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.
There is an old parable about a boy who was so discouraged by his experiences in school he told his grandfather he wanted to quit. His grandfather filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, he placed carrots, in the second he placed eggs and the last he placed ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out into a cup. Turning to the boy, he asked, "Tell me, what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," the boy replied. Then he asked the boy to feel the carrots, which he did and noted that they were soft and mushy. His grandfather then asked him to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, the boy observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked the boy to sip the coffee. He smiled as he tasted the coffee with its rich aroma. The boy asked, "I don't understand. What does this mean, if anything?" His grandfather laughed and explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity--boiling water--but each had reacted differently. "Which are you?" the grandfather asked. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, becomes soft and loses strength? Are you the egg that appears not to change but whose heart is hardened? Or are you the coffee bean that changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the coffee bean, when things are at their worst, your very attitude will change your environment for the better, making it sweet and palatable."
In trying to understand this universal feeling, researchers are increasingly asking: What does your boredom say about you?
If you are reading this, odds are you are not bored. At this moment, your attention is actively engaged. I can’t say for how long but I know that once you lose interest, you will blame me: this article is dull, this writer is boring.
But in trying to understand this universal feeling, researchers are increasingly asking: What does your boredom say about you?
“Kids have a term for it, ‘Boregasm,’ where you’re hit with a 1,000 pounds of boredom at once,’’ says Albert Nerenberg, a Montreal-based filmmaker who just released a documentary about boredom.
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