If you ask most managers if they’re successfully coaching their employees, most would answer with a resounding yes. They’d also be wrong. Most managers think they’re coaching when in reality they are just telling their employees what to do. What’s worse, this behavior is often reinforced by the managerial community, which results in wasted time, money, and energy and creates ineffective, disengaged workforces. According to Sir John Whitmore, executive coaching expert, coaching is “unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.” When manager’s “coaching” styles were studied, it turns out most are engaging in a form of consulting, essentially providing their subordinate with a solution or advice. A rule of thumb: If you’re saying “First you should do this” or “Why don’t you do that?”, you’re not coaching. Coaching is a skill that needs to be learned over time and has more to do with listening to your employees than telling them what to do.
Think You’re a Good Coach? Think Again