Coaching isn’t Landfill

2 03 2011

It is easy to talk sometimes as if coaching can supply what isn’t there by nature. “We want to build a luxury hotel between Australia and New Zealand; we will start building and perhaps you could fill in the gaps with some coaching…” If you think that sounds funny, it is not much different from “Fred doesn’t have a managerial fibre in his body; still we are going to make him manager of this large team and perhaps you could coach him to fill in the gaps…”

That is actually just about within the realm of the do-able. We can at least teach Fred enough rules of how to manage that he won’t permanently scar every member of the team. It is much worse with perspectives, though. I can coach a person to understand what they don’t see, and how to take account of that. I can teach them some techniques to ask better questions. I can’t teach them to instinctively see the world as if they were someone else; and there are times when only the authentic perspective will cut the mustard.

So much better if we use coaching to leverage strengths. “Here’s Jayne, she is a born manager. Could you coach her to be even more effective in way she manages the individuals on her team?”

Yes, please!

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