Why are so few managers good coaches? Managers are used to talking and instructing all the time. However, coaching is a two way street. The coachee must be given enough opportunity to talk about his problems, his work, his abilities and so forth. When the manager dominates a conversation, he learns nothing about the employee’s concerns and challenges.
Resist the temptation to talk
As a manager you must resist the temptation to talk, to tell, to direct during the coaching session. Use the most of your time with probing questions like, “what are the challenges… what worked well for you or what didn’t work so well and what can you do differently?” In other words, direct the conversation in such a way that you get more out of the diagnosis. Getting the employee talking won’t do much good if you don’t listen carefully. Put all your thoughts out of your mind as the other person speaks. Listen with the intention of understanding instead of mentally forming your next speech.
Few managers are great coaches because they fail to ask effective questions. It should surprise none, since very few managers are given any formal training in coaching methods. The lack of training results in several common mistakes and one of them is “Talking Too Much.”