Coaching Someone Who Doesnít Want Help

  • 3 mins read

When we discuss how to coach someone, itís always presumed that the person is open to being helped.

But as managers and HR specialists know, thatís not always the case. You may have a hard-working employee who could grow much faster with a bit of support but is resistant to help from their peers or even supervisors.

This can create a rather strange dynamic in the workplace. But can you overcome it and get this coaching-resistant employee to accept your help?

Why Do Some People Resist Coaching?

People can be wary of coaching for several reasons, but 3 common ones can be:

  • They Think Coaching Means They Are Not Capable

Some individuals may believe that when a manager reaches out and offers help it is because they are not capable of achieving a task or goal on their own. Of course, being coached doesnít mean the person is not competent or qualified.

In fact, in most cases, itís quite the opposite. A company may choose to invest in coaching the employee who shows the most potential. But if the employee struggles with their confidence, they may see it very differently than HR or managers do.

  • Change Is Difficult for Them

Coaching involves a lot of changes. From a personís beliefs to their preferred approaches for navigating challenges or even specific actions, the coaching-resistant employee may simply not be comfortable with this level of change.

Whether itís because they believe their way is the right way, or usually have a difficult time navigating new waters, fear of change is a huge deterrent to peopleís willingness to accept help.

  • They Donít Want to Be Held Accountable

Of course, coaching can be done for the employee who needs more support and to improve their performance. Thatís a difficult position for some people to be put in, as it means they need to be held accountable for their actions.

And for some, shedding light on their misses, failures, or promises they did not follow through on is something to be avoided at all costs.

Can You Coach Someone Whoís Resistant?

Some ways to navigate this situation can include:

  • Hear them out – Simply ask your employee why they do not want to be coached. This can help you understand their position and even clear the air, which could get them to change their stance;
  • Explain your reasons – Tell your employee why you think they can benefit from coaching from the perspective of the company, but also their personal growth;
  • Bring someone from the outside – The employee may feel uncomfortable discussing their weakness or fears with a supervisor or someone from inside the company. In these cases, they are usually much more likely to open up to someone from the outside.

Itís important to understand that coaching is a two-way street.

You cannot force a person to accept your help, but you can try to level with them and understand where the resistance is coming from. This way, you may identify a better way to support them.

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