The Ten Myths of Coaching

In the present era, it is common for every manager to take on the role of a coach. However, most of them have not experienced a significant transformation in their behavior. The underlying causes of this lack of change are not difficult to understand. Many lack a clear understanding of what coaching really entails in practice. Those who have some knowledge of the subject often perceive it as intimidating. As a result, coaching becomes one of those noble ideas that managers mention but tend to forget about in reality. However, coaching is not a mysterious or difficult concept to master. In fact, all that is needed is to shed some ingrained misconceptions. Below are the ten most widespread myths about coaching, along with the reality behind each of them.


1- No one can define what coaching is

That's nonsense. The definition is inherent to coaching. It means helping people define clear goals and establish a specific timeframe to achieve them. And the goals can range from overcoming a personal interaction problem to achieving professional objectives. KEY POINT: Coaching is a well-defined process that has starting and ending points. What is different - and what can confuse some managers - is that the heart of the process is a person's potential. Therefore, success is not easy to quantify.


2- Coaching is about making people happy

Many managers think that coaching means doing what they already do but considering the "feelings" of their employees. This is a misconception. The secret to managing people is to get something done. This task is closely linked to the organization's mission, and to carry it out, specific tactical operations must be adjusted. When I manage people, I have two focuses: I look at the work a person is doing from behind, and then I look at the person. When I coach, I focus on the person. KEY POINT: Managing is ensuring that someone achieves certain levels of performance. Coaching is helping that person manage problems on their own.


3- Coaching is simply another way to refer to mentoring

The activity carried out by a mentor involves a long-term relationship, while coaching has a limited time frame. In the relationship with a mentor, the end is open. It does not involve a specific contract. It's like saying, 'I'll be your big brother, and I'll be by your side for a while - usually quite long - to help you with any issues you want.' A coaching contract is not like that. It has a set duration and deals with specific issues, the results of which are measurable at each step of the way. The work of a mentor carries a greater emotional baggage. The concept of a mentor is associated with someone who shapes someone else in their own image. The coach does not have that connotation. KEY POINT: A coach does not establish emotional bonds. A mentor does. If someone does not fulfill a commitment, a mentor might say, "You have disappointed me." In contrast, a coach says, "This is what you said you would do, and you are not doing it."


4- A coach is someone who is characterized by encouragement

Many managers think that coaching is the same as shouting encouragement to a team entering the field. If you behave like this in your coaching role, you should reconsider your job. Every coaching process starts with a real analysis of a person's strengths and weaknesses. A coach is not someone who merely encourages. Coaching is very action-oriented. Find out what people want to achieve in their work and help them imagine how to reach that goal. KEY POINT: A coach does not praise an individual's efforts; they help people understand what they need to change to achieve their professional goals.


5- Coaching takes up a lot of time

The fear of a commitment in terms of working hours drives many people away from coaching. They are not entirely wrong. "It will not consume all your time, but it will demand some time. You must be aware of this and anticipate what you will need before accepting the commitment. A good manager will suffice with dedicating five percent of their working day to coaching, and they will eventually discover that this task helps them save time. In the long run, the reward is much greater because coaching promotes independence in people. You teach people to solve problems on their own." KEY POINT: A coaching process can last between three months and two years, depending on what the person assisted by the coach wants to achieve. During the relationship period, it will take at least 30 to 45 minutes per week. That's the time you spend checking if someone completed the requested task and thinking about the next steps that person should take.

6- Coaching is a type of psychotherapy

Managers often avoid coaching because they fear that facing it will require them to be a kind of psychologist. They imagine they will have to delve into the dark secrets of the person being assisted. The truth is that, in some way, they must appeal to psychology to understand and explain the behaviors they detect. But it is not necessary to have a degree in that specialty to be a good coach. You just need to be psychologically prepared to handle personal and emotional issues. But this skill is always necessary because without it, you could not do business. Therapy focuses on a problem that needs to be solved, and the methodology involves delving into the psychology and emotional history of the person. Coaching, on the other hand, delves into the present and is future-oriented. KEY POINT: A coach, like any businessman, must understand some psychology because they are required to motivate people. But coaching focuses on what needs to be done in the future, not on hidden problems from the past.


7- It is a recipe for managing all kinds of situations

Coaching is not mechanical. It involves knowledge of the business, politics (how things work), and the psychology of the coach. Those who fail in this process are people who strictly adhere to a program, a formula. They generally say, 'You will do what I tell you, I will give you all the feedback you need, and you will be a different man or woman. But that change will not occur because the approach is not deep or personalized enough. KEY POINT: There is no recipe that fits all needs. Just as individuals and their goals are different, what each person needs to learn to achieve them is also different.


8- Not everyone is ready to receive coaching

If a coaching relationship does not work - for example, if someone undergoing that process does not respond as expected, many managers assume that the person being assisted is "unmanageable." But it takes two for this special kind of dance. And if the other does not respond, it is likely that the coach is taking the wrong steps. This is a typical problem of managers who underestimate the impact of their authority. If coaching really does not work, try to find out what is immobilizing the person being assisted, without assuming that all the responsibility lies with them. KEY POINT: If an individual does not respond to your coaching efforts, there are likely issues in the relationship. Before determining that they are impossible to assist, try assigning them to another coach.


9- Well-trained people will leave the company

Some managers fear that if they help a person achieve their professional goals, they will encourage them to seek new horizons. "Yes and no. Most employees look for superiors willing to invest in their professional development. Coaching is one of the best tools to do so. Some people will want to leave, and whatever the reason, it is impossible to stop them. But most people have hidden resources. Once they start discovering them, seeing how they can apply them, and how they impact their work, they get excited. KEY POINT: While some employees will leave in pursuit of new goals, many others will feel more loyalty toward an organization that is interested in the professional development of its people.


10- Coaching does not add points to the bottom line

Many executives consider coaching as a "minor skill"; that is, it does not have an immediate effect on the figures. "They think that you are just listening and wonder: What is the benefit? But the truth is that coaching produces more consistent results than many other management approaches. For starters, it develops people's creativity. It encourages them to be more flexible, to adapt to new situations. This kind of response from employees can have a substantial effect on a company's revenue. However, coaching resources need to be economized. The only recipients should be those who will, over time, make a big impact on the organization. Coaching is an investment in a person and will yield real results, but not when it comes to an immediate business objective. When you support someone to meet next month's sales targets, you are not providing coaching; that's management, even if it is called coaching. But if that person is a high-potential sales manager, and you are convinced that within two quarters they will take the lead, that's coaching." KEY POINT: Coaching can make a positive impact on the organization's performance, but not in the short term. Aim for those who will become important assets for the company.


Dionisio Melo

Escribir comentario

Comentarios: 0