Leaders as coaches – Step up your leadership style to become a coaching organisation

In my last article, I questioned why leaders aren’t embracing coaching as a new leadership style and highlighted why this cannot be ignored, especially in this day and age.

Here are two core reasons why this is happening:

  1. It might be that the manager is uncomfortable with a certain amount of ambiguity. During coaching, the employee might find a solution that is different to or even better than the manager’s solution or idea. This can create an uneasiness from the managers’ perspective. The benefit of this approach is that as the employees found their own solution they are more invested in the process / answer / outcome and this will ultimately lead to a brilliant result.
  2. For many managers the transition to coach isn’t easy. In fact, some coaching traits are at odds with what is seen as managerial strengths. Shifting from a managerial role to a coaching mindset requires one to serve, and at times, more to guide.

How does one then turn your organisation into a coaching organisation?

Mike Noble from the Camden Consulting Group provides 5 steps you can use to fast-track the transformation of managers into coaches. This will not only benefit the overall organisation but also benefit the employees and the manager through enhanced collaboration and building stronger performance.

Step 1 – Establish some firm expectations

  • Coaching should be a primary responsibility for each manager as an essential prerequisite for creating a coaching organisation. If one doesn’t establish firm expectations around coaching, you are unlikely to get the results you want.
  • It should also be a key element in your organisation’s culture and part of every manager’s job description.
  • Coaching requires skill and time. To enable managers, they need the opportunity to develop the skills – allocating time to learn and apply the skills.

Step 2 – Build a personal case for coaching

  • Most managers have a strong sense of loyalty and commitment to their organisation and its goals. An element of what’s in it for me (WIIFM) can help with adapting to the coaching mindset.
  • Once managers understand the value of getting more things done and achieving stronger results, through the efforts of others, they will want to learn how coaching, not command-and-control, will enable them to better leverage the talents of their team members.

Step 3 – Teach coaching skills and practice, practice, practice

  • Coaching does not come naturally to all managers. Sometimes it is a journey.
  • When someone is appointed to a management role it can represent a significant and sometimes difficult shift in both what the manager does and how he allocates his/her time.
  • Core coaching skills such as listening, questioning, observing, building relationships, providing feedback, shows empathy, supportive encouragement and holding others accountable are all skills to be taught.
  • It is important for managers to put the skills to use in real-time situations. Allocating the time to practice means creating coachable moments or situations.

Step 4 – Give a manager a coach 

  • A very effective means for learning is a hands-on experience.
  • Therefore, if you want to transform a manager into a coach, it’s a good idea to give them the opportunity to experience coaching first-hand.
  • Having a manager coached by another executive in your organisation will accomplish two things. Firstly, it will enable the manager to experience the benefits of coaching and become more committed to coaching as a method for developing others. Secondly, it will provide a framework of how to provide coaching for others.
  • If you don’t have skilled coaches within your organisation, you should consider hiring third-party external coaches to work with your key managers.

Step 5 – Reward the best coaches with the best jobs 

  • The managers who demonstrate the strongest coaching skills are likely to be the strongest performers.
  • Placing these managers in the most important roles and crediting these assignments, at least in part, to their excellent coaching skills will send a strong message to the rest of the organisation that coaching is a critical skill for all managers.

When last did your company do an audit of how “coachable” your managers are or is this a growth area?

By acknowledging this element is missing from your senior team and realising the important benefit this can bring to the overall growth and increase the morale of the team members, is already a good starting point.

#GrowingManagers #CoachingMatters #HighPerformanceCulture

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