Coaching as a manager tool
At work, we usually feel more motivated if our work makes sense and produces visible results. If you are a leader, then your job is to help others to do their job well.
The usual complaint of many managers and leaders is that they cannot rely on others. They prefer to do important things themselves. This demonstrates that such a person is an expert in his/her field, but not a human expert.
Seeking refuge in an expert’s job is quite easy. The majority of managers started in professional positions from which they have moved up to managerial positions. While there are a number of options to improve professional competences, most managers have never learned to work with people. In its setting up, the educational system simply does not support these competences.
Our staff are a product of each of us who leads someone. Managing people is both an art and a craft. You need talent, knowledge, and skills. A certain lack of one of these ingredients can be compensated by the other two; however, if two are missing, the situation is worse.
The coach’s work consists in the development of people. A good coach does not concentrate on the problem of his client, but on his/her ability to solve his/her problem. The range of tools used is very wide and it depends on each and every one of us, which tool we use, which suits us better. But the common factor among coaches is focusing on the human.
Coaching is very close to the job of leader. It’s not about keeping an hourly development interview with one’s subordinates every day. The key is the attitude when you as a manager admit that your subordinate may be more competent than you in some things. You can even set this as your goal. The second thing is to be able to give him/her such support so that he/she may succeed and want to develop his/her potential.
One of the key factors influencing an employee’s engagement and motivation is the possibility of personal development. This means giving an opportunity to overcome oneself. Having tasks ahead of me that go beyond my current abilities. In such a situation, you appreciate someone who can help you not by advising or doing your work instead of you, but a person who can help you mobilize your strengths.
Using coaching while guiding people is not easy. You have to cope with several major obstacles. The first is responsibility for the result. As a manager, you are responsible for the results of your subordinates. However, as a coach, you are transferring responsibility to them.
The second conflict is the fear factor. In the role of a superior, you have an opportunity to award penalties and rewards. This always raises some concerns for the subordinates. The relationship between coach and person being coached is based on trust and partnership.
Time also plays its part. The coach has at least an hour when working with the client. As a manager, you can rarely afford such luxury. Five-minute coaching, coaching in the corridor or in the kitchen is thus one of the masterpieces of every manager–coach.
As a coaching manager, you need three things: some theoretical background to know how the human mind and motivation work, the skills that make it easier for you to lead a coaching dialogue, but above all, you need to be a personality. That is why we focus on the ability to develop ourselves when training managers – coaches.
Using coaching in working with people has a positive impact on the company culture. It dramatically increases the motivation and engagement of employees and increases their accountability. This effectively reduces the overhead costs of companies where it is commonly used.
But we have to be careful about what we mean by the term “coaching.” Coaching is often referred to as activities that are more like manipulation, coercion, or mentoring. These practices, except for mentoring, have a clear negative impact on motivation and engagement. Also, some methods referred to as management coaching are disputable, for example the well-known GROW method. Its application often tends to manipulate, under the best condition, to mentor the subordinate.