Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Don’t coach me, just tell me!

It happened again this week. I’m working with a group of leaders on their coaching skills and we’re talking about potential objections to using a coaching approach with their teams. “My team don’t want loads of questions, they don’t want me dancing around the handbags with them, they just want to be told what to do !” one manager pronounces.

I think this comes back to what you think coaching is... if you believe it us some form of elaborate guessing game then I can see how you can get in this sort of tangle. It would indeed be perverse to withhold useful information or expertise from a team member, making them play ‘read the bosses mind’ instead. No wonder their people regard 'coaching' as time wasting and potentially manipulative. However if you see coaching as a thinking partnership between two consenting and informed adults then maybe these confusions can be avoided.

Great coaching is always based on a relationship of trust and openness - leading questions and pointless obstruction destroy both.

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