The Top 5 Ways New Managers Can Be Better Coaches

The Top 5 Ways New Managers Can Be Better Coaches
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New Managers Can Be Better Coaches
To be successful, managers must develop the ability to effectively coach others. If new managers do not become skilled at coaching, they will struggle to create high performance individuals and teams.  Learning how new managers can be better coaches is a key behavior of the best managers.

What Effective Coaches Do
If you think new managers can be better coaches, then start by knowing that effective coaches:

Five Ways New Managers Can Be Better Coaches
The sooner new managers can be better coaches, the faster they will create higher performance. Here are five ways to fine tune your role as a coach to help your employees to continuously improve:

  1. Remember It’s Not About You
    You may be tempted, especially, as a new supervisor, to make sure your employees recognize how much you know by highlighting your own experience. But coaching others is not the time or the place.

    The focus of effective coaching needs to be on the employee and the opportunity you can give them for reflecting, self-knowledge, and discovery.  Effective new managers help their employees to find their own answers rather than providing the solution.

    Your goal is to help people understand why their efforts aren’t getting the results that they want.

  2. Avoid Judgments
    You may have observed an employee acting poorly. But instead of pointing out and judging the bad behavior, try to steer them toward understanding why they behaved in a certain way and how they might have handled the situation differently.

    Your role as a manager and coach is to build the self-awareness capabilities of your team whenever possible, not to criticize.

  3. Don’t Take Over the Conversation
    You may have great observations and lots of relevant stories to tell, but doesn’t this approach smack of a lecture rather than a teachable moment?

    Check in frequently to see that the employee understands and is taking things in. Ask questions and listen well.  Your role as a manager and coach is not to provide answers but to lead your team toward self-revelation and improved behavior.

  4. Use Similar Situations to Help Paint a Picture
    Often employees are unaware of how their behavior impacts those around them. If you can use a similar example of how someone else behaved, it may help them understand how they make others feel.

    If they are impatient and often interrupt people during meetings, for example, try to find a time when they were treated similarly.  How did they feel? Discounted? Ignored? Angry?

    Ask how they might share their comments in meetings in a more acceptable and positive way.  Your role as a manager and coach is to provide the context to increase awareness and perspective.  Try to stay focused on the problem you are trying to solve, and their key concerns.

  5. Tailor Your Approach
    Carefully consider the individual employee as you plan your coaching conversation. Too lengthy an explanation will quickly bore a “Type A” personality. Too brief a commentary will leave a detailed analytical person with lots of questions.

    Your role as a manager and coach is to adapt your communication style to the style of your team member in a way that helps them to succeed.

The Bottom Line
New managers who learn how to give effective feedback, provide development opportunities for their team members and are interested in them as individuals are well on the way to gaining the trust, loyalty and commitment required to create a high performing team.

To learn more about getting the most from your team as a new leader, download How Hard Should a Leader Push to Get Results

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