Very often managers are fulfilling a coaching function as well as controlling the work flow in their department - apportioning tasks effectively. These two functions are, however, very different - requiring a specialised skill set.
Coaching involves facilitating the process whereby someone is able to identify their own goals and plot an effective method of working towards achieving these. The key part of this interaction is the act of supporting the employee
whilst they clarify where they want to be and how to get there. Many people think coaching is laying out a plan for the person and ensuring they follow it. The error here is that they are moving into a directive role rather than creating a space in the relationship which encourages and allows the person to figure it out for themselves.
If you are a manager and a coach, you need to be aware when a situation calls for a more directive approach and when you should move back into that of the coach
Stepping back is generally much more difficult than instructing – especially when you can clearly identify the path to be followed. Remaining supportive without taking over requires patience and experience.
Experience tells you whether or not the person in question is sufficiently developed in themselves to assume responsibility for their growth, albeit under your guidance. If you have played this role before, you know that people learn differently and there’s no, one size fits all
. You are able to adapt your approach from person to person – which is absolutely essential. Both of you can visualise the end result.
Patience is what you employ to ensure the person reaches their goals under their own steam, having been allowed to learn and practise relevant skills through a series of successes and failures along the way. It enables you to be there to nudge and guide, but not take over.
The downside of coaching is that it takes time. It feels almost counter-intuitive to move into a hands-off coaching style where you trust others to achieve the required results. It is however, integral to building an effective and healthy organisation. An employee, who experiences personal growth as a result of the time and effort you have expended in coaching them, is much more likely to exhibit a high level of engagement. Staff engagement is the only truly self-sustaining model
by which your company can and will achieve its goals.
We speak at some length on the difference between coaching, managing and leading
in our Developing Your Management Potential
courses, as well as on our Three Day Leadership course
is also one of the many approaches to learning which we offer.
Staff Training is a soft skills training provider. Contact us at 0861 996 660.