Coaches Are Made Not Born

We’ve all heard the adage, are you a manager or a leader? One connotates visions of a task delegator and a timesheet signer. The other is inspiration, motivation, and direction. 

I would further this vision by asking, are you a trainer or a coach? What’s the difference? A trainer helps an individual reach a specific goal. That goal might be learning a new software system or developing interpersonal skills such as public speaking. A coach helps individuals improve their skills while listening, questioning, and challenging their current mindset and ideas. 

The Similarities

Both trainer and coach are critical roles in any organization. But, as a leader growing a team, developing coaching skills is vital to your team’s effectiveness, growth, and engagement.

 The Differences

Coaches employ additional skills such as empathy, curiosity, and listening as essential leadership skills. While important in coaching, leaders need additional skills to be excellent coaches. To be a good coach, the manager must also:

  • Be good observers
  • Develop emotional intelligence
  • Learn to ask better questions (managers tend to tell people what to do, coaches ask questions that encourage critical thinking)
  • Build rapport and trust with team members
  • Be able to give helpful feedback that fosters self-awareness

As a leader, coaching is a skill like any other. It’s practiced and honed. According to Harvard Business Review, “coaching is valuable for the firm as well as individuals, ensuring that leaders embrace and model it, building coaching capabilities throughout the ranks, and removing barriers to change.”

Our Be the Leader Nobody Wants to Leave: 8 Transformational Skill Builders for Busy Leaders program focuses on building the essential skills needed to coach excellence. This eight-week program combines classroom training with personalized group and one-on-one coaching for a career-changing learning experience. The class is available for individuals or groups. View more information and register here, or call 866-686-7672.

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