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In today’s organization workplace, manager’s duty is to ensure employee performance and produce productive whether it is being profitable or providing a service. Among many roles, managers carry two very other common duties: coaching and counseling others. In coaching, managers pass advice along and set the standard for the others to improve their skills. In counseling, managers serve a facilitator of others to recognize and address problems involving their level of understanding, emotions and personalities. In short, coaching focuses on employee abilities and counseling on attitudes.

Skills of coaching are counseling are not narrowed and specific. They have a broad application of activities such as handling customer complaints, motivate others, passing negative or positive feedback and information, negotiate a certain position, and develop to a certain position and so on. Skillful and appropriate coaching and counseling are important due to rewarding positive performance and the ability to correct the problem behavior or attitudes. Coaching and counseling is the right path for manager to follow when they have to help people change their attitudes or behaviors. Clearly, in scenarios of negative product and inappropriate behavior and attitude, coaching and counseling becomes more difficult and disruptive. In these situations, managers provide negative feedback or getting employees recognize the problems that they do not want to acknowledge. One of the reasons why coaching and counseling is challenging is because of the risk of offending or alienating other people. More times so, managers ignore this important detail and totally forget about the feelings and reactions of others by taking a more direct and personal approach. Alternatively, they avoid confrontations for fear of hurting other’s feelings and destroying relationships in between ignoring the common core of the issue and not resolving the problem. However, coaching and counseling should not be used exclusively only to break negative feedback but also when people ask for advice and want to simply have someone listen to their problems.

In coaching people must be advised and guided on how to do their jobs. Problems related to coaching are usually caused by lack of ability, insufficient information or understanding of the issue or incompetence on the part of the individual. The key to successful coaching in these scenarios is having the individual clearly understand the problem and steps to take to overcome it.

In counseling people must be helped to recognize that a problem exists. That means that the individual has not abilities issues and he or she performs his or her job extraordinary well but refuses to understand that there is a problem and tension. Thus a manager’s job is to ensure that individual understands that a problem exists and offers advice on how to cope with it.

By now you are wondering how do I exactly coach or counsel others. Well, in order to do that you have to understand the barriers and obstacles that would refrain you for doing a better job. Two major obstacles to effective coaching and counseling and to effective interpersonal communication in general are (1) Defensiveness and (2) Disconfirmation.

Defensiveness is the state in which and individual is agitated, estranged, confused and inclined to strike out. Defensiveness arises when the party is feels threatened or punished by the communication. Finesse is always required. For that purpose, self-defense is much more important than listening to other party.

Disconfirmation is the state when the individual is put down and is ineffectual or insignificant. Managers dominate the conversation and it is one-way communication. Individuals being told question self-worth and focus on rebuilding up rather than listening.

In a final say, managers should use appropriate time, setting and type of communication to ensure effective listening that focuses on the problem at hand rather than disintegrating the individual.

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