Manager Coaching Skills: Valuing Both Doing And Being

In many organizations, far more value is given to doing than being. Doing is action – getting things done. Being is a quieter state – more contemplative and introspective. This emphasis on doing may be appropriate in the every day. When it comes to coaching, the value of being rises.

Why? Because coaching often involves change – change in thinking, in perspective, in motivation or outward actions for example. Sometimes underlying motives or emotions must be understood in order for real change to occur. Touching on these underlying aspects with a team member can be sensitive. One way to frame your coaching is to introduce the concepts of being and doing and give value to each.

You may be discussing an experience the team member had at work that upset them, did not further team goals or for some other reason, needs discussion. You can ask, for example, how they felt when that happened. This goes beyond what they experienced on the surface, to exploring the root of their actions or responses to the experience. You may be discussing a failure to produce the amount of work they need to. You can ask them why things are not getting done.

Valuing both doing and being in your coaching will allow you to get in touch with your team member as a whole person – their motivations, the emotional underpinnings of their actions, their perspective and their way of thinking. In doing this, you have a better chance of getting to root causes and developing both your and your team member’s understanding of what needs to change and how to do it.