Why Every Manager Should Be a Coach, Not a Boss

by Aggie Alvarez, on Mar 5, 2020 10:52:00 AM

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The difference between a leader who achieves commitment from employees versus one who achieves compliance, is effective coaching. The most effective leaders are those who see themselves as coaches and leaders rather than managers or supervisors. But what makes a leader an effective coach? It’s their mindset.

Effective leaders believe in the value of coaching, and they think about their role as a manager in such a way where coaching occurs naturally. So, why is coaching so much more effective?

Here are a few ways professional coaching facilitates better results than being a “boss.”

Increased Employee Engagement

According to Forbes, only 34% of employees feel engaged at work. By instilling a culture of effective coaching, it’s possible to overcome this issue. With a coaching culture in play, employees are pushed to do their best and reach their highest potential. When employees are putting out their best work, they’re more likely to learn personal accountability and become more engaged in their career and overall performance.

Follow these steps to create a coaching culture and improve employee engagement:

  • Focus on your company’s mission and vision. Clearly identifying the mission of your organization helps employees understand the ways they fit into the processes of your team. It can be difficult for employees to be actively engaged without understanding and embracing the vision of the company first.
  • Assist employees with defining their personal and professional goals. This step takes coaching a step further, creating an open dialogue with employees about what they hope to achieve out of their job. This includes both professional goals and ambitions outside of the office. Take the time to sit down and find ways you can assist your employees in achieving their objectives.
  • Identify employees’ strengths and weaknesses and communicate expectations.Communication is one of the most vital aspects to a company’s success. In fact, 4 out of 5 employees say communication is critical in helping their job success. Maintaining respectful and authentic conversations with employees can increase the accountability and collaboration of your team.

Take the time to lay the groundwork of expectations in the organization. With expectations firmly set, the coach and employee can have a constructive conversation about the overall strategy and goals of their professional development plan. Take the time to ask probing questions such as:

  • How do your personal goals align with the goals of our company?
  • What do you hope to achieve in terms of professional growth within the next year?
  • How best can I assist in helping you achieve these goals?

Use this time to identify a customized strategy for coaching on an individual level. They get the personal development they desire, while aligning to the greater goals and needs of the organization.

Boost Confidence

Confidence in the workplace has resoundingly positive effects. Research has shown people prefer confidence to actual expertise. As competitive as business can be, it is no shock confidence is necessary for success. Without confidence, an employee won’t feel comfortable to take any risk or go beyond basic expectations. Lack of confidence in an employee can result in hindering their professional growth, keeping them from reaching their full potential.

There are many ways individuals can boost confidence on their own, and educating employees on how to practice these techniques can be very beneficial. If an employee feels good about themselves, this confidence at work can help map out the best path for them in their career.

Coaching can help foster confidence by distinguishing the employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Identify areas where employees excel. Highlighting their strengths helps build self-worth and keeps employees from focusing too narrowly on the areas they could use improvement. While identifying weaknesses and improving upon them is necessary for personal development, make sure employees don’t dwell on limitations — instead, find ways to tackle these weaknesses and improve upon them.

Improve Employee Retention

Learning or starting something new can be a nerve-racking feeling. But, having a professional coach who can provide guidance makes a big difference in what an individual is willing to tackle. In the workplace, when employees are on-boarded and coached on new skills, they feel supported and encouraged by their manager.

Showing support for employees leads to higher levels of retention, in turn creating a more positive company culture. Your employees want to feel like a valued and respected member of the team, and effective coaching can facilitate this feeling.

Like with all things, communication is vital, and with coaching, it’s a two-way street. As managers provide feedback to employees, employees are then able to use that opportunity to present their input to the manager. Employees are 4.6 times more likelyto stay in their current position when they feel heard. Integrating coaching into your company culture will encourage yourself, and other managers, to be more present among employees, and will open up communication channels across all levels of your organization.

Activate Your Coaching Skills

Ready to improve your coaching skills as a manager? Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Maintain a positive outlook. Positivity in the workplace leads to higher levels of productivity and increased employee happiness. Try to remove negative attitudes in the office, and everyone’s experience will benefit from your efforts. Lead by example, and your employees will follow suit.
  • Know how to navigate conversations. Whether the conversation is regarding performance reviews or ways to inspire and motivate employees, there are a plethora of resources with tips and tricks for initiating a productive and respectful conversation. Take time to educate yourself on best practices before talking with employees or managers.
  • Ask good questions. Sometimes the most difficult questions to ask are the best ones. The healthiest company cultures are ones where leaders and employees feel able to express opinions honestly without getting defensive.
  • Listen to what they have to say and encourage them to share their opinions.Authentic and open communication is vital to success. Encourage your employees to be honest with their feedback so that improvements can be made when necessary.
  • Coach in the moment. A willingness to remain adaptable is necessary for success, and being able to customize your coaching strategies will allow for a more individualized approach.

Organizations with senior leaders who coach their employees can improve business results by 21%, compared to those who never use professional coaching. Developing effective coaches is critical to the success of your company. 

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Topics:LeadershipHuman Resources

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