When you coach you have to take in feedback and make decisions affecting other people in real time. You say one thing in the wrong tone and your team is turned off. Trust is lost. You have to be extremely careful in how you treat them at first, once you have trust though, it’s much easier to get them to buy-in to your system.
When you manage people in a business situation it’s very similar to a sports game with some obvious differences. The decisions you make as a manager will affect how your staff (team) view you in the future. If you’re a demanding asshole most of the time, your staff doesn’t have many reason to stick their neck out for you or really do the right thing for the company.
When you’re coaching you don’t have weeks to get things done, you have minutes. Generally you coach youth or kids much younger than you, who are less mature than you. You’re forced to abide by the nobler motive, you can’t argue, name call or act childish under any circumstance for fear of losing the trust of the team.
You see managers all the time who’ve lost the trust of their team. I like to ask managers what their staff would say about them behind their backs after several cocktails. If the answer is “not good” we have work to do. You can’t manage in a bubble, people talk, your reputation precedes you. It’s all to common these days to find disengaged staff and a leader who is completely delusional. It’s sad really.
I think the business community could learn a lot from coaches, especially management. Do you want to become a better manager? How about a better leader? Try coaching a team. You think motivation in the workplace is difficult, try convincing a bunch of 10 year olds to pay attention long enough to learn about Volleyball, that’s difficult.
Coaching forces you to be a leader, you get better by default. The more you try to learn to be a better coach, the better leader you end up being.
Coaching is the one area where the athletes provide instant feedback, you can look at the faces of most athletes and tell if they are enjoying practice or loathing it. That is a skill all on it own, I’m not good at it yet, but I’m learning.