abilities of others, and they love the structure of accountability that Coaching creates.

Bruce: What are the top three reasons you see organizations embracing Coaching as a core competency?


  1. Demand; their own people are asking for it.
  2. The urgency to dramatically increase leadership effectiveness.
  3. Time and Money:  Coaching is the most potent way I’ve seen to strengthen retention of valuable people, capitalize on everyone’s strengths and talent, and at the same time move farther, faster, easier, quicker and better than it would have without coaching.

Bruce: I have heard coaches speak about bringing a “coach approach” to the way they manage, facilitate, lead, etc. What exactly does that mean?

Alison: Great question!  It means that they bring the coaching skills they’ve learned to all that they do.  It is in the way they ask questions that are more effective in finding out and seeking ideas, creativity and innovation from others.  It is the way that they take the time to really listen to others and clarify exactly what they are hearing. The way they conduct meetings so that people are heard, excited and motivated to move forward, and everyone leaves knowing who is accountable for what.  Creating an environment of asking vs telling, being curious vs knowing, highlighting and focusing on people’s strengths, getting crystal clear as to what is the purpose of any conversation and what is the intended outcome.  I think you get the idea – there is so much more!

Bruce: What is the competitive advantage you see for those who invest in Coaching both personally and organizationally?

Alison: Think about it.  When you maximize the strengths and talent of everyone, accelerate learning and innovation, have people excited and committed to supporting each other’s success while at the same time dramatically increasing accountability, AND have it so it is applicable in people’s family and personal lives you’ve got one heck of an advantage.  This is what Coaching does!

Bruce: What was the driving factor for you in creating the “5/5/5” flagship training program?

Alison: Making it as easy as possible for people to learn Coaching, use it right away and be excited to learn and develop themselves and others.  I wanted to create a way for people to learn coaching so that even after a few hours of our 5/5/5 Program they have something they can use immediately.  A few years ago we were about two hours into the program when at the break a person came up to me and said they had learned more in two hours of our coaching program than they had after several days of with another coaching program.  Yes, let’s make it as easy as possible for busy executives, leaders, managers, all employees, to learn this!

Bruce: Can you describe the ‘typical’ participant who attends the 5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training program?

Alison: They are people who want to do well in their work and personal lives and are keen to learn more and grow their skills.  They have heard about the value of Coaching, or perhaps have experienced being coached themselves and are excited about taking their leadership skills to a whole other level.

Coaching Out of the Box will be delivering a series of events across in the coming months. For more information on an event near you, please click here.


Alison Hendren is founder of Coaching Out of the Box®, a Canadian owned and operated coaching education company. Alison also currently serves as the Director of Training for the Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching program at Royal Roads University, as well as being on Charter Faculty for the coaching program at the University of Texas, Dallas.

Bruce is the Practice Leader, Executive Coaching with The Talent Company – a management consulting firm that specializes in human resources solutions. Bruce holds a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University and has completed post secondary studies in law at Carleton University and Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University. He holds his Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credentials from the International Coach Federation. He also possesses more than 15 years of human resources experience working within a variety of sectors and industries.

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One Comment to “The Coaching Imperative – An Interview with Alison Hendren, Master Certified Coach”

  1. There is undoubtedly that the quickest developing competency ready to go today is that of Coaching. The regularly expanding grouping of confirmation around the Roi and social effect of Coaching is very bewildering.

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