What’s the difference between a coach and a manager?
A coach spends more time listening and asking questions, while a manager spends more time speaking and giving directions.
A coach invests time in observing, while a manager makes quick assumptions.
A coach uncovers issues to get the root of a problem, while a manager takes the quickest route to deal with the surface symptoms.
A coach helps accept responsibility, while a manager assigns blame.
A coach supports employees in developing their plans, while a manager gives them the plan and dictates to-do lists.
We’ve all experienced variations of coach vs. manager types. The truth is, it seems easier and more expedient to “manage” than to "coach". But research shows that coaches have more engaged employees, and get better results.
Done well, good coaching is well worth it. Good coaching leads to improved employee engagement, retention and performance. Specifically regarding performance, employees receiving fair and accurate feedback from their coach performed 40% better than employees who did not.
Helping other people increase their performance is really powerful when the person you have been working with on a specific skill or behavior masters it. If you ask a person who has had a successful coaching relationship what makes it great, they will tell you the coach actually cared. They would say that the coach was clear, persistent, committed, and often passionate and gave them a different perspective.
5 Behaviors for Managers Who
Want to Coach Employees:
1. Let go of the belief that your job is to have all of the answers.
When you don’t give employees the opportunity to solve their own problems, they don’t develop. Instead, they become dependent and never reach their full potential.
2. Managers have to believe that every employee has the potential to grow and improve.
A manager can’t coach an employee if they sincerely don’t believe in the employee.
3. Managers need to be willing to slow down and take the time to coach.
Coaching does take a little more time and patience upfront, and it takes deliberate practice to get good at it. People learn, they develop, performance improves, people are more satisfied and engaged, and your company is more successful.
4. Managers should learn how to coach.
You can’t just throw a switch and be an effective coach. You need to have a framework, and it takes practice.
5. Managers should study the experts and practice the techniques.
To learn how to coach, you should experience what it’s like to be coached by someone who’s really good at it. Then, read a good book on the topic. Then, practice, practice, practice and get feedback. After a while, you begin to reap the benefits.