When should you coach, when should you not coach, what are your boundaries?
It’s important to know what your boundaries are, where you feel ok to coach, and where you feel out of your depth. When you are out of your depth, that may be the time to refer to someone else, either another coach or someone in a more fitting profession to meet the needs of the individual.
Coaching isn’t the panacea for every situation (where counselling or training might be more appropriate for example); though we’ve seen how much it helps employees to become independent, critical thinkers.
What are your thoughts?
Sometimes that “other profession” might still be you.
For example, where one of your employees needs training because they are new to the job. When someone is new, they may not have the knowledge or experience to figure things out for themselves – except where they bring transferable skills with them. It’s up to you to figure out whether you need to wear your coaching hat or your training hat.
Another example is in your role as manager as feedback giver. You can use a coach-approach to feedback, asking them how they feel they did, rather than telling them; but it’s not coaching per se, as you have an agenda, to make sure the feedback is assimilated by the other person.
At times like these, it’s important to be clear that you are changing hat and that you are not their coach in that role. Ideally, it’s best if you are coaching another manager’s staff rather than your own anyway, because they are more likely to open up to you if they don’t feel you are assessing their every move as a manager might.
This is a great boundary to draw – use a coach-approach to leading your own people, and actually coach people on other teams where you can be neutral and not blur the lines.
How do you manage those boundaries?