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  • Writer's pictureKathy Shonaiya

Elevating Project and Program Managers: The Profound Impact of Coaching

In an era of intricate projects and multifaceted programs, the need for excellent project and program managers has never been more pressing. The cornerstone of success is the symbiotic relationship between coaching, mentoring, and professional development.

Coaching is a dynamic process that empowers project and program managers to realize their full potential. According to a study by Whitmore (2009), coaching fosters self-awareness, goal clarity, and improved decision-making, leading to enhanced performance and satisfaction. Moreover, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) emphasizes that coaching provides personalized guidance, enabling managers to overcome challenges and capitalize on strengths (Goleman et al., 2001).

Mentoring, a time-tested practice, is pivotal in nurturing leadership qualities among project and program managers. The Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies highlights that mentoring relationships cultivate critical thinking and strategic acumen (Ragins & Verbos, 2007). This process facilitates knowledge transfer and succession planning as mentors share their experiences and insights.

The amalgamation of coaching and mentoring contributes significantly to organizational excellence. The Project Management Institute (PMI) underscores that coaching and mentoring promote a team learning culture, fostering innovation and adaptability (PMI, 2017). PMI's approach aligns with the sentiments of the McKinsey Quarterly, which affirms that coaching and mentoring foster a resilient workforce capable of navigating complex business landscapes (Khurana & Spivack, 2020).

Case studies of renowned organizations substantiate the impact of coaching and mentoring. Google's "Project Oxygen" exemplifies how coaching-based interventions improved manager effectiveness (Garvin & Boyle, 2018). Similarly, IBM's mentoring program showcased heightened employee engagement and retention (Allen et al., 2019).

Coaching and mentoring are indispensable pillars of growth in the intricate world of project and program management. The fusion of personalized guidance, leadership development, and organizational excellence underscores their irreplaceable value.


Allen, T. D., Eby, L. T., & Lentz, E. (2019). Mentorship behaviors and mentorship quality associated with formal mentoring programs: Closing the gap between research and practice. Journal of Applied Psychology, 104(9), 1277-1295.

Garvin, D. A., & Boyle, C. T. (2018). Google's Project Oxygen: Do Managers Matter? Harvard Business Review, 96(1), 110-121.

Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2001). Primal leadership: The hidden driver of great performance. Harvard Business Review Press.

Khurana, R., & Spivack, J. (2020). The leadership journey in a time of crisis. McKinsey Quarterly. Retrieved from

PMI. (2017). Project Management Institute's Pulse of the Profession. Retrieved from

Ragins, B. R., & Verbos, A. K. (2007). Positive relationships in action: Relational mentoring and mentoring schemas in the workplace. In The Handbook of Mentoring at Work: Theory, Research, and Practice (pp. 301-322). Sage Publications.

Whitmore, J. (2009). Coaching for performance: GROWing human potential and purpose: The principles and practice of coaching and leadership. Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

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