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8 Reasons Your Managers Should Also Be Coaches

Those who know me well know that learning how to coach changed my life. It helped me learn how to see things from multiple angles, gave me patience, and helped me learn how to truly ask rather than tell.  It definitely changed my leadership style for the better. Because of the positive changes that I made, I am a true advocate for teaching all managers how to coach. There are too many benefits to count. When we asked the experts they gave some pretty impressive answers. From optimizing team performance to growing a self-reliant team, here are eight answers to the question, “What are the best benefits of teaching managers how to have coaching conversations with their teams?”

  • Motivates and Optimizes Team Performance
  • Invests in Your Team’s Ongoing Improvement
  • Increases Their Own Teaching Skills as Leaders
  • Creates a Culture of Trust and Collaboration
  • Empowers Your Team to Succeed
  • Grows Your Employee Retention
  • Helps Spot Issues Early On
  • Encourages Self-Confidence and Resourcefulness

Motivates and Optimizes Team Performance

One benefit of teaching managers how to have coaching conversations with their teams is that it can help to create a more productive and engaged team environment.

Coaching conversations help managers better understand their team’s individual strengths and weaknesses, and how to best motivate and support them. Additionally, these conversations can help to build trust and respect between managers and their teams, which can lead to better communication and collaboration.

Ultimately, teaching managers how to have coaching conversations with their teams can help to create a more productive and successful work environment.

Tasia Duske, CEO, Museum Hack

Invests in Your Team’s Ongoing Improvement

Although managers handle their direct reports, there is a tremendous benefit to having managers serve as career coaches, rather than dictators. HR plays a critical role in teaching managers how to have coaching conversations.

Approaching the supervisory relationship with a coaching mindset is a greater way to connect employees to their work. Imagine the outcome when you sit with an employee and say, “You didn’t do that correctly. How can you do it in the future for a better result?” as opposed to writing them up or scolding them for messing up. It’s a more supportive way of driving your team to results.

Being admonished or yelled at by a manager can affect productivity and workplace engagement. If my boss yelled at me all the time, I’d be looking for a new job. But, if my boss explains what I did wrong, but works with me to develop a solution—there’s a greater likelihood they’ll keep me as an employee because they are invested in my ongoing improvement.

Eric Mochnacz, Sr. HR Consultant, Red Clover

Quote about managers as coaches

Increases Their Own Teaching Skills as Leaders

One of the major benefits that often isn’t spoken about is that it increases the manager’s own teaching skills as leaders during a coaching session. From prior experiences, it’s often nice to remind yourself just how much you know and can pass on to your team.

Coaching conversations give team leaders the perfect opportunity to do this consistently.

Tracey Beveridge, HR Director, Personnel Checks

Creates a Culture of Trust and Collaboration

Teaching managers about having a coaching conversation with teams helps create a culture of trust and collaboration in the workplace.

It can empower employees by fostering open dialogue and encouraging them to take ownership of their own growth and development.

Coaching conversations also allow managers to gain insights into their employees’ perspectives and how they view their work, which can lead to better decision-making.

Finally, having coaching conversations can help managers build strong relationships with their teams that are based on mutual respect and understanding, helping to cultivate a more positive and productive work environment.

Tiffany Homan, COO, Texas Divorce Laws

Empowers Your Team to Succeed

Coaching employees allows them to find their own solutions and decide for themselves. When employees make their own decisions and accomplish hard tasks, it is empowering.

A good leader leads, doesn’t do anything for someone, or tell someone how to act.  Asking “what” and “how” questions instead of “why?” can be a great way to keep an employee from feeling defensive. What and how questions build awareness for the employee.

The manager’s long game is to build up employees and help them be as self-sufficient as possible. This clears space for the manager to maintain their own workload. A coaching conversation can also create a connection between the manager and the employee. It gives the employee a sense of confidence that the manager trusts them, and that their ideas matter.

Coaching also puts the onus of follow through on the employee because the manager is first holding the employee capable and then accountable. People feel more driven by their own ideas and feel most powerful seeing their plans completed.

Janine Sunday, CORE Certified Master Coach & Communication Consultant, Lean Into Change

Grows Your Employee Retention

When employees are asked about the main stressors at the office, they often name poor managers. In fact, in a Korn Ferry survey, it was the most often listed workplace stressor. That is why teaching managers the right approach to coaching their teams is crucial; not only for the company’s success but also for the general happiness and health of your workers.

Coaching conversations require soft skills which are easily overlooked. Nevertheless, these skills can often make or break a manager. Coaching is critical for motivation and skill improvement, but if done unemphatically and in a way that does not empower the employees, it can never bring excellent results.

Moreover, bad coaching leads to bad team-leader relationships, which could easily lead to employees quitting—after all, they see few things to be as stressful at a workplace as a terrible boss. Thus, if you want to keep your employee retention rates on the longer side, teach your managers everything you can about coaching.

Piotrek Sosnowski, Chief People & Culture Officer, HiJunior

Helps Spot Issues Early On

Coaching conversations are based on trust and, in order for them to have an impact, the main prerequisite is creating psychological safety.

Psychological safety allows for open conversations without judgment or the fear of consequences and it goes both ways; employees and managers have to show a certain level of vulnerability, as well as honesty and mutual respect.

Once psychological safety is established, the conversation can take a coaching approach.

The major benefit of that is that the team will feel more comfortable to flag potential issues at an early stage and that allows for the manager to take a more proactive—rather than reactive—approach to deal with them before they escalate.

Coaching conversations also help train the team in resolving the issues themselves by taking ownership and thus learning to work more independently.

Christina Ioannidou, Wellbeing-at-Work Coach, People & Culture Director, Spark Back Coaching

Quote about managers as coaches

Encourages Self-Confidence and Resourcefulness

If you want to coach someone, the first thing to keep in mind is, “How can I help this person become prepared to succeed in this situation if it comes up again?”

You are not helping them do the work. You are helping them think about how to do the work. It takes longer and more thought on the front end, but on the back end, they become more independent, resourceful, valuable, and fulfilled.

If they tell you they can’t figure something out, ask, “What have you tried? What did you learn from that? What haven’t you considered?”

If they ask your opinion, ask for theirs.

They will stop waiting for you to think for them when they know you will encourage them to think for themselves.

Mary Lee Gannon, President, MaryLeeGannon.com

If you want more information about helping your managers develop core coaching skills, read about our partnership using the NumlyEngage platform.


Written by Tamica Sears

December 29, 2022

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