This is a very insightful article from Weintraub and Hunt of Babson College, highlighting key differences and indeed impacts between managers who coach and those who do not. Also of interest is that their key findings link to the three fundamental principles of our coaching programmes:
1. Be more lazy, resist your advice monster from jumping in the whole time and stop working so hard to fix the issue for your team. Let others learn and work it out for themselves a bit more.
2. Be more curious, ask more powerful and open questions, do less telling and giving the answer.
3. Be more often. Coaching is not about being the ‘once a year’ annual review discussion, but having coaching conversations little and often in order to maximise learning in the moment. The best approach is about a ‘drip feed’ of learning conversations, helping people regularly and often gain insight into their situation, in order to work out what they need to do for positive impact.
A key theme to Weintraub and Hunt’s article is that managers who coach enjoy helping people develop by being more curious and taking an approach that is more often question lead than answer lead. Indeed, it’s not about coaching being the be all and end all either, there is a time to coach and a time to give the answer.
Part of the satisfaction of coaching is that these managers also see that it is a must have (rather than nice to have) that they are helping their people towards growth and success that is very much linked to business success. I.e, alongside the coaching conversations, there is a very real focus on where the stretch, growth and desired goals of the individual fit with the wider context of the goals and objectives of the organisation. In turn, those managers that are encouraging and nurturing success in others are noticed and as they become more and more known for helping others thrive, then people gravitate towards them.
In short, what they become known for through adopting a coaching approach is that it’s all about the individual, not you as the boss.
Click here for the full article and four reasons managers should spend more time coaching.