13 Challenges All Coaching-Managers Face

It’s more difficult to be a coaching-manager than to be a coach that comes in from the outside.

coaching management is a natural extention of servant leadership

Open listening, courageous honesty, and not fixing, seem more challenging when coaches and coachees have work history.

Bad habits like sweeping issues under the rug make matters worse.

13 challenges all coaching-managers face:

  1. Time pressure and deadlines.
  2. Navigating confidentiality and organizational interests.
  3. Honesty and candor when coaches also control opportunity, salary, and advancement.
  4. Goals that are set by top management, not the coachee.
  5. Curiosity turns into manipulation. Questions are a means to an end, not truly open ended. “We all know you’re after something.”
  6. Switching or blending roles. Coaching isn’t advising, correcting, or instructing, but managers do all three.
  7. Discomfort with the supportive spirit of coaching and expecting results at the same time.
  8. Listening feels burdensome to managers who typically give directions.
  9. Problem-centric vs. solution-centric environments.
  10. Employees look to coaching-managers to give answers. “Just tell me what to do.”
  11. Coaching-managers know how to do their coachees jobs.
  12. Established relationships often include bias and baggage.
  13. Lack of training.

7 step coaching framework:

Frameworks provide clarity, consistency, and confidence for coaching-managers.

  1. Describe the challenge, problem, or opportunity.
  2. What would it look like if things were going as you hoped?
  3. What have you already tried?
  4. What do you need to stop? Think of efforts that aren’t working.
  5. What imperfect behaviors are likely to fuel progress? Develop options.
  6. Which imperfect behavior would you like to try?
  7. Next time we meet, what questions should I ask?

7 essential coaching behaviors:

Frameworks without authenticity and ownership are manipulation.

  1. Authenticity and self-awareness.
  2. Trust building.
  3. Reflection.
  4. Curiosity and asking questions.
  5. Values clarification and alignment.
  6. Energy management.
  7. Fueling engagement.

Coaching – as a management style – enables managers to solve problems, enhance engagement, fuel performance, and increase enjoyment in ways that connect with today’s workforce.

What challenges do managers face when they adopt a coaching style?

How might managers become great coaches?


I’m delighted to partner with Clarity Development Consulting to offer the proven “Coaching for Engagement” program. Drop me an email if you’d like to explore having Bob Hancox and me come to your organization to develop the coaching skills of your team.