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Two Types of Coaching

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

How do you coach for resounding, transformational, change – the type of change that you can feel in your gut and not just in your head?

You focus on a person’s values and strengths and leverage that power to move towards how they want to grow. Coaching for compliance is when you are just focused on problem-solving and seeking a solution. If what you want is fundamental change that is broad and impactful, you want to coach with compassion.

The experts at Case Western University review what coaching is in their HBR article Coaching for Change: How to Help Employees Reach their Potential*.

It's a recommended quick read and here are a few key actions and takeaways:

1. Making progress and keeping focus on true change is hard! We have all experienced it – our goal sounds good but it is hard to keep the focus and make day to day, month to month progress.

2. People need support with the process – they need a coach! Real change requires focused time and energy – “a big part of a coach’s job is to keep people progressing the right direction”.

3. Leaders should develop a “personal board of advisors made up of role models for the types of behaviors they aspire to." This not only serves as a model and inspiration but also accountability. As a manager and leader when you learn to coach for compassion as opposed to compliance that's when the ideas resonate, and impactful change takes place.

Coaching is seeking opportunities to coach the person, not the problem, and achieve the impactful, life-enhancing results.

*Boyatzis, R., Smith, M. and Van Oosten, E. (2019). Coaching for Change: How to help employees reach their potential. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: [Accessed 30 Nov. 2019].

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