Words build our maps of communication. A well chosen words is like a good compass, it gives direction. It ensures no one gets lost in the mist of communication. A good sentence is like a road to follow, and an overused sentence? I guess a motorway. Unfortunately our brain loves driving on those motorways; they are shortcuts. Our grey matter is actually mad about all these little shortcuts it can take. At times we even have to retrain our brain for it to take the side road, often much nicer and interesting.
OK, so we have words, sentences, grammar and they define our maps of communication.
And then we have marketers!
Marketers are to our maps of communication what GPS are to our real maps and brains… They take the global picture out; they send us straight to motorways when shorter paths are available; they give us closest information, removing often global directions and meaning. Am I tempted to say that marketers, like GPS, makes the untrained brain stupid?
One word marketers are having a lot of fun with, right now, is “coaching”. In an attempt to create more and more selling catch phrases, here they are, confusing a name “coach” with a methodology “coaching” and giving us expression like leader-coach, manager-coach, parent-coach, auto-coach, etc. More than a mist this is a real heavy fog being created there with no more aim or direction visible. Welcome to the world of GPS-marketing.
A manager-coach is simply not possible. The hierarchical link between the manager and the team members constrains a straightforward coaching agreement. Both manager and employee may at time experience conflicts of interest which could prevent the building of the trust relationship needed for a coaching intervention to work. Whatever ways you look at it, the first partnership managers have is with their company, and not with the employees they managed. Yes we do want manager to know when to adopt a coaching style and leverage from the coaching methodology however this is not being the person coach. If I was to coin an expression, I would rather go for “manager-autonomy builder” and there I will know that to do so the manager has many tools, coaching being one of them. It may not be that catchy but it walks the talks without false advertisement.
As we develop better way to do business and to work together, let’s keep our focus on the goal: developing autonomous employees for a more collaborative approach to work and management, and for this let’s use some well detailed map leaving our GPS in the closet.