Coaching — one of the hardest jobs for managers

A client called yesterday to ask me to work with her front-line supervisors. She described their weak areas that needed shoring up. As she described the litany of inadequacies, it occurred to me that no matter how much I coached them, I wasn’t there to see them every day. Someone needs to be on-site to witness the unacceptable behaviors and coach them immediately, or catch them making improvements and give them positive feedback. A consultant 40 miles away was not the solution.

I had tired to convince the manager that I could work with her to coach them, or to work with her and the supervisors together, but she needed to be the one who would comment on their behaviors real time. She didn’t see this as a solution. The unspoken truth was she didn’t want to get involved — she wanted someone else to fix the problem.
This is natural — we all want someone else to make our problems go away. But to grow your people, you have to have be hands on. So if it is you who needs some coaching on how to coach, get it. You can work in tandem with a consultant, but you need to be involved. If you aren’t, the problem won’t go away. Or it will, but so will your key talent.

Call me at 408/998-7977 if you want to talk about how to get coached to coach your people.

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