Published January 3, 2023

Estimated read time: 5 minutes


Management and Coaching: What Are The Differences ?

Over the years, companies have adopted coaching as a succession management strategy, and individuals have understood its importance in the development of professional and personal skills. Regardless of this progressive adoption, some organizations believe that integrating actively engaging management activities with coaching would further boost the performance of their employees.

The terms coaching and managing are often interchanged. Although both terms are major contributory factors in the productivity of an organization, their aims and structural form differ. Outstanding executive leadership skills include the ability to function as both a coach and a manager in any organization depending on the current situation of the organization.

While the duties of managers lie in the organization and implementation of processes aimed at developing the business, coaches inspire and motivate groups or individuals into maximizing their full potential.


What is management ?


Simply put, management is the act of handling or regulating objects or people. It involves the inclusion of activities aimed at defining the success strategy of an organization. Furthermore, managers have the responsibility of coordinating the distribution of work amongst staff members within a specified period, so as to achieve the industrial objectives of a company or business.

The skills necessary for management consist of relational skills, communication and inspiration, association and designation of duties, decision-making, logical reasoning, and problem solving, as well as creating commercial awareness.

There are 3 basic levels of management in an organizational body, they include: Administrative, Executive and Supervisory management. The first level comprises the organizational head or board of directors, the second comprises the branch managers, while the third is the lowest level, consisting of supervisors, or section officers.


What is coaching ?


This is a developmental form, where an expert, often referred to as a coach, provides guidance to a client, for the purpose of achieving a personal or professional objective. The coaching process involves collaborating with Individuals in an interesting and creative way which drives them to grow their individual and professional capacity.

There are various types of coaching, they include: group coaching, executive coaching, life coaching, professional coaching, business coaching, health and wellness coaching, spiritual coaching, and private coaching. Coaches, unlike mentors, usually undergo coaching training to gain expertise in their respective fields. 

Coaching performance is rated based on a coach’s ability to successfully improve the productivity of a client. In order to do this, they frequently use a tool, known as a coaching philosophy which sets expectations for both the coach and the client.


The differences and complementarities between coaching and management


The differences can be better understood by highlighting the instances when both of these terms should be applied in an organization. 


When should coaching be applied ?

  • When seeking to improve the work performance of employees.
  • When seeking to promote a healthy workspace and employee relationship.
  • When groups collaborate in long term decision-making processes.
  • When implementing methods to expose potential successors to development opportunities


When should management be applied ?

  • When assigning tasks.
  • When delegating responsibilities.
  • When monitoring and analyzing the progress of staff members.
  • When training new employees.
  • When meeting target deadlines.
  • When resolving conflict.
  • When responding to emergencies.

From the above, it is clear that management is one-way, and focused on specific tasks, directives, and decision-making processes. Meanwhile, management coaching mentoring covers a bigger picture as it is a two-way relationship between the coach and a client, promotes personal growth and is a long-term development plan.

Despite their differences, both roles are important in order to obtain the best organizational groups. They complement each other when used together. Consider management as a short-term plan, and coaching as a long-term plan working together. While managing, remember to coach as well and adequately implement both techniques in the right situations.


The effect of coaching and management in the modern workplace


The drop in the level of employee retention in 2017 was a wake-up call for employers to begin implementing ways to engage employee career development.

Gone are the days of conventional management practices. Managers now combine traditional methods with coaching and mentoring practice to keep and grow employees to become successors and harness their full potential. 

By becoming a better listener, communicating more effectively, asking engaging questions, becoming a source of inspiration, modeling a growth mindset, providing a healthy professional coaching platform, and offering solutions and developmental opportunities, managers can now improve in their responsibilities.