There is a lot of talk these days about companies attempting to establish a coaching culture in their organizations.
Many are training their leaders in coaching to integrate the coaching into their organizations. Some coaching and leadership companies have actually developed “train the coach” or “coach the coach” programs to facilitate some of this.
Being an executive leadership coach, I am all for leaders being taught how to coach their teams. However, I have seen some of the programs, and they go against some of my deep beliefs around coaching.
Let me share with you just a few myths on coaching, and then you can decide the route that is best for you and your team.
A coach must be an expert in a certain industry.
Nothing could be further from the truth. If you hire an industry expert to coach you, all you will get is the best practices for your industry. That sounds a lot like consulting to me.
I have and do coach in many industries, and none of my coaching is about the company widget. It is about you as the leader, other people, your organization, your vision, what you are thinking, and where you would like to go.
A coach has to be in control.
When you use a guidance system while driving, is it in control of the car or are you? The same goes with coaching. A good coach guides the process; they don’t control it. The coaching client should drive the agenda, while being open to questions about thoughts, challenges, and more.
A coach can fix your problems.
Believe that one, and I have some property in the Everglades to sell to you.
Let me be very clear, coaching is not about “fixing” people.
Treating people as though they are broken or wrong is judgment at its worst. I will agree, we all need some fine tuning, but one person’s “broken” could be another person’s “fix.” Sure, people who get stuck and are being held back by limiting beliefs can benefit from coaching; but you don’t want to reserve all your coaching budget for what you see as your most challenging people.
Get coaches for your middle and top talent. A good coach will stretch their talent and capabilities.
A coach has to be perfect.
Well, let me just say, if that was true, I wouldn’t be a coach; and you certainly wouldn’t be reading this article.
What exactly is perfect anyway? I’ve never seen it or met it. Have you?
A coach should be trained, experienced, and recommended.
A coach has to be liked all the time.
Now, that one is funny. Don’t get me wrong. I love my clients, and most of the time, they love me (I think); but it is not my job to make my clients happy. I am a coach, not a clown.
When you challenge peoples’ thoughts, actions, inactions, communication, etc., there are going to be days you are not liked much.
I remember coaching a professional athlete who owned several businesses. He fired and hired me back (usually the next day) more times than I can count. All in all, we worked together for about five years.
If and when you make the decision to add coaching to your leadership platform, be prepared to change the way you look at people, situations, challenges, opportunities, and more.
You will start to see your role as a leader differently.
You will go from constantly feeling like you need to have all the answers, to engaging people with questions that help them discover the answers they seek.
This is what true coaching is all about. Whether you are seeking to train your leaders to coach or to be coached, I would welcome a discussion about the coaching possibilities for your organization and how the approach would benefit you and your team.
If I can be of help in this regard, contact me.
Dave Ferguson is “The Leaders’ Coach”, an internationally recognized executive leadership coach, speaker, facilitator, and author. Are you interested in talking to Dave about coaching or having Dave speak to inspire and motivate your team? “ASK COACH DAVE” at 704-907-0171 or at Dave@AskCoachDave.com.