What Dinosaur Managers Lack: Empathy for Employees
Coaching and mentoring require a multilayered knowledge that dinosaur managers don't need to call their own. They ask of those who coach and mentor to get to know the people they work with as real people with unique talents. A coach is therefore required to be an empathetic individual. That is, you've got to grasp fundamental human psychology and recognize the importance of elevating both body and soul to get the job done, and done right.
And showing empathy for a fellow human being is not something that can be readily gleaned by reading a book or attending a seminar. Empathy is rooted in life experiences. “I can understand how he's feeling right now.” “I can see she needs a word of encouragement, because I've been there.” “That happened to me once.”
A lot is expected of coaches. They are expected to raise employees' self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-development. And when these three come together synergistically, the results are stronger employee performances and a more healthy work environment.
A solid analogy can be drawn between parenting and the art of coaching and mentoring. Can anybody be a father? A mother? Well, most adults at some point in their lives have the biological tools to answer in the affirmative. But, as you can plainly see all around you, some people do a better job of parenting than others. Some mothers and fathers totally abrogate their parental responsibilities and lack even the most rudimentary of skills — and yes, the empathy — to undertake what parenting entails.