Why coaching is the best management style

Coaching is a sophisticated management style that requires developing a relationship that empowers employees by building confidence and competence. Rather than being a "hands off" approach, coaching means being very involved in the employee's progress.

~ HR at MIT

Today traditional management styles of controlling and monitoring employee performance isn’t working. When managed people will not perform at their best. When pushed we instinctively push back. It’s totally natural. More and more businesses and organisations are looking to coaching as a solution. But, there is a lot of confusion about what coaching actually is. 

In this article I set out to hopefully bust some myths about coaching and also provide some insights into what coaching actually is and why I believe coaching is the best. 

So first of all let’s look at what coaching is not: 

1. Mentoring. This is a common mistake. A mentor is someone who has been there and done it. A trusted advisor.

2. Consulting. A consultant is an expert who provides advice. Good coaches do not offer advice. 

3. Facilitating. A facilitator is someone who guides you through a process.  

4. Training. As trainer is someone who teaches skills or knowledge.  

Coaching requires managers to transition from the traditional management role to a more consultative role. Coaching is a means for developing a partnership, a collaboration, between the manager and employee. It is a coach’s job to create a fertile, safe environment or space for a shared trust and understanding that nurtures growth. It’s all about creating the space that will have the biggest chance of achieving the desired results and outcomes. 

Trust is key. As a coach you must hold the outcome of your coachee at all times. Whatever that is. The thing is to get an employee to be totally open and honest with their boss could be a challenge. To overcome this as a coach you must be coming from a place of complete service. A place of love. Once you have this connection the results can be astonishing. 

So what are the key attributes of a coach?

1. Ability to create a great connection or rapport. 

2. Genuine curiosity. 

3. Asks great questions.

4. Listens deeply. A good coach will do most of the listening. 

The outcomes of a great coaching relationship can be life changing. Quite often the results of coaching can be unexpected. For example, what if as a result of coaching, a client decides to leave his role or position? Good leaders know their role as leaders is to create more leaders and not followers so if a person leaves an organisation as a result of something that they came to “see” as a result of their coaching with you then that’s all part of the service. Ultimately coaching is not about having agendas or holding people back. It’s about growth and we have to be brave enough to go wherever it is that takes us.