When someone is put in charge, they are expected to find new business, increase revenue and produce higher profits. Many leaders fall into the trap of thinking that by managing the results they are concurrently coaching their people. Thus, they assume a command and control approach that emphasizes the inspecting and auditing aspects of management without the guidance of true coaching.
When it comes to coaching fellow professionals, creating better performers is dependent on the proper approach and attitude. Coaching is particularly hard for rising (now risen) stars that must now rely on the efforts of others instead of the yoke they used to proudly wear on their own backs.
Leaders who think they are coaching, but are really only managing, fall into one of six false coach personas. We will detail each one in this series and how may they affect the team. Do any of them sound like someone you know? Maybe really well?
False Coach #1: The Preacher
This leader gets up in front of the group and proclaims its direction. They state the results expected and communicates that they have the full confidence of everyone in the room that they will carry their own weight. They expect that the power of their words will inspire effort. The shared end goal is the motivation for success.
It is hard to assign fault to this person. They are passionate and driven. They want to convert the sinners and shepherd the flock. They want the very best outcomes for their congregation.
However, your team is not your congregation. They do not want to be converted. They have their own passions. They are people with different motivations, dreams and aspirations. It is not your job to rally them behind your belief system. It is your job to coach them and make them better than they are today at what they do.
Preachers tend to blow into a room with a lot of fanfare and theatrics and then disappear back to their offices. The enthusiasm they generate is brief. While their message is essential to develop the culture and belief system of the organization, it does not sustain performance or fine tune fundamentals. The biggest mistake a preacher can make is to trust that once a direction is given that everyone will know what the next step is and how to do it. And the next. And the next. And the next…
Coaching is a very personal activity. A leader must learn about what motivates each individual, determine how it aligns with the organization and help them develop specific behaviors and skills that will make them, and the organization, successful. It is not the coach’s job to spout fire and brimstone. It is their job to discover each team member’s personal fire.