Coaching for Managers

The role of a front-line manager is one of the most rewarding but can also be one of the most tedious based on the relationships with one’s employees.  Some of the tedious nature of this role can come from employee development and their current performance.  Regardless of their performance level, there are always opportunities for employees to grow and opportunities to support their development.  Without being properly equipped, the development and growth of employees can create a major source of stress for managers.  However, this is where coaching can is a valuable tool for any manager.  Coaching empowers both parties to have deep and meaningful conversations where goals can be clearly defined and a connection of mutual trust and respect can thrive.  There are several steps which can be taken to facilitate the development of this coaching relationship.

Relationship Foundation

Many managers make the mistake of always being on either end of the relationship with their employees. They will often come off as either too directive or lacking the firmness necessary.  In either case, the employee is left ill equipped for their own development but most importantly to be successful in the workplace.  Creating a balance between these roles and fostering a supportive relationship is key to any manager seeking to coach.  To be successful as coaches, managers may need to learn to listen more and talk less.  While there is a time and place for the direct nature of the relationship, actively listening to the employee is key to the employee being able to trust and openly express their desires.  Slowing down and listening to what is actually being said and asking thoughtful and engaging questions will connect to a person very quickly as the coaching relationship develops.

coaching for managers
embrace the Strengths of The Employee

Know and embrace the Strengths of The Employee

As one begins to coach and develop goals, the strengths of the employs are critical to the process. Openly communicating will not only build trust, but provides some building blocks for coaching. As the employee communicates goals, this is an excellent time to pull these strengths into the coaching conversation to find opportunities to build and grow. A mutual understanding of the strengths will also provide some perspective and realism to the goal setting and coaching.

Focus on the Future

Another common mistake is that we all tend to dwell on the past and not focus on the road ahead.  This is where coaching is key, the future is the sole focus of these conversations.  There are mistakes made and there will be more as time passes.  However, these are all opportunities for growth and development.  At best, these should merely be inputs to the goal setting conversation where strengths can be pulled in and the opportunities overcome.  In the end, coaching for managers are very powerful tools to maintain a positive focus and ensure growth of both the employee and organization.