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Manager as Coach

Whether you are a manager trying to develop your people and create more employee engagement or trying to develop yourself , you need to know that one of the key ways you can have a positive impact on the business is by operating more as a “Coach” than a “Manager.”

A study conducted by Bersin & Associates showed that organizations with senior leaders who coach effectively and frequently improve their business results by 21 percent(!) as compared to those who never coach.

So what is a coaching approach?

  • Coaching is an “Ask vs. Tell” approach. Instead of  telling the employee what to do, you ask powerful questions, allowing the employee to create their own solutions. When they go through their thought process and come up with a solution on their own, they are much more bought-in because it was their idea.
  • Coaching focuses on the employee vs. the task — it’s about development, about helping the employee to grow and learn and become more effective, thus creating a feeling of empowerment, being a contributor and an important part of the organization. This leads to more job satisfaction and employee retention.
  • Coaching is not about “fixing” anyone. Again, it is about their development and facilitating the learning process, employees who feel they are heard and supported will contribute to the success of the company.
  • Coaching is about setting up a clear accountability structure for action and outcomes. It helps keep the employee focused on achieving the desired goals.
  • Coaching is something that can/should happen as needed and in-the-moment, which is the best way for learning to occur.

Acting more like a coach

So how can a Manager behave more like a Coach?

  1. Ask open-ended questions to enable the process.
  2. Listen. Meet the employee where they are.
  3. Guide the conversation (through questions, not directives) to a mutual agreement of the priorities of development.
  4. Ensure that the feedback information is heard and understood by the employee. Again, asking clarifying questions is the best way to do this.
  5. Do your part to support the employee through a shared commitment to their goals, responsibilities and action steps.

Are you up for the challenge? Your team, the business and your career will all benefit if you begin to operate in Manager-as-Coach mindset. Your employees will be developed and challenged in way that truly builds new skills and enables them to learn from experiences.

Consider using the DISC assessment to create awareness around communication and behavior styles.  High Performance teams are built through mutual understanding and agreement on what matters most. Please contact me if you would like to know more.