June 16, 2010 Leadership

The role of coach as a manager

Managers  often ask me how coaching skills can help them as a manager, after all isn’t it more about providing direction and correcting behavior.  Providing direction or correcting behavior is very different from coaching an employee.  Regardless of how experienced a manager is, he or she risks becoming trapped in the same old pattern of responding to issues and behaviors after the fact, especially when employees are experienced, long-term, and effective workers.

The job of a manager as a coach is to help others avoid becoming stuck or too comfortable in the routine aspects of their work and falling into unproductive behaviors.  The manager as a coach can help employees discover how to embrace growth and learning on the job.  To become a coach is to motivate and develop your employees.

But first you have to look at yourself.  Begin to ask yourself questions such as:

–          What are my strengths and weaknesses.  Ask your employees for anonymous feedback, but not if you’re not willing to address the weaknesses. More on this topic later.

–          How can you improve upon your strengths and challenge your weaknesses

–          In what ways have you yourself become too complacent

–          How do you stereotype your employees?  When you do, are you limiting their ability to be better.

Recognizing how you need to grow and develop as a manager opens the door to learning how to take on the role of coach in your organization.