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Munyay Blog

Coaching is not a Punishment

Oct 17, 2018 11:51:10 AM / by Chris Heinz

It was my wife in our early days of marriage who set the record straight—I was wrong about gas stations. Up until that time, I thought the big numbers posted on gas pumps were the year the oil was collected. And so “93” meant it was from the year 1993.

This made sense because the “freshest” gasoline was also the most expensive—gas from the year 1993 was more expensive than gas from 1987. Now that's reasonable! But this ran counter to how wine worked because older wine was more expensive than newer wine. I figured gas and wine just worked differently.

But my belief about gas stations—and many other things!—crumbled when I got married. In many ways, my wife showed me how the world really worked.

gas_station

Sometimes we’re not aware of our false beliefs. Would you agree it’s the same with coaching? Have you encountered some false beliefs around coaching?

One of these beliefs is that coaching is for punishment. Lots of folks view coaching as punitive—you did something wrong so the way to fix it is by getting coached. Unfortunately, this perspective keeps people away from coaching. Who wants to get picked apart and criticized by someone else? Oh, and let me pay you to do it, sir. No way!

Sure, at many workplaces, coaching is part of a disciplinary process or improvement plan. But that’s because coaching is all about growth and development, which in the end is what a good disciplinary process or improvement plan is focused on. But coaching as part of a formal employee process is just a small way coaching is being used in the world today.

Coaching is helping people to account for their current situation, envision a better future, identify their obstacles, and make plans to get there. Coaching is delivering self-awareness, increasing emotional intelligence, launching people into their calling and vocation, and improving relationships. Coaching is doing a whole lot of good.

Unfortunately, lots of people are missing out on the tremendous benefits of coaching because they don’t understand what coaching really is. They’re expecting a slap on the hand, when coaching wants to give them the life they always dreamed of. So many people don’t know what they’re missing.

Which is why we need to change the message.

Coaching is not about punishment, coaching is about growth and development. Coaching is not punitive, coaching is a privilege.

In your circle, how can you change that message? Let me tell you, changing the message will resonate deeply with people.

According to Gallup’s latest report on the American workplace, today’s employees are expecting development opportunities and they’re expecting managers who are interested in helping them grow. In addition to wanting to grow, millennials (who are the largest generation in today’s workforce) are okay to go.

If they don’t find the growth they’re looking for, they’ll just move on. Although millennials aren’t the only workers in the workforce, their influence around growth and managers is spreading. Many non-millennials are expecting these same things, too.

So let me say this again—when you change the message that coaching is a customized means of growth and development, it will resonate with what people are looking for.

Coaching is not about punishment, coaching is about growth and development. Coaching is not punitive, coaching is a privilege.

And you don't even need my wife to tell you that.

Free ebook: What could coaching do for you?

 

Topics: Coaching

Chris Heinz

Written by Chris Heinz

Chris Heinz is the Founder of Munyay, which creates coaching tools to help you love your life and work. He's also the Vice President of Human Resources for EnergyCAP, Inc., where he increased corporate engagement scores by 52%. Chris holds professional coaching certifications from Gallup and the International Coach Federation, and is a Learning Partner with Penn State. He enjoys coaching people, writing, and speaking on the topics of engagement, coaching, and strengths. Chris' writing has been featured as "Best of the Week" by "Human Resources Today." He’s the author of the “Made To Pray” book and prayer assessment, which helps people find their prayer strengths. Chris lives with his wife and three children in central Pennsylvania, where they play at their cabin-on-a-creek.