Reflections on coaching (from Andy Carlino)

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 12-11-14

My friend and co-author Andy Carlino had a great idea for his blog site. He shares Reflections in 3 columns – What’s good? What’s bad? What do I think? – on different topics. At this time he is covering coaching.

CoachingandyI encourage you to visit the home page at to read it for yourself.

I want to share my own reflections based on something Andy wrote. He said:

Coaching is a special skill and deserves special consideration. In retrospect, I must admit that I am guilty of thinking that I was coaching when I wasn’t.

Me too.

During a course I teach, we go deep into the role of a leader as a coach. Before we do a case study, I ask for a show of hands of how many people think that they do some coaching. Every single hand will go up.

We then go through an in-depth case study that explores the relationship between a coach and their student in a lean environment. After the case study discussion, I ask the same question. It’s very rare that any hands go up of people thinking that what they do is actually worthy of being called coaching.

Coaching isn’t advocating a point. Coaching isn’t teaching existing knowledge. Coaching isn’t giving what I call “drive by feedback”. The standard for coaching is much higher than that. We should be less casual about its use, and hold it in much higher regard.