Succeeding: Teaching Vs. Coaching Your Employees


January 30, 2013

coaching-8One of the greatest benefits for me as a writer is creating conversation.  Last week, I wrote Are YOU Coachable? 3 Ways To Ensure You Are.  I received emails, phone calls, comments, and tweets about the post, so I knew I hit a nerve.  Then, Sean Conrad wrote a follow-up article to accompany mine.

Sean, the Senior Product Analyst and Sales Trainer at Halogen Software, share his thoughts and expanded on mine in an article you need to check out:

Are You Committed To Your Employees’ Success? Teaching vs. Coaching Your Employees

I think we use the words teaching and coaching interchangeably  so it is great to hear a new perspective on why and how they are different.  Be sure to check it out and comment on my post or his.  Would love to keep the conversation going.


  • Trish, Thanks for including Sean’s article in this post! (He’d leave a comment here but is traveling this week.) I think the process of coaching puts more of the onus on the employee to develop, improve a skill, stretch oneself. Teaching / being taught seems a much more passive exercise. So being coachable means being receptive to feedback but also willing to “do the work” of developing yourself. Being a coach requires you as the manager offering the right kind of direction/guidance to help your employees reach their goals.

  • Hi Trish – great post and thanks for the shout-out!

    I think a good leader can coach employees to help them be more coachable. Although that’s a bit chicken & egg – just starting conversations using coaching words and intention can start a positive cycle the strengthens the relationship.

    I like your take on it – that it’s not all the leader/manager/coach’s responsibility. Like with learning and career development, the employee has to hold up their side of the relationship and take some ownership to help it work. When both parties are striving toward a positive coaching environment and taking some ownership that positive feedback loop can happen quickly and with great results. I think you can make lots of mistakes and handle them when you’ve got both parties working toward the same goal like that.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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