Debunking the Greatest Coaching Myth

The Importance of Coaching and Mentoring in 2022 - Debunking Coaching Myths

change and transition coaching and mentoring in 2022 emotional intelligence - self actualization self-leadership Jan 14, 2022

I love busting myths!

One of the greatest coaching myths I encounter is that coaching is simply goal setting with accountability and a bit of “rah-rah” or hype for motivation.

This myth is often based on the idea of the athletic coach turned business coach. Back in the early days of coaching, this analogy helped to explain the idea and concept.

However, truly effective coaching for individuals or organizations involves much more than goal setting, check-ins, and “rah-rah” energy to bring about real, lasting change.

In this blog, I unwrap the three parts of this myth, state the misconceptions, and explain how effective coaching actually works with goal setting and attainment for individuals and organizations.

The Myth

Goal Setting: This part of the myth supports the misconception that goal setting is simple. However, goal setting is more than “I want to achieve this by this date” with a “just do it” mindset. Coaching encompassing so much more. Working with a coach will help you clarify goals that are most important. Effective coaching will help you to

a) explore alignment of your goals with your values and your overall vision;

b) develop the mindset and establish habits that are critical in achieving the best outcome.

c) develop a framework with clearly articulated actions and resources for goal attainment;

In an organization, the parallel references would be

a) Values and Mission;

b) a collective mindset (culture);

c) formal project management system; and foundational policies and procedures.

Most likely, you have read about or even worked with SMART goals. My clients work on SMARTER goals. If you are interested in understanding how SMARTER goals would enhance your goal setting and attainment success, please contact me.

Accountability: This part of the myth serves up the big misconception that the coach’s primary role is to hold clients accountable. In a responsible coaching relationship, clients are accountable to themselves. An effective well-trained coach will not take on that role knowing that self-responsibility is critical to self-regard and self-actualization. Working with a coach will, however, help you design structure that keeps you accountable for your actions and/or for your inaction.

This very important distinction regarding accountability ensures that clients learn sustainable skills and do not become dependent on their coach. When clients expect their coach (or others) to keep them accountable, excuses for not taking action and/or blaming others for lack of success become a way of life. Disappointment in one coaching engagement leads to a never-ending search for the next person to tap as an “accountability partner”. Personal responsibility and accountability are key to real, lasting change.

“Rah-rah”: Tapping into the human spirit is an important component for expanding human capacity and working towards goals – especially those stretch goals.

But, how often have you come away from a “rah-rah” event with a spike in dopamine and motivation only to follow through with an energy crash, disillusion, and disappointment. A strong coach will hold you in high regard and will champion you while offering moments of reality-testing rather than fill you with false hope and promises of grandeur. A coach will skillfully hold space for you to dream big AND bring you back to the reality of your plan to fill you with intrinsic motivation for consistent action.

Dopamine: plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It’s a big part of our unique human ability to THINK and PLAN.

Motivation: the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way


 The Value of Effective Coaching - From Myth to Reality

When we assess the value of effective coaching, we need to consider and alter the underlying context in which goal setting, motivation, and feedback occur – personally, professionally, and within an organization.

Coaching the Essence: Underlying context includes all the conclusions, beliefs, and assumptions you (and/or a group of people) have reached in order to succeed. This underlying context (the essence) is shaped by the shared interpretations you have about your environment (personal, workplace, business environment).

Within the workplace, the underlying context also includes the management culture, inherited or self-imposed. The essence of a person, a group of people, and/or the basic cultural context must be considered in creating a framework for effective coaching.

Coaching the Culture: In today’s rapidly changing business environment, successful organizations need a new kind of management culture, one that is based on creating new knowledge and in the spirit of leading and operating in a different way. This requires constant learning and being courageous in exploring new ways of meeting objectives and new ways of leading. In my view, this is true innovation.

The Transformation Coach: A crucial catalyst in this new management culture is the transformational coach who provides direction while leaving plenty of room for people to pursue their passions, personal interests, and projects. The three basic human needs of autonomy, relatedness, and competence must be honoured in the pursuit of transformation in this new management culture.

When I work with clients who are implementing systems to create and maintain a strong foundation for scaling, I provide direction with a blend consulting and coaching based on my knowledge of Quality Systems, workplace culture legislation, and best practices. I add value with applying my new knowledge in new ways of leading, new business models, and emotional intelligence.

Transition from Compliance to Integrity-Based Culture: While I focus on Vision, Values, Systems, Processes and Legislation Compliance with entrepreneurs, I acknowledge that people are the key to any organization’s success. Taking all my knowledge and research, I acknowledge the greatest value of my coaching is helping my clients transition from compliance to integrity-based culture.

Topline and Bottomline Value of Effective Coaching: Effective coaches help people do what they can, what they want, and what they know is right. Again, this reflects our psychological needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence. The best leaders understand that developing an individual’s capacities for productivity is critical to the successful recovery and competitive life of business organizations today.

In simplest terms, effective coaching involves expanding people’s capacity to take effective action. Coaching involves challenging underlying beliefs and assumptions that are responsible for one’s actions and behaviours. At its deepest level, effective coaching examines not only what one does, and why one does what one does, but also who one is.

Be sure to do your due diligence when hiring coaches. Ask for their qualifications. Are they accredited? Do they adhere to coaching ethics? What is their specialty?

If you are a women entrepreneur who is scaling your businesses and need structure and systems for your business foundation and want your leadership style and skills to complement your “different way of leading”, connect with me to learn more.

You can reach me on LinkedIn, and on Maestro’s Facebook. Or click to Get in Touch.

Related Blogs:

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Motivate without Micromanaging - Eliminate Mindless Compliance and Conformity

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