You get what you inspect, not what you expect

This is one of the favorite sentence of Kevin Turner, Microsoft COO. And unfortunately, it’s the reality. Due to the law of the path of least resistance, people do not tend to do what is expected, but what is inspected.

Now, there are two ways to approach inspection: coaching and managing. The difference is subtle and critical. Managing is telling people what to do. Coaching is asking people what to do. In the first case, it’s an order. It works well at a certain level and particularly in a military setting. However, orders in the corporate world do not work at all, particularly with millennial.

Keep orders for the military

Orders may work well as well with apprentices, as long as they understand it’s part of the journey and they accept it. Beyond this, giving, or worse barking, orders is a no-no. Coaching may seem to require more work and thinking, but you can look at it from prevention/cure point of view.

If you give and order and this order is not apply, you will need to cure the situation and eventually get rid of the employee, resulting in loss of productivity, energy and money. If you coach, you help the employee/colleague to grow and prevent bad things to happen. You eat healthy to stay fit or you eat junk and get sick. Your choice!

Inspect by coaching

So inspecting by coaching is the way to go. However, coaching may sometimes require tough love and the coach need to move to a mentor position in which he/she gives advice and potentially orders. Coaching is not cajoling. Coaching is helping the other grow by finding the right answer for him or her.

Of course, some people may say that coaching is manipulating, because generally the coach is influencing the coached person. And this is where the fine line is. The coach should not manipulate or influence, otherwise it will rapidly be felt and the coaching will fail. Coaching is not easy but it’s massively rewarding for both parties. It’s definitely a good investment of time and money to get on the bandwagon. I will provide some insights of my coaching practice with my peers in coming posts.

Have a wonderful day and remember, you and yourself are in charge of your present and future!


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