5 Ways to Turn Managers into Coaches

5 Ways to Turn Managers into Coaches
April 3, 2018 Linda Murray

An organisation is only as strong as its weakest member. To improve the bottom line, it’s imperative that we invest in our people. In order to achieve stellar results, we first must lead, inspire, and develop strong teams. The most direct way to do so is by teaching your managers how to coach and mentor others.

Today’s leaders and managers need to be effective coaches to help their teams improve their existing skills and pick up new ones. Do your managers see themselves as coaches? If not, how can you change that?

The following five strategies can help you make the case for coaching in your organisation and help your managers improve their coaching abilities.

  1. Help Managers discover the benefits of coaching

Do the managers in your organisation understand the importance of coaching?

Unless your managers know how important coaching is to team morale, development and overall performance, they are unlikely to invest time and effort into becoming a great coach and better leader.

Even more important, managers need to know they are there to help their teams and their people excel in their roles. That will only happen through coaching.

Make certain you’ve made the case for coaching to your leadership team and stress the importance coaching now holds in your corporate culture.

  1. Coach your Managers

A survey by US firm Globoforce, found 93% of managers feel they need training on how to coach their employees. Very few of us are born with all the skills of a great coach so your managers may need help in adapting to this part of their role. Remember, some of them may never have worked with a coach before so they may be unfamiliar with how coaches work.

Invest in coaching and mentoring for your managers. Let them experience being coached so they understand how it feels and can discover the benefits. That’s a great foundation on which to build their own coaching skills. Professionals in leadership and coaching will help your managers gain the skills they need to effectively develop and motivate their teams and lead them to their best performance yet.

  1. Shift the focus to people, not processes or profits

Managers often win the position because they are excellent technicians or administrators. We already know people skills are essential to the role but too often managers are still expected to report results in terms of numbers. It’s a mental shift which needs to happen at the top, so managers aren’t being asked to act in one way yet report in another.

Check your internal reporting systems. Check what your managers are asked to report on. Change those systems to support the new approach to managing.

While you’re changing things, don’t forget to model the behaviours you want your managers to adopt. They will do what you do so be aware of the image and performance you’re giving out.

  1. Don’t lose the moment

Keep the focus on your people and coach in the moment.

Great coaches know people are ready to learn when they have a problem or question they need help with. That’s an in-built opportunity to coach and guide your team member’s learning.

Show your managers that coaching doesn’t have to be a formal arrangement by coaching them on the go, too.

Of course, always ask for permission first and ensure it is an appropriate environment for such a conversation.

  1. Create systems to support your Managers

Training isn’t enough and coaching alone may not be enough to help your managers learn to coach their people. Your internal systems need to support this new approach. It’s important that a professional development system, which integrates formal learning with mentoring and self-reflection is put into place. Without a system in place, it’s easy to slip back into the old ways of doing things. You’ll also need to check your systems are working, and you can do that through tools like 360-degree feedback.

People don’t want to be told all the time; they do want to be shown. They want to learn, and they learn best by doing. Coaching combines the best of all this and produces results. In fact, a survey by ICF showed organisations which use coaching have an improved financial performance, which probably comes from the improved workplace engagement and job performance coaching brings in the employees.

Are you ready to be a coach? Is your organisation ready to take a coaching focus?  Executive Coaching will give you the skills, knowledge and practice you need to become a solid leader with a sound coaching focus. Talk to us today about how we can help your leaders and managers to become great coaches for your organisation.


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