Coaching skills for managers underpin all leadership competencies and should not be separated
– 5 mins read –
Why should managers learn coaching skills?
Coaching skills for managers are quickly replacing ‘leadership 101’ in many organizations. We have run coaching skills workshops globally since the 1980s and my colleagues overseas have successfully lit fires in markets such as China and Romania. After decades of training managers to coach, our experience and research demonstrate that high-performing organizations all round the world build coaching skills into their leadership fabric, across all management levels.
Develop coaching skills in every manager
Many organizations we work with have leadership competency frameworks. It has become convention in business to create a vision of the ideal manager so people have something to aim for and be performance measured against.
On the standard list of competencies are things like authenticity, effective communication, agility, developing talent and so on. A more comprehensive summary is provided by the Forbes Coaching Council who propose ‘16 Essential Skills for the Workplace of Tomorrow’. Increasingly, businesses we work with recognize coaching skills for managers as an essential ingredient to impactful leadership.
While greater awareness of the value of coaching skills for managers is positive, the challenge lies in how they are positioned in relation to the overall concept of leadership. Contrary to many competency frameworks, coaching actually underpins all good leadership practice. Making coaching a separate competency altogether undervalues its effectiveness and relevance in different contexts.
For example, a manager who can ask Powerful Questions and practice Active Listening working with other team leads, is much more able to break down silos and create a collaborative culture. In another example, a manager who is able to use coaching skills is more capable of motivating and inspiring their teams. They generate responsibility and raise the awareness of direct reports who in turn can act in partnership to achieve the team and organizational vision.
COACHING SKILLS TRAINING FOR MANAGERS CREATED BY SIR JOHN WHITMORE
Weave coaching into leadership competency frameworks
Wherever we find organizations separating coaching and leadership, we advise that high performance can only be achieved where coaching skills for managers are interwoven in leadership competencies. At the centre is a Coaching Leadership Style from which the branches of various management skills and mindsets extend.
Training managers to coach is as much about building emotional intelligence and practising key leadership behaviours as it is about adding valuable skills to their toolkit. Sometimes called a “leader-coach” or “coach-manager”, at the end of the day a manager who uses coaching skills in their daily interactions is simply a great leader.
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Integrate coaching skills in all management activities
Coaching is an approach that integrates into all people and performance management fundamentals. Coaching skills are effective across the board, whether you’re looking to increase engagement, promote agile working, breathe life into feedback, turbo-boost Lean or radically improve safety. Our work with international clients such as Mastercard has shown us that the ability to coach is the overarching management skillset to enhance all these areas.
If you want to find out more about how we deliver coaching skills for managers online and in person, and what impact it will have for your business, please get in touch.
Coaching skills workshops for managers
Attend one of our Coaching for Performance workshops to learn the foundations of coaching and unleash potential in yourself and your teams
‘Most Managers Don’t Know How to Coach People. But They Can Learn.’, Harvard Business Review, August 2018
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How can you bring a coaching leadership style into your organization?
Sir John and his colleagues at Performance Consultants were the first to take coaching into the workplace and coined the term “performance coaching” in the early 1980s. We continue to lead the field in performance improvement through coaching leadership training.
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