Whereas ten years ago the word “coach” brought to mind a sports trainer for most people, these days most large companies have their internal coaching programmes.
Encouraged by these results, a growing number of managers want to become coaches, or want to make use of coaching methods. However, many of them are just as easily discouraged as they were enthusiastic initially, when coaching fails to deliver quick results.
…or read complete text:
More and more managers ask me how they could tap into what we could justifiably call the coaching revolution of our decade. Whereas ten years ago the word “coach” brought to mind a sports trainer for most people, these days most large companies have their internal coaching programmes. Other companies learn of the tremendous influence coaching has on their organizations: demonstrably more efficient teamwork, an increasing support for innovation and achievement.
Encouraged by these results, a growing number of managers want to become coaches, or want to make use of coaching methods to improve organizational efficiency. Internal coaching programmes and executive coach certification courses are on the rise. However, many of them are just as easily discouraged as they were enthusiastic initially, when introducing coaching methods fails to deliver quick results. Well, the bad news is that most of the time, coaching will fail to provide a quick-fix. Efficiency, teamwork and innovation take time to improve. Moreover, many managers-turn-coaches discover to their disappointment that the transition in fact can make their managerial efficiency become worse, at least in the short run. The time they spent on becoming coaches… well, that is the time they spent not managing!
Why is it so challenging for managers to become more of a coach? Well, coaching is by definition a trust-based relationship, which takes its effect through feedback and commitment-building. Coaches facilitate and motivate the development of an individual rather than telling them what to do. there is no pushing and no value-judgement involved. In a sense, it is the opposite of managing. Ironically, managers who start using coaching as one of their methods attempt to assign tasks, push and evaluate most of the time, while on occasions they will simply sit over into the coach’s chair so that they can support, encourage and open up untapped potential in their employees. They expect their employees to follow them along this somewhat ad hoc metamorphosis, and can be quite frustrated when that does not happen. In the employees’ eyes, they are still the manager who assigns and evaluates; he did not manage to become their best friend overnight.
Well, the good news is, there is no need to give up on coaching because of such initial glitches. Given the time and the right methods, coaching can still give a remarkable boost to your team’s efficiency. Nevertheless, be prepared to make adjustments to your managerial methods as well if you expect to build a trust-based relationship with employees. Perhaps you will have to go easy on the pushing and evaluate performance with the big picture in mind. But this way you are essentially building an organic solution that will make life easier, and work more productive, for you as well as the team.
If you are interested to learn more, join our online seminar on the 15th of april, 2011, an interactive learning event that I will facilitate through online audiovisual conferencing.