Why Coaching is Better than Managing

I often get told that managers are expected to coach their direct reports without being given any guidance or tools for doing the coaching. I like to make the distinction between managing and coaching.

Managing is typically referred to the way to get tasks done.

Managing people is really about leading people to do their work effectively and efficiently.

When we refer to being a manager of people, this role is typically about giving specific direction.

Coaching, on the other hand, is not directive at all. It is a conversation that challenges the employee to explore an issue from different angles with the purpose of growth and development.

There will be many opportunities in leadership where coaching will be more effective than managing.

Let us look at comparisons of the two styles and situations where coaching is better than managing:

  • Coaching helps build an understanding of how people think about issues that are important to them and their work
  • Managing from the perspective that everyone puts the same value on a task could lead to performance and delivery issues
  • Coaching is a better way to improve understanding of roles and better performance
  • Managing what and how work needs to be done could miss instances where the understanding of roles and execution are different from yours
  • Coaching can uncover and deal with issues before they become a problem
  • Managing through enforcing processes procedures do not take customer variations into account and can cause the loss of revenue
  • Coaching can help guide associates through change which may otherwise leave them feeling stressed and abandoned
  • Managing information on a “need-to-know” basis promotes distrust and suspicion
  • Coaching is an effective way to do a performance evaluation and feedback
  • Managing the performance evaluation discussion by going through scores may lead to frustration and a sense of defeat rather than opportunity to learn and grow

It is essential for your managers to learn about effective coaching. Contact me to learn more about the topic.

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