Coaching today: a tool for development, but not yet for management

Stanislav Shekshnia, author of the book How to Effectively Manage Free People: Coaching, shares his outlook on the road coaching has taken since the first issue of the book.

Five years have passed since the moment the first edition of How to Effectively Manage Free People: Coaching was published. On the one hand, much has changed – not only in the world at large, but also in the world of business coaching. On the other hand, many of the problems that arose have remained or even gotten worse. What is encouraging is that coaching’s popularity has grown – the number of professional coaches is rapidly increasing and their services are being used by more and more managers and organizations. Over the past five years, several large Russian companies have said that coaching would be a primary part of their long-term development and have started campaigns to create a coaching culture. Today it’s no longer necessary to explain what coaching is or to sell the idea to most managers.

However, in many Russian organizations, coaching still has not turned into what the book describes – a tool for managing contemporary employees. Managers happily take part in professional coaching and developing their skills, but continue to work with their subordinates in the traditional, top-down manner of giving orders, micro-managing and giving negative feedback instead of becoming facilitators for productivity. The reason for this lies in the lack of coaching competency and the outdated mental models of leaders. The difficult macroeconomic situation, under which Russia will have to live for the foreseeable future, increases the need to overcome the vertical models of interaction between managers and their employees and transition to a model of cooperation and making joint decisions on the difficult, complex problems associated with increasing productivity amid limited resources, achieving growth in a contracting economy, and incentives amid falling levels of consumption. Life forces managers to master coaching leadership. I hope that this book contributes to this transformation.

The book “How to Effectively Manage Free People: Coaching” is dedicated to the management of Knowledge Workers – a category of employees in contemporary companies who create value through their knowledge. The author of the book suggests that coaching be used as a primary tool for managing these employees, and gives concrete recommendations about how every manager can master the basic art of coaching and use it to increase the efficiency of their business.

The book is essentially a guide to action and contains an abundance of examples based on the experience of the author and his colleagues. It also contains answers to frequently asked questions.

The book was published by Alpina Publisher