Performance Management Training: What do Managers need to be a good coach?

What do Managers need to be a good coach?

Many companies ask their managers to coach employees.
Many managers find it difficult.

(Our Performance Management Training Workshops help)

Coaching needs a set of skills that need to be developed.
The manager has a number of hats to wear and “Coach” is only one of them.
Often they are looked upon to provide guidance, give answers, settle conflict, build team spirit, issue directives, set objectives.
These require behaviours different to those of a coach.

What are the skills that are necessary in order to be a successful business coach?
We think that a manager acting as an internal coach should be able to draw upon these

  1. This one is how we start our Coach the Coaches training .

    You need to be there.

    That can just mean being “available” when needed.

    Then you need to be there “in the room” Physically AND Mentally”.

    Not looking at your “crackberry” or listening for the ping of email messages

    Completely focused on the person to be coached

    If that is too difficult then please pass up the opportunity to coach.

  2. You need to have an ability to build rapport quickly and build trust.

    You must agree expectations for individuals at the early stages of coaching.

    You must be able to treat each individual as unique

    You need to adjust your coaching style accordingly.

  3. You need an ability to “Agree” goals and targets

    You balance between goals that are too easy and goals which are too stretching.

    Take your lead from the person being coached.

    In our experience they’ll agree a more agressive goal that you’ll set


  4. The ability to put your manager hat on for a moment to suggest areas for coaching

    Then Coach you way through

    1. What people should keep doing (positive reinforcements)
    2. What they should stop doing or lessen (which can be more negative feedback)
    3. Work with them generating new ideas that they can start doing
  5. The ability to conduct effective coaching conversations

    You need to be comfortable asking the individual being coached for ideas and suggestions.

    You then listen actively and attentively.

    Encourage individuals to think back on their experiences and discuss lessons learned.

    Debate with them implications of the experience for future behavior or action.

    Remember the answer is with the person being coached not you.


  6. An Ability to follow a structured coaching conversation.

    Using the GROW model for example.

    Working through that each time with the coachee

    Maybe after the first two or three conversations tell them the structure.

    That way they can use it themselves before they see you

  7. The ability to conclude coaching conversations positively and follow up

    You need to either summarise the conversations or get the coachee to.

    Then follow up with individuals so that all sessions build on the last and are as action oriented as possible.

    Hold the agenda for the person but they are responsible for progress.

If when you look through this list and say to yourself that you are happier providing guidance, giving answers, settling conflict, building team spirit, issuing directives, setting not agreeing objectives then perhaps you should cancel yourself off of the Coaching for Managers workshops and just get back to managing.  Or maybe you just fancy a challenge??