Three Signs a Manager Isn’t Ready for Coaching

By Harvard Business Review
March 11, 2019

Here are ways to make sure your people are in the right mindset to become better leaders.  

Executive coaches have improved the performance of many already-good managers and sanded the rough edges off many less-effective ones. Still, they aren’t a miracle cure. Many companies waste considerable sums by assigning coaches to managers who just aren’t ready to be coached. How do you make sure that doesn’t happen to you?

When considering hiring a coach for a manager, watch for these three signs:

They blame external factors for their problems: When leaders argue about the validity of your reasons for offering coaching, or offer excuses for poor results, it can be a sign that they lack self-awareness. Before any coaching can be effective, they need to wake up to the ways their actions affect others.

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 You can’t get on their calendar: Some leaders may cancel sessions at the last minute, constantly reschedule, or, when they do show up, be visibly distracted. Their inability to prioritize is a sign they need coaching, but their unwillingness to make room for it suggests they won’t be a good coaching investment.

They focus too much on tips and tactics: Some leaders eagerly agree to coaching, but then avoid the deeper inquiries required for meaningful transformation. They view coaching as medicine that, if taken regularly, will help them get ahead. But a coach’s real job is to help executives uncover the deeper assumptions driving their behavior. Only then can he help people challenge self-limiting beliefs that block their development.

Copyright 2018 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.

Topics: Leadership

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