Almost every week we see an article on the “war for talent.” Companies need to hire people and can’t find the right skills. Recruiters rely heavily on sophisticated applicant tracking systems to do the initial resume sorting.
RT @TomWalter1971: Coaching vs. Managing: Why coaches are better leaders than managers.
For the past several years, I’ve had the pleasure of coaching young females in the sport of softball. Throughout my time, I’ve learned that being the coach of a team and being a leader within an organization is not much different. The same principles span both responsibilities. In fact, when you use coaching principles in an organization, you often reap more than if you were to “manage” like many organizational leaders prefer to do.
According to the thesaurus with which Microsoft so generously equipped my word document software, the term “manage” is synonymous with words like “govern,” “supervise,” and “administer.” The term “coach” is synonymous with “teach,” “educate,” and “prepare.” Compare the two terms as well as their synonyms. Is it as obvious to you as it is to me? There is a distant, authoritarian connotation radiating from the term “manage,” especially when paired with the gentle, nurturing term “coach.” Which type of leader would you like to work for? And, for those in leadership positions, which word would you like associated with your leadership style?
If the thesaurus doesn’t do it for you, there are always the practices that accompany either term, practices that I would like to argue are the very reasons why adopting a coaching style is more effective (and enjoyable) in the workplace than managing.
Everyone on the team knew the elephant was in the room, but no one wanted to talk about it.
At the root of many of our interpersonal or team conflicts is a failure to communicate. Sometimes the problem is that information isn’t shared broadly enough and people become resentful because they weren’t included. Other times we say things that come out wrong and people are offended, even though we may have had good intentions behind our message. Regardless of how the situation was created, if we don’t take the time to thoughtfully address it, the miscommunication evolves into the “elephant in the room” that everyone knows is present but isn’t willing to address.
Recently I worked with a client where the elephant in the room had been present for nearly a year. The issue within this team had led to a fracture in what were previously very close relationships, had tarnished the team’s reputation within the organization, and was causing strife and turmoil that was affecting the team’s performance. Everyone on the team knew the elephant was in the room, but no one wanted to talk about it.
Have you ever hired someone who was perfect on paper, seemed spectacular in the interview, but became a disaster once you tried to integrate them into the organization, because their true nature was...
Empathy is the ability to identify and understand another's situation, feelings, and motives. Find out why this is so important in the workplace.
A few weeks ago, I came across a bumper sticker that said: "I am not good at empathy. Will you settle for sarcasm?" The humor in the bumper sticker led me to think of the slight unease or self-conscious discomfort that many people feel when a term such as "empathy" is introduced in a business environment. Notions of "touchy-feely," spring to mind.
While empathy is a right brain activity, it is far from being a touchy-feely topic. At its core, empathy is the oil that keeps relationships running smoothly. The fact that empathy is an important component of effective relationships has been proven: In studies by Dr Antonio Damasio (outlined in his book: "Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain."), medical patients who had damage to part of the brain associated with empathy showed significant deficits in relationship skills, even though their reasoning and learning abilities remained intact.
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