How to Overcome Resistance to Coaching

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8-Steps to Creating a Coaching Culture by Keith RosenAs a manager, you may believe in the importance of coaching. And in my line of work, I know lots of managers who see the value in coaching their direct reports. However, there’s another population of managers who not only see the value of coaching their team but also realize how important it is to deliver effective coaching, which means learning how to do it right.

These managers realize that delivering bad coaching can be more damaging than delivering no coaching at all! And for many of these managers, especially after reading my book on coaching or attending my management coach training program, they realize, in their words, “Well, I thought I was coaching my team but after what I’ve learned here, if I was to be honest with myself, I really wasn’t. It was more directive and prescriptive advice or telling them what to do than it was coaching.”

Given this insight, some comments and questions that follow in the wake of this epiphany are as follows.

“Okay, so lets say I have not officially been coaching my team as of yet nor have I rolled out any structured coaching program. How do I introduce coaching in a way that they would be open to exploring it?”

Or, maybe you fall more in this camp of managers:

“What if I have been coaching my team but realize that my coaching is not as effective as it could be. I readily admit I fell into some of the common traps managers find themselves in when attempting to coach. How do I roll out coaching in a way that would make them open to discussing it? How do I re-introduce coaching to my team? What does that conversation sound like?”

Here is an example of the language any manager can use when beginning the process of enrolling or re-enrolling their direct reports in a coaching relationship.

“What I want for you is to experience the level of fulfillment and success that you really want in your career. And, after completing this management coach training program, I learned that, just like technology continues to evolve, so does the way managers engage with their team in order to maximize each person’s true potential. Think about sports. The coach is there to make sure each player is always at the top of their game. That said, I learned how I can be a better manager and coach for you so that I can support you in a way that would make you even more successful. Keep in mind, this learning curve is something that we’re both going to experience together.

So, I wanted to take some time to talk about what your perception of coaching is so that we can come up with a mutually agreed upon understanding and definition of coaching, set some measurable expectations and parameters around our coaching and what I can do to make this the most valuable experience that I can for you.

How do you feel about discussing this? Are you open to discussing this now?”

Okay, so what do you think? There are three common reactions I hear after sharing this template with managers. Actually, the most common reactions I hear from managers will appear in my post tomorrow, along with the methodology of this conversation, as we dissect each part of this template.

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