The Progress Coaching Blog

What is Coaching? Why Do We Organizations Need It?

April 28, 2013 Posted by : Tim Hagen
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What is coaching? Coaching is about providing choices for other people to learn and perform better. Did you notice I use the word choices and not the word mandate. Coaching is about facilitating the choice to improve on a continuous basis. In addition to the aforementioned areas, coaching is about inspiring and motivating people to perform beyond what they even feel is possible. Last, coaching is strictly about driving performance which encapsulates attitude, skills, knowledge, and behavioral change!


Coaching is a formal relationship that is scheduled and consistent. The biggest shift people need to make with coaching is to proactively pursue its benefit versus conducting coaching reactively. Managers find this to be the biggest challenge yet once they adopt coaching they also view it as their greatest benefit. Employees realize you have their best interest at hear because you the manager schedules time to meet with just them.

 Why Coaching


First of all when was the last time an employee came in your office and asked for so really uncomfortable change you could throw at them? I hope you are laughing but lets be honest getting better and pursuing better skill sets often comes with change. Employees will not seek this out arbitrarily. Second, we need it. Plain and simple, we need to build performance EVERY DAY in business and our people. Yet, coaching even with its recent popular movement all too often becomes a cliché inside organizations. Coaching to be successful must be a dedicated effort and one that is measured along the way. Third, managers get closer to employees and their work, thus avoiding making management mandates that rely upon assumptions and perceptions.


The main difference you will have to distinguish on your own is the difference between management and coaching. We define coaching as the means to driving better performance. Management are those endeavors that require leadership and directives to employees. There is some grey between the two depending upon the organization. Here is a rough example. If an employee is continously late for work that is probably going tube a management issues. There is not really a performance issue per se. An employee who misses deadlines may be lacking time management skills which lends to the missing of deadlines. This is probably a performance based issue. The key to understanding the value of why we need to coach is that ALL employees can improve performance. We never really hit perfection.


Management often struggles with the concept of coaching and how to go about coaching due to two main issues. One it’s easier to just dictate to employees and not engage as much because it saves time (Wrong). Second, managers have a fear of coaching. The fear could be they do not have time or will this expose them to being vulnerable in front of employees or they feel unequipped to conduct coaching effectively. All of these fears are common. But, they are poor excuses when it comes to developing employees or even evaluating them at the end of the year.


I had an epiphany at a client site when I walked into a building about 6 years a go and noticed the culture was very quite, almost weird with silence. I asked a manager I was working with what was going on. He told me all the managers’ end of the year evaluations were due into the Human Resource department by 11:00 am. I walked around the building and noticed every manager was writing vigorously. I thought wow, how unfair to the employees. Managers rushing to get a document done within minutes that covered the last year. I also knew the company had no coaching program. The employees were being evaluated by managers who were generally not engaged with them or challenged with proper coaching that would enable them to perform better to ultimately receive a good end of the year evaluation.


Coaching is also required due to fact traditional training such as workshops or seminars have exonerated management from their direct responsibility to building employee careers too long. As you will see in the research section of this book traditional training by itself is not very effective but when combined with coaching it produces four times the results against training by itself. Plain and simple we need to coach our employees to produce better performing employees and organizations. Sadly, this present a great opportunity to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. Developing employees should not be difficult.


Coaching is a tool to promote greatness in all of us, but few managers truly possess the knowledge and skills to drive the coaching process. This book is about proving insight into a process called Progress Coaching. This is our process to coaching employees to progress.

The issue is not that employee lie but do we create an environment where people are comfortable communicating bad news? Studies have shown roughly 50 % of all sales people do not hit their sales quotas; therefore, when managers are in a meeting and everyone nods when asked if they are going to hit their numbers guess what? Something is VERY WRONG. Coaching allows you to know where and when this will not occur. The important thing is coaching gets you involved in the process of fixing the problem.


 The biggest challenge for managers is to understand the difference between management and coaching. Below is a table that depicts the high level differences:




They Tell

They Ask & Listen

They Are Number Makers

They Are People Makers



Like to Maintain

Like to Develop

Take Charge

Lead by Following & Getting Out of the Way


After managers understanding the difference the key is implementing management and coaching at the applicable times. The high level guideline is to use management when directing m guiding, providing vision, setting expectations, etc. Coaching is about driving better performance to often meet the management imperatives. It involves again knowledge increasing, skill development, etc.


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About Author

Tim Hagen
Tim Hagen

Tim Hagen founded Progress Coaching, 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. Tim is often a keynote speaker at companies teaching the value of coaching and conversations in the workplace. He possesses a unique combination of hands-on experience, academics, and innovative insight to solve the industry’s most common challenges specific to workplace performance. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and Training from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

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