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What is the Difference Between Coaching and Managing?

written byErickson Coaching Internationalon 14/07/2018

Tight deadlines, endless meetings and hundreds of emails – the life of a manager is hectic enough without adding coaching to the mix. But taking that extra effort will benefit the bottom line.

Due to time constraints, many manager-employee conversations tend to focus on current issues or problems in the workplace. The result can be employees who become resentful, produce unstable results, or aren’t invested in their job.

Solution-Focused coaching eliminates this instability by restoring ownership to the employee. To achieve this, managers need to ensure that every discussion with their team reinforces the desired result. And that requires ongoing and open communication.

The best managers cultivate competency in their employees, and that requires regular, face-to-face conversations. Managers using a coach approach consistently check in with their teams. They are seen as dedicated and invested, and this in turn positively influences energy and morale.

What do coaching conversations look like? More inquiry and less imposition of the manager’s point of view. Instead of advocating their own ideas, successful coaches ask thoughtful, open questions:

  • What is the desired outcome? Why is it important?
  • What actions and resources are needed? What are the expectations and timelines involved?
  • How will we stay on track and finish strong?

When managers and employees take equal ownership of the conversation, employees are more likely to become internally motivated to embrace the task at hand.

People are keen to master their area of interest. ‘Owning’ a project instils a deeper sense of purpose in contributing to a meaningful goal. Ownership also allows for employee autonomy and personal creativity, which facilitates harmony among the team and improves the end result.

Incorporating Solution-Focused coaching into management techniques is an ongoing process, and should be implemented into daily tasks.

With effective coaching, managers will see greater commitment, competency and confidence in their team, and will eventually need to dedicate less time to supervision. Solution-Focused coaching benefits managers, employees and the company. Why manage when you can coach?

Looking to apply coaching competencies into your workplace?
Learn more about Erickson's Coaching Competencies for Leaders Course