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A Coach for Your Boss

April 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:47 pm

A friend of mine recently asked me if I would coach his boss saying, “He really needs help, because he’s making everyone miserable.”

Of course, my  initial reaction was positive but I decided to ask a few questions first. Since I usually encounter a boss getting a coach for an employee  – the situation was bound to be awkward.

For example, does your boss want a coach? Does he know he’s making his employees miserable? Is ‘everyone’ really everyone, or just you? Maybe there’s a method to his madness.

My friend admitted he didn’t know the answers to all my questions, but he was adamant that his coworker needed help. I should note that the man in question is  his boss in title, but really a co-manager on pretty much equal footing at the company.

According to my friend he doesn’t see the problems he’s creating, and worse, sees coaching as an admission the he’s doing something wrong and needs to be fixed.

Fortunately my friend has a bit more enlightened view of my profession – if he didn’t I guess we wouldn’t be having the discussion.

I suggested several ways (some slightly tongue in cheek) we might be able to make it easier for his co-worker to see the light.

o   I could visit the company and give a management presentation for the whole staff, or just to managers since the company is relatively small.

o   I could just give him a brochure, to drop surreptitiously on his co-worker’s desk.

o   I could sign on as my friend’s coach in the hope that his fellow-employee would at least ask “who’s the new guy?”

o   He could approach their board of directors with a coaching proposal for all their managers – starting at the top.

o   He could just ask his co-worker if he would talk to me about what coaching was help him get through his misconceptions.

I don’t know what my friend will decide but my hope is that he will let me just talk to his co-worker about coaching and let him decide for himself. It’s almost impossible to be an effective coach if your client is not committed to the process, since you have to get past that fact that he was pushed into coaching before you can address any management issues.



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