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COaching is a Journey

Fri,Nov 04,2016 @ 11:00 AM

An increasing number of managers and companies are cultivating a culture of coaching, and as a result they are seeing higher levels of employee engagement, being proactive, and a more positive workplace culture. Yet even as this cultural ground-swell occurs, many people persist in seeing coaching as a dichotomy, as black or white, either you’re a coach who nurtures, or a manager who yells. But persisting in seeing coaching as an either-or scenario misses a really important point about coaching: everyone needs a coach. Even coaches. We can all improve.

See, coaching is a journey, not an ON-OFF switch. And everyone is in a different place on their coaching journey. Some people have been coaching for years and have experience coaching many different kinds of people through many different scenarios. Other people have just started their journey. And there are many people who don’t see themselves as coaches, but as managers who command their employees. All of these people have something to learn. All of these people can improve at their jobs.

Yet in treating coaching as a binary, as a switch that’s either ON or OFF, we run a risk: the risk of keeping people from getting started on their coaching journey. Making a change is hard, and many managers who don’t coach can often keep on yelling, telling, and demanding instead of coaching because they think of coaching as something you do or don’t do – and they don’t see themselves as coaches. But if these managers understand that they don’t have to become coaches overnight, that coaching is a journey, that they can start small, they will be much more likely to start coaching.

Starting small, accepting that coaching is a journey and not a destination gives people permission to try new things, and most importantly it gives them permission to make mistakes. Let’s face it, no one likes making mistakes – this is our job we’re talking about – but the truth is that we need mistakes. It’s through mistakes that we learn and improve.

We all need a coach. We can all improve. Harsh managers and nurturing coached alike. The real shame is if people never start their coaching journey. So when we talk about coaching, let’s try using words like process, growth, opportunity, journey, development, and process – language that can remind us all that whether we’re seasoned coaches or we haven’t yet started, we all have a ways to go.

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Topics: coaching growth

Tim Hagen

Written by Tim Hagen

Tim Hagen founded Sales Progress, a Training Reinforcement Partner Company, in 1997. His entrepreneurial career began in college leading to positions in sales, sales management, and sales training for small and large corporations, and eventually ownership of several training companies. He possesses a unique combination of hands-on experience, academics, and innovative insight to solve the industry’s most common challenges. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and Training from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

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