Why coaching skills for managers are a gamechanger

24th July by Lee Robertson

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Why coaching skills are a gamechanger for managers

According to Harmonic’s 2018 Future of Global Work survey, the third most significant people challenge facing organisations right now is that managers lack coaching skills.

Old management styles are on the cusp of obsoletion as businesses realise they need leaders equipped with coaching skills to take them to the next level. But this deficit, combined with a failure to have effective career conversations, is impeding the human resources agenda for many organisations.

Old-school leadership is out

Employees leave managers, not companies. Autocratic leadership has had its day and is being replaced with investment in developing and empowering employees. It is no longer good enough for managers to just manage.

The workforce is also changing, and managers must have more in the arsenal than simply strategic planning, problem solving and delegation skills. To stay at the top of their game, they need to actively shift and add coaching to their list of people management abilities.

Great managers build great companies

Well-managed organisations don’t get ahead by accident or luck. They hire good managers who can not only effectively lead the business, but who are able to get the best from their people.

You don’t need to look very far to discover that a coaching approach reaps many rewards as we saw with our overview of some of the companies who had made the 2019 Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

Positive work cultures are built upon staff members being coached, not managed. Coaching works and pays huge dividends such as increased satisfaction and improved performance. There’s a healthier turnover to be enjoyed from a rise in productivity too.

What makes a great manager?

Famously, back in 2008, Google ran an internal review called Project Oxygen to establish what makes a great manager at Google. The tech giant was keen to determine what the most important qualities were that these managers possessed so they could be incorporated into its manager development programmes.

Being a good coach came out top.

Google has continued to review and finesse the project’s findings and ten years on, coaching skills are still leading its list of behaviours. What’s more is that the majority of other nine attributes such as empowering the team/not micromanaging, creating an inclusive environment, being results-orientated, having good communication skills, supporting career development, having a clear vision and being able to collaborate are all underpinned by using a coaching approach.

 What are good coaching skills?

In a nutshell, coaching skills are all about helping others learn, grow and maximise their potential. To achieve this, managers need to develop their skill set around listening, questioning, empathy, self-awareness, relationship building, giving constructive feedback and having faith and belief in the ability of their colleagues and direct reports.

Why managers need coaching skills

Coaching skills may be in demand, but they are also in short supply.

Good managers are central to how a company will ultimately perform. Those armed with a coaching skillset are more pivotal than ever when it comes to enabling organisations to develop a positive company culture, improve overall performance and win the hearts and minds of their workers.

Strong managers need to be in place to inspire and lead employees if success is to be realised. Effective management is crucial to the fundamental success of any organisation and when employees are empowered to perform at the peak of their game, the company automatically wins.