top of page
  • Yamilette Cano

Coaching with Compassion Versus Compliance

Traditionally when coaching, managers will discuss a person’s success including their accomplishments and then scan over the things the person “should” do to improve. More times than not, the manager will not double check with the individual if this is the direction that they want to go in. The goal of coaching is to support a positive behavioral change -- this can be done through assisting a person in going the direction they want to go in and empowering the coachee to make the choice that leads them to change. Coaching with compassion is perceiving someone’s needs, identifying with them, and actively enhancing their well-being. Coaching with compliance is instructing someone to act the way a coach or organization thinks that they should act. Coaching with compliance is common in many organizations.

RISE Conference 2019. HSBC Pavillion speed mentoring.

The Stats

*Based on responses from almost 200 U.S. companies.

  • Business results were 21 percent higher among organizations whose senior leaders “very frequently” make an effort to coach others.

  • Organizations that reported “excellent” cultural support for coaching had 13 percent stronger business results.

  • 39 percent stronger employee results, including engagement, productivity and customer service.

  • 70 percent of organizations have jettisoned traditional performance reviews in favor of coaching.

  • The average multinational spends several million dollars a year on compliance.

Coaching with Compassion

Coaching with compassion is a type of coaching that activates the PEA (Positive Emotional Attractor). Coaching with compassion works to build a strong foundational relationship between the coach and coachee ensuring care, trust, and positive emotions are there right from the get-go. A great coaching relationship happens when the coach is emotionally invested with their coachee and dedicated to helping them. It is important for coaches to have a high emotional emotional intelligence to ensure they are able to create meaningful rich relationships with others. Instead of telling the coachee what their outcomes “should” be, a coach should primarily focus on the coachee’s personal strengths and development opportunities that will help them reach their goals.

Coaching with Compliance

Coaching with compliance is when a coach does not allow the coachee to develop their own goals and instead coaches based on how they or the organization thinks the coachee “should” act. Many employees resent compliance programs because they start to feel they are just checking boxes and completing unfulfilling mindless training exercises. Compliance can be important to ensure laws and safety are maintained within an organization, however, when it comes to growth and development compliance can make employees feel undervalued. Changes and goals are more likely to be reached if they are intentional and align with the coachee’s goals rather than being established from the organization. Coaching with compassion versus compliance will have an effect on employee retention, employee culture, and the organization's success overall.


Coaching with compassion will lead to desired change, enhanced health, and well-being in your employees. More companies are hiring employees based on personality because it has been scientifically proven to improve job performance so when they coach with compliance it does not allow the employee’s personality to shine and instead works as forming employees into a robot of the organization by telling them how they should act. Coaching with compassion allows an alternate state in individuals that enables them to positive change, new possibilities, learning, and allows them to achieve their best self.

Allow your employee's personality to shine!



  1. High-Impact Performance Management: Maximizing Performance Coaching, produced by Oakland, California-based advisory firm Bersin & Associates.


719 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page