Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The slopey shouldered 'coach'

One of the big pay-off's for managers learning to coach, is the idea of using their new found skills to keep responsibility for tasks with their teams. Most leaders I've worked with recognise their tendency to pick up their subordinates tasks - especially when under time pressure - and end up doing not only their own job but everyone else's job. Coaching can seem like a god send for getting those jobs back where they belong.

However, I've seen this taken too far. Only this morning I was talking to a manager who's boss has just been on a 'coaching' course. The boss now habitually pings back a reply of "What have you done so far?" to all requests for help , irrespective of  need or urgency. This as you can imagine is driving his team mad, and the good name of coaching is getting sullied.

Coaching is not about being slopey shouldered, deflecting all requests with a deft clever question. Coaching is first and foremost about being in service of the coachee, and helping them to perform/learn/grow. Constant deflection may serve the interests of the manager, but is annoying and counter-productive very quickly.

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