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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

It's Not What You Think Coach, It's What You Do

If you are like the leader or employees in the research we have conducted, you would have little difficulty describing the elements in an effective coaching session. Even ineffective leaders could correctly define what should occur. The difference was that the ineffective leader was inhibited or could not apply or enact the desired behaviors when asked to do so in a real-time coaching session. The effective leaders, on the other hand, were able to apply the desired behaviors.

What causes the discrepancy between knowing what to do and actually doing it? Our best guess is that most managers have the knowledge because they have been exposed to a wide number of good coaching models, both in an organizational setting and off the job – a teacher, minister, friend, professional counselor, etc. Add to this the constant flow of information and literature on effective people skills for leaders. Leaders are also employees, and they know how they would want to be treated by their boss in a coaching session. When you add all of this up, it is not surprising that leaders have adequate sources of information to formulate an accurate mental picture of quality coaching.

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