Manager As A Coach

Back to Blog

Coaching should not limited to the external coach, who is brought in for a few hours a month to work with the executives. Coaching skills like empathy, listening, questioning and feedback are essential for frontline managers all the way to the C-Suite. An empathetic leader understands, validates and knows their employees strengths and struggles.

A leader who is able to ask questions and truly listen can enhance trust. In fact, listening and questioning are two skills that can be deployed to reduce stress for others.  When an employee enters a conversation they commonly want to be heard, empathized with and engaged with curiosity.  Leaders are you filling the space with your own words or allowing your team to fill the space with their agenda?

How do you gain these critical coaching skills if you are not a coach?

Here are a few suggestions:

1.) Hire A Coach: Understand what makes the experience of having a coach so transformative and empowering. Your exposure to how coaching works will better enable you to mimic the skills of a coach.

2.) Monitor: After your next 1:1 with a direct report, (assuming you have them) write down the amount of time you filled the space with your words and the amount of time you listened. This will give you the answer to how well you are listening and providing space for your employees.

3.) Questioning: Remember the basics of great questions – open ended questions such as How, Where and When open the brain up and allow the person being asked to truly reflect and process. Closed ended questions are fine, but use those sparingly especially if you want to open up the dialogue.

4.) Remember: People are very equipped to solve their own problems. Be mindful of how much you are telling versus allowing the person to discover their own answers.

5.) Ask: What the person needs. or wants from the conversation. It is easy to assume, but it is better to verify the other person’s need and then seek to fulfill the stated need.

Good luck!