What is the difference between teaching and coaching? Most leaders transition between the two, back and forth, throughout the day, never realizing they are actually jumping between the two methodologies!

In today’s episode, we discuss the difference between coaching vs teaching and acknowledge the fundamental fact: whomever is asking the questions in the conversation determines if you as the leader are teaching or if you are coaching.

If you are teaching, the other person is asking you questions to learn and receive all of the answers. If you are coaching, you are asking all of the questions because the answers are already within the person you are coaching. (So simple, yet something you may not have thought about in those terms.)

It’s important to start a conversation with questions coming from you, the leader, so you can then determine if you need to teach or coach. The answers to your first few questions will tell you the path you need to take. Do not make assumptions that because someone has just joined your organization they need to be taught. Conversely, don’t assume that because someone has been with you for years that they should be coached. Each situation deserves the same initial questions so you can lead in the way the person needs to be led.

Today’s challenge is to establish your opening questions, acknowledge the difference between teaching and coaching, and let the answers to those first questions dictate whether you will teach or coaching that specific situation.