John Hoover

John Hoover, PhD, is a bestselling author with over a dozen books to his credit, including "The Coaching Connection" and his satirical "How to Work for an Idiot." He is certified as an executive coach by the International Coach Federation and a coaching supervisor by the Coaching Supervision Academy. Dr. Hoover is the thought leader behind the Contextual Coaching practice at Partners in Human Resources International, and teaches “How to Manage the Coaching Function in Organizations” online through Fielding Graduate University. Contact him at

Articles by John Hoover

Culture, Talent Management

Want to Better Your Business? Take a Few Lessons From Baseball


Although characteristics found in almost any sport can be compared to business (great coaching, teamwork, cooperation, refuse-to-lose attitude, etc), business is most like baseball.

As we watch the San Francisco Giants battle it out with the Kansas City Royals for the 2014 World Series title, we are reminded that winning in baseball and succeeding in business requires talent, a good manager, great coaches, and leadership.

In baseball, the teams that generally make it to the playoffs are those that combine the best managers, coaching and player talent, opportunities, and front office leadership. In business, similar combinations result in success. Any one or even two of the aforementioned elements is not enough.

It’s the combination of all of them that spells success. Read more…

Training & Development

The Leadership Coaching Dilemma: Contextual Coaching Is the Answer

Illustration by

In January 2013, a new Chief Talent Officer took his Senior Leadership Team seat at a Fortune 100 Manhattan-based international financial services firm.

Before the chair was warm he had cancelled every one of the firm’s dozens of leadership coaching engagements taking place around the world. Such a sweeping, immediate, and disruptive gesture smacks of support from the CEO (if it wasn’t the CEO’s idea to begin with).

You can imagine the conversation: Read more…

Training & Development

The Case for Building a Culture of Coaching


By Paul J. Gorrell and John Hoover

As business coaches, we are always on the new frontier looking to help our coaching clients add value to the organizations that employ them. Working to develop a culture of coaching across organizations makes habit, skill, and activity correction and enhancement pre-emptive rather than reactive.

Instead of waiting until damage has been done, relationships broken, and dissention sewn far and wide, a deliberate and healthy culture of coaching helps to keep people at all levels of the organization engaged and working on habits, skills, and activities to deal with problematic issues, individually and corporately, as a way of doing business—not exceptional behavior.

Unless your organization is consciously, systematically, and strategically building and sustaining a culture of coaching, summoning an internal or external coach to contend with a dysfunctional behavior is more likely to resemble an emergency call rather than strength training. A proactive culture of coaching will focus energy and resources on accelerating performance and making good work better rather than waiting for things and people to need correction.

The most frequently-cited reasons for coaching are: Read more…