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Why Don't We Coach Employees More Than We Do?

Simple.  Confrontation sucks.  As humans, we hate to confront others.  If you’re uncomfortable with confrontation and aren’t sure how to get into the conversation, the first thing you’ll do is avoid having the conversation. We also avoid coaching conversations because we don’t want to rock the boat.  We just want the person to get the work done without drama.  Coaching feels like drama to most.

It sucks.  I feel your pain.  But you’re still responsible as a manager.


Jeff Garrison

I appreciate the difficulty here. One thing that i have learned however is that if a company will discover their core values and hire according to those values, they can create a culture where peoplelove giving and getting feedback (positive and negative). When people share values and are united behind a meningful vision, they can trust each other. When trust is high, people percieve feedback as an opportunity rather than a threat.

Ben Martinez

It all starts with trust. If you trust the person giving you feedback, then you are comfortable giving it and receiving it too.


I concur with Ben. If you trust your supervisor then constructive criticism is to be valued. We need just as much coaching for management as we do the rank and file.

Bohdan Rohbock

I've never seen a company of any size that is so well aligned in its hiring practices that everyone loves hearing about their shortcomings.

I Kris nailed why more coaching, and performance improvement activities in general, don't happen. As an HR person you've got to be ready to confront managers about their lack of confrontation.


I look at it is a moral duty. You, as a manager, are responsible for your people to have clear goals, the tools/training they need, and feedback relating to how they are doing versus those goals. Of course you want to make sure their talents are aligned with the role blah blah blah, but the first thing you want to do is hold the mirror up such that they have a chance.

I agree with the earlier poster(s) regarding establishing a culture of trust where feedback is encouraged.

People who have trouble with conflict - you CAN still be a good manager! Understand that you are doing a hard thing to help the individual and the company. It gets easier over time. Your best employees will start to solicit your feedback if it's good.

Beth Armknecht Miller

Mistake #1, thinking that coaching is all about confrontation. I would argue that coaching is about learning. If you have a mindset that is negative, of course it will suck. I would challenge managers to create more positive self talk about coaching so the experience is a positive not negative one.


I believe that the Coaching has several positive points and negative as well. may be the confrontation is one of the negative points in coaching, but we have to turn these negatives to positive attitudes and talking about them as well. may be to encourage the confrontation.


I love this post! Short but powerful.

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