It's possible sometimes that in our desire to build a business based on a coaching culture, or to adopt such a culture in an existing organisation, we overlook what coaching really is, and create a confusion of coaching, managing, instructing, mentoring and everything else?
With that in mind, it might be beneficial to go back to basics and review what coaching really is, and just as importantly what it isn't.
The simplest way to remind ourselves of what coaching is, and what aspects of business may be valuable but are NOT coaching may be to reflect on how we communicate ideas, and how that communication will vary from one part of tactical management to another:
The managing way is to tell someone "Do this"
The instruction way is to say something like "Here's how this is done"
A trainer will say "Have a go at doing this"
A mentor will speak from personal experience, and might say something like "My advice would be to do it this way"
A counsellor will deal with the individual, but on a different level from the coach, and will ask "How does doing it that way make you feel?"
And a coach will be more future focused and might ask "How do you think you could best do this?"
Essentially, we mustn't lose sight of the basic premise of coaching in a business sense (as opposed to say a sporting sense) is about having the coachee find their own way through a problem; to ask questions in such a way that they are obliged to look for the answers within themselves, and to define their own goals and objectives. Only by doing this well and consistently can we expect to see the individual we are coaching grow and develop as they should.
Advice and direction are important and have a huge role to play in managing matters within a business, but when it comes to calling something coaching, it should always be at the forefront of our minds to be asking the right questions, in the right way, in order to see the right results.