The current trend in human resource management underlines the main role of a leader in motivating employees and helping them develop in the respective skills and talents. Researches and studies in the field of human resource management and organizational culture have indicated that effective and successful leaders are those who are exceptional motivators and coaches. In this paper the researcher defines coaching, identifies its skills, techniques, tools, objectives in addition to the major differences and similarities with other approaches such as counselling and mentoring.
The article presents the results of a pre-analysis of learners’ and educators’ needs and expectations carried out under the multilateral Grundtvig project Coaching Skills for Adult Education (COACH4U) with the aim of establishing the nature of their work and communication with adult learners. The research was conducted during January – February 2015 through a focus-group discussion with 47 participants from the UK, Spain, Cyprus, Poland, Sweden and Bulgaria. The indicators used in the study are: communication with adult learners in and out of the classroom; general awareness of coaching and coaching skills; knowledge of specific coaching techniques; use of coaching techniques; expectations about the application of coaching to participants’ personal expertise; expectations about improving participants’ expertise in different areas; application of acquired coaching knowledge and skills to the context of partner organisations. Some conclusions oriented towards professional competences in adult education are formulated on the basis of the research.