Coaching Techniques for Managers
By Sean McPheat
Not all management training programs and management training courses offer coaching techniques for manager in their courses. First of all, why do managers need to learn coaching techniques? After all managers are given management training, do they also have to be given training to be a life coach? To understand this, we have to know what a coach does. Traditionally coaching was something that was done to train sportspersons. Now, the definition has changed dramatically. Coaching is unlocking the potential of a person to maximize performance. Coaching helps people to learn new techniques rather than teaching them these techniques. A coach is expected to have a good understanding of the client’s issue and context. A manager is the person generally responsible for motivating a team to ensure that the team performs to its maximum potential and reaches its goal. And to do this you have to also take on the role of a coach.
As a coach a manager will be handing out suggestions to make improvements in specific areas. These areas will have to be identified by you. It is not a process which can take place in a day or two. It is a long term process. It cannot be a one way street. You have to develop a relationship with your co-worker. To suggest improvements you will be analyzing the work performances. Your suggestions will include ways to improve this performance. Leadership is essential in these issues. Be supportive of your co – workers as well as help them by instructing them, guiding them and encouraging them.
All management training programs and management training courses specify that communication skills are one of the most important skills a manager can possess. This is one of the most important techniques used in coaching. You have to clearly tell your team members what your expectations are. Don’t let there be ambiguity. Clear any ambiguity on the spot. Repeat yourself if necessary to get the message across. Do not leave any room for doubts. Clear them up.
Coaching is all about building relationships with clients. Do the same with your team members. If you feel there are certain areas where improvements can be, then go ahead and tell them. But, do so in a manner that doesn’t seem to find fault, rather suggest the improvements as a way to enhance their performance. Fault finding is easy, encouraging someone to do better is not. Platitudes can be mouthed by anyone but only a genuine leader can give the correct kind of emotional support. You should only offer emotional support and should not yourself become the support.
If there are obstructions on the path to their advancement it is your duty to help remove them. After all you are also their manager and not just their coach. You can advice them on ways to remove these obstructions. Your guidance is necessary for them. Be gentle when you are advising them. Do not be harsh.
If you have attended management training classes then you would have had a session on leadership. A good leader knows the importance of “Action speaks louder than words”. If you want your team members to work to reach their goal, then you have to show them the way. Not by telling them how to do it but by showing how to do it. Tell them which part of their behavior or performance should be changed to show better results. Tell them how to do it.
All this advice that you have given is going to be useless if the team member is not committed to make those changes. It is your duty to ensure that the person or people are committed to making these changes. Explain to them the reasons that it is necessary for them to make this change. Tell them the benefits, if they make the change.
All management training programs or management training courses say that unless you appreciate people they are not going to be motivated to work better. So, this is another technique that a coach needs to do. So don’t hesitate to appreciate the good performance and as a manager it is a good idea to reward the performance. This can do wonders for you and your team!!!!
Sean McPheat provides management training to small, medium and large businesses. Sean designs and delivers bespoke training across the UK, Europe, US and the Middle East.