When to Coach and When to Manage

How can coaching help you become a better leader? Here, Dr. Maria Nemeth explains how coaching can help you effectively connect with your team.

Article by guest author, Maria Nemeth. , Ph.D., founder of Academy for Coaching Excellence (ACE).

The issue of when to coach and when to manage has always been a bit sticky. That’s because the aims of each approach, while aimed at empowering the recipient,  are nevertheless somewhat different.

It helps to understand what drives us as human beings. ACE uses this values-focused mindset to help identify what stimulates us in our journey towards success

At ACE, we see both coaching and managing as being about empowering the individual through personal development.  However, coaching and managing are each implemented in different, unique ways. 

In the coaching relationship, the coach’s primary focus is upon empowering the client to discover and then attain goals that have relevance to them--that have meaning and heart. Therefore the coach’s agenda is to support the client to be successful on their own terms--to take action that will bring them satisfaction and fulfilment.

A manager has a specific agenda for the person they are managing. This agenda usually has to do with the success of the business in which they are working. It is almost always true that managers want the employee to stretch and grow specific success skills. However, there is a power dynamic in the manager/employee relationship which doesn’t exist at all when someone is being coached.

There is in fact no conflict between being a coach and being a manager. Rather, managers should see coaching as another one of the many hats that they wear during their workday, with both leadership styles coexisting in harmony.

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About the Author 

Maria Nemeth is a Ph.D. accredited author, speaker, & coach. She first began her career in the field of psychoanalysis. Her years of experience studying the insights into human behavior eventually led her to turn her talents to workplace coaching. Nemeth drew on her prior knowledge of the mind to craft an approach that could be utilized by managers and coaches who are trying to get the best out of employees. Her company, the Academy for Coaching Excellence (ACE), takes a philosophical approach to understanding what drives us as human beings. ACE uses this values-focused mindset to help identify what stimulates us in our journey towards success.