Coaching first caught public attention in the 1980’s
For over 30 years people have known the power of coaching rather than “telling”. Yet the primary method of management in business still remains the “telling” approach.
In this post we will look at why “telling” doesn’t work from a neuroscience perspective. We will see why managers who use a coaching management style can get double the productivity (and engagement) from their people.
Did you know that there are more possible connections between neurons in our brain than there are atoms in the universe?
Change only comes through our own awareness – not someone else’s
This means that no two people can possibly have the same brain. As we go through life, having experiences, reading books, learning new things, playing new sports etc, our brains continually make new connections. The more these connections are used, the more they become “hard-wired” and create a unique “landscape” in our brain. As an analogy, think how a stream carves it’s way through the land, eventually becoming the Grand Canyon.
This uniqueness means we all experience reality, learn, and make sense of the world in very different ways. This is why the “telling” approach is ineffective. If we tell someone how to do something, we are operating from our own brain’s “map of the world” and what makes sense in our world may make little sense in their world.
In order for people to learn new things, or to change behaviours, they have to create new connections and hardwire new “maps” into their own brains. This cannot happen through “telling”. It can only happen through their own thinking, learning and mistakes.
This is why the two tools of coaching are:
- Generous Listening
- Asking Questions
Coaching provides a space for people to think for themselves and come to their own conclusions. Every “aha” moment is a new circuit being hard-wired in the brain.
So how can you improve an individual’s performance?
That’s right – resist the temptation of telling them what to do – listen to them, and ask questions until they come up with the answers for themselves.
Above all – make sure your coaching remains entirely solution focused – helping employees not just to create a new map but to stick to their path as well.
That, in a nutshell is coaching!
Click here to find out more about “solution-focused” coaching – a powerful way to move away from negative habits and thought patterns that replaces over analysis with a forward-thinking approach that reaps far better results, both short and long term.
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