“I would like you to coach some of my team members, but I don’t want anyone to know”. Wow, was my first reaction when I heard this from a manager last week. Besides my initial surprise this request also made me feel sad.
I liken this kind of request to Richie McCaw doing an under the table deal with his head coach for coaching received or Usain Bolt carrying out undercover sprint coaching in the dead of night, so no one would know. Should I add a dark cloak, dark glasses and large brimmed hats to my business attire?
What is wrong with openly acknowledging the fact that you or your team members need help to improve?
I look at many of my clients and I see bright, intelligent and driven human beings who want more out of their lives, jobs or businesses. They are prepared to look at their challenges and creatively think of ways to overcome the hurdles in their lives. It takes a special kind of person to do this inner reflection and coaching should therefore be celebrated, not hidden away as if it were a dirty secret.
Unfortunately this attitude is entrenched into the culture of many businesses. There is an underlying expectation that every employee needs to be a specialist in all disciplines and heaven help you if you ask for help.
I am sure there are many reasons for this mindset, but I can honestly say it’s not helping anyone. By ignoring the need for coaching it causes frustration for both the team member and the business. Instead of employees growing within a business through coaching and training, they get frustrated and leave.
Think about your own team or colleagues. What would coaching do for them or what could it do for you? If coaching was part of your company culture, how would your business benefit?