If you have employees reporting to you in business these days, do you prefer to be called a manager or a coach? Nailing my colours to the mast - I love the word ‘coach’
This is not a new thing for me. I’ve ALWAYS had a problem with the word ‘manager’ when it comes to describing the relationship between the person in charge of a group of people at work. I’ve always held the view that people ‘manage’ themselves.
We manage ‘things’ – we ‘coach’ people is one of my favourite expressions!
Coaching of employees raises the ‘value’ of the relationship for both parties as far as I can see.
These days I feel privileged and honoured to be described as a coach for a few clients I work with. My ‘job’ is certainly not to ‘manage’ them. My role is to 'get alongside' the person and then it is our task working together to find ways in which they can solve any issues they may have. We plan how they can get to work on things they are good at and that they enjoy.
That description is a million miles away from the traditional description of a ‘manager.’
‘Manager’ to me implies status differential and demarcation on an organisational chart. ‘Manager’ implies somehow that one partner in the relationship is more important. That is not how I would describe my idea of effective working relationships.
Management is about rules and coaching is about getting the best out of people.
Real joy for me comes from seeing people flourish and thriving in their work and that they look forward to going to work.
In the NHS whenever I was described on my job description as a ‘manager’ I never saw myself as ‘managing’ people. I always felt our relationship was one of adults working together.
I think the best managers are actually 'coaches' - even if their job description describes them as a 'Manager'
In a nutshell it’s not about rules it’s about relationships.