Tip: Test if you have the ‘Coaching Mindset’ with these 3 questions

Managing isn’t bad, but… Coaching gets employees emotionally connected to their work, so they want to do that work.

Where managing is extrinsic, coaching takes an intrinsic, internal drive that looks for the individual motivators that drive employees to want to grow, develop and to be higher performers.

And many leaders are too quick to use a managing approach in situations where coaching would deliver better results.

The Test

The following 3 questions are designed to assess your current ‘Coaching Mindset.’  Using a 7-point scale, with 1 being “Never” and 7 being “Always,” assign a numerical grade to each question:

1. I believe that people can significantly change their intelligence.
2. I believe my employees have great ideas.
3. I believe my employees can achieve great things.

A high-coaching mindset score is a 6 or 7 on each question. If your scores are lower, you may wish to rethink when to manage and when to coach.

Here’s a quick explanation of each question...

Question 1

Question 1, I believe that people can significantly change their intelligence, reflects the aspect of the coaching mindset that believes intelligence is fluid and that people can absolutely grow their intelligence.

Sending a message of ‘do what you’ve always done,’ maintains the status quo and belongs to the managing mindset. Coaching requires the belief that people can change their intelligence. You can’t coach somebody if you’re not convinced that they have untapped potential.

Question 2

A low score on question 2, I believe my employees have great ideas, may indicate that you have the wrong team of employees. Unlike managing, where employees are told, “Here are five things you need to do by the end of the week,” the coaching mindset encourages employees to share their great ideas and to come up with innovative solutions.”

If your people truly lack great ideas, despite your coaching efforts to encourage this kind of thinking, then you may want to consider making some team changes.

Question 3

If you don’t believe that your people have the untapped potential to achieve great things then you probably scored low on Question 3. Believing that your employees can achieve great things is central to coaching.

But research shows that while 71% of managers believe the majority of their employees can achieve excellence, only 18% of employees say their manager does a good job of communicating positive expectations.


Managing has its place, certainly, but coaching delivers 3 benefits that managing will never achieve.

First, with coaching, employees are developing and honing critical thinking skills, tools that can be used for the life of a career.

Second, you aren’t getting sucked into every little employee problem in what is often called reverse delegation. Coaching instead of managing will give you more time to develop new and better processes, rather than having your days consumed with every single employee issue.

And third, employees who are coached learn how to take initiative and to be proactive.



Posted by Mark Murphy on 13 May, 2019 no_cat, no_recent, sb_ad_30, sb_ad_5 | 0 comments
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