I often hear leaders saying that they don’t need to use a coach-approach to leading their people; they just need to tell them what to do and their people will get on with it. They are forgetting the power of independent critical thinkers.
Yes you can do that (tell rather than coach), if you want people who simply follow orders without question (look where that lead in the past).
Yes you can do that, if you don’t want to use the benefit of their brainpower to solve problems that they might understand better than you.
Yes you can do that, if you want to create people in your image, with no diversity of thought, no innovation, no future-focused successors.
Yes you can do that, if you want to remove all sense of engagement and fulfillment from your people, such that their productivity goes down.
Yes you can do that, if you want to be the bottleneck who has to answer all the questions coming back at you about what to do and how to do it.
Do you really want all of those consequences?
If on the other hand, you want to create independent critical thinkers, coaching is the way to go.
Asking them for their best ideas.
Tapping into their brainpower,
Finding new, innovative ways to do things that come from different ways of thinking.
Raising their engagement levels, and creating a viscious cycle of higher productivity, higher fulfilment, higher engagement and so on.
Getting out of the way so that you can focus on working at your own pay-grade on the strategic planning.
Don’t create dependents, create independent critical thinkers!