What's Really Creating the Coaching Skills GapWhen asked why they aren’t providing more coaching, managers will typically say: I am overwhelmed and don’t have enough time; my boss doesn’t coach me; or, my employees don’t need coaching. Our research shows these are excuses coming from low performing leaders without coaching mindsets on wobbly foundations of weak coaching skills. Within the very same organization conditions and culture, working for the same senior leaders, with the same set of employees, exceptional leaders provide extraordinary coaching — and deliver dramatically higher performance results than their lesser skilled peers.

Here are 4 main reasons many managers don’t develop their coaching skills:

Avoiding potentially uncomfortable discussions
Like the moose-on-the-table or the elephant-in-the-room, it’s often easier to avoid conversations that could be difficult.

Insecure about the true value of his or her coaching
Effective performance or career coaching often requires skill development and a framework to guide the conversation. Many managers have had little training and often don’t have a process to follow.

Misunderstanding the true nature of good coaching
Popular images of coaching often come from sports where the coach is a seasoned veteran dispensing pearls of wisdom, providing advice, or giving instructive feedback. That’s vastly different than the best practices of leaders in performance or career coaching.

Direct reports seldom ask for it
Leaders focus on energizing people to achieve results. Most of their conversations with their direct reports are short-term progress reviews, updates, and driving for results. In this typical culture, asking for coaching support feels inappropriate.

How are your coaching skills? How’s your coaching culture? How do you know?


Join in my complimentary webinar on February 12 on “Building Extraordinary Coaching Skills: Six Steps to a Coaching Culture with Exceptional Leaders.”  Click here for details and to register (connections are limited).

I’ll also cover these points as well as overview our very powerful Strengths-Based Leadership Development System at a complimentary executive briefing on March 19 at The Holiday Inn Toronto Airport East, Dixon Road in Toronto. Click on Developing Exceptional Leaders and Coaches: Strengths-Based Leadership and Coaching Skills Development for more information and to register. Seats are limited.