Where are all the great coaches?

When it comes to developing and assessing your teams, your managers are the lynch-pin to coaching and achieving the desired performance levels. So, helping your managers develop in this area is critical on both an individual level as well as for the organisation.  Yet for a variety of reasons, this valuable activity is often ignored.

It is often observed, in organisations across the world, that we take people who are technically proficient, or have been in their roles for a long period of time, and suddenly shift them into roles that have a completely different skill requirement and think they can do the job effectively – without any support or assessment in the first place. What do we do – we make them managers of people and teams.  

Who is coaching our coaches?

In the sporting arena coaching can be one of the toughest jobs in the world. Bruce Brown of Proactive Coaching reflects that “we work with kids, in highly emotional situations, in public, while keeping score. And the words we choose to say in those moments, either helpful or hurtful, can stick with a kid for a lifetime.”

This is true of adults and the workplace as well.  We often end up dealing with what we call “personality conflicts” or some for of conflict because of the styles and skills of managers.

In a 2007 a study conducted by Smith and Smoll found that effective coaching had a positive impact on female athletes. Anxiety levels decreased for girls playing sport with coaches who had received training and development in how to coach, but increased when playing for coaches who were untrained.

So how do we help managers become better coaches?  First, lets look at what really effective coaches do:

  • Take an “Ask vs. Tell” approach. Don’t tell the employee what to do, instead ask powerful questions. This allows the employee to create their own solutions. When they go through the  process to get to resolution, they buy in — it becomes their solution!
  • Focus on the person not the task — it’s about their development.
  • It’s not about “fixing” anyone. Your role is to facilitate the learning process.
  • Set up a clear accountability structure for action and outcome to keep the employee focused on achieving the desired goals.
  • Know when you need to recognise. When someone is doing something right – then recognise with praise and encouragement.

Who is helping your management team continually develop and become even more effective in what they do?  Who is assessing their performance (objectively) and providing feedback and making them accountable for their actions and behaviour. Is their coaching having a positive impact on your growth, bottom line and overall staff development ?

So are you up for the challenge?  Your employees, business and 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 experience.   

Contact us for more information about how we can help the development of your management team.