Managers: Become a Good Coach

Over the past decade or two, there has been a major change in the way that managers do their jobs. While, in the past, managers were supposed to closely direct their employees’ efforts, today’s best managers are coaches – that is, they support and encourage the efforts of their employees. Managers who act as coaches and not just as bosses can help employees achieve outstanding results as their organizations perform better than ever.

But beyond supporting and encouraging the efforts of employees, coaching plays a critical part of the learning process for employees who are developing their skills, knowledge, and self-confidence. Employees will never learn to be self-sufficient when you’re always telling them what to do. In fact, they usually don’t learn at all, making them more reliant on you going forward, rather than less reliant. As the old saying goes: “Tell me … I forget. Show me … I remember. Involve me … I learn.”

It’s difficult for employees to learn efficiently when you assign new tasks with no instruction or support whatsoever. Most employees will eventually figure out what to do (assuming they don’t get bored first or tired of trying), but they’re going to waste a lot of time feeling their way around.

Fortunately, there is a place between the two extremes of being told what to do and being given no support whatsoever. This is the place where employees are coached to learn how to work effectively, how to set and achieve goals, and how to make their own decisions. By supporting and coaching their employees, managers don’t just create it comes to achieving their organization’s goals, and they help them do just that.

  • Coaches create environments that allow Individuals to be successful. A company’s culture has to support and reward employees’ giving their best efforts, otherwise, they won’t bother. Managers are in the perfect position to form environments that encourage employees to make their own decisions and to make honest mistakes without fear of punishment. Smart coaches know that this is the way that they will get the best performance from their employees, while keeping employee morale and spirits high.
  • Coaches give feedback. While it’s important for managers to keep track of how employees are performing, it’s just as important for managers to correspond this information to their employees on a timely, candid, and complete basis. With this information in hand, employees can understand in which areas they need to improve. They can then request manager support (in the form of training or other resources) in helping them improve their efforts.


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