Managers MUST Spend More Time on Executive Coaching


Your employees need executive coaching. In any company, it is seldom that we meet managers who coach their subordinates. They just seem to boss around and ask people to do something for them, rather than identify or know, what their subordinates need in order for them to reach their fullest potential.

If you do have one in your organization, you are lucky to have that manager on board.

Yes, there are managers who coach and managers who don’t.

Don’t get me wrong. Leaders are not necessarily bad managers. They are there for a reason. However, most managers often forget that they need to develop talent. Most managers fear that when their subordinates become better than them, they would become replaceable.

Just what is it that makes a coaching manager different from those who don’t coach?

Coaching managers as we would like to call them, are managers who believe in the value of executive coaching. They believe that executive coaching should be one of the top skills needed by a manager.

No, they are not professional coaches. These executive coaches are leaders who manage a team. They are busy, hard-working people, like you and me.

Here are four reasons why your company managers must spend more time in executive coaching.

First, company managers believe that the development of talent is an essential activity for business success. Your manager might tell you that they don’t have enough time to executive coaching, period.

Executive coaching should now be in the list of professional development programs that companies must institutionalize.

Why is this so?
  • Highly talented people are scarce. It’s either they have a high paying job right now or you can’t afford them. But, if they know that your company is investing or crafting solid professional development training programs, they might be inclined to work for you.
  • The manager must be present to help develop the skills needed by the team in order to be competitive. It should not rely on the shoulders of the highly talented few in the organization.

Coaching managers have the passion for people development. This manager’s mindset is that they start working with a new subordinate on the assumption start from zero, but more than ready to do the job. This manager also assumes that the subordinates need to learn and grow to fulfill their role and adapt to changing circumstances.

Coaching managers see executive coaching as an essential part of their job. These managers readily believe that subordinates with the highest potential, and can often contribute the most to a business, will need their help to realize and achieve both their personal and professional goals.

Helping people grow is one of the key roles of a manager.

The manager must adapt his or her style to the needs and style of each particular individual. This is hard, I know. However, this is part of the manager’s job. This is not some special favor that you are giving the individual coachees.

Coaching managers are inquisitive. Coaching managers ask a lot of questions. They often ask you what is going on with their work. Asking the coachees about the achievements and the challenges of their job roles. They work to find out more about how things are going, what kinds of problems people are running into, where the gaps and opportunities are, and what needs to be done better. Some coaching managers are mistakenly called ‘gossipers’. They are not. They are more inclined to address the needs for continuous improvement.

If they ask you questions that start with WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and HOW, they are just being objective about it, rather than based their findings on assumptions. Coaching managers have this inquisitive strength of asking direct questions rather than asking leading questions.

Coaching managers are more focused on establishing connections. They have more empathy skills, putting themselves in the shoes of their coachees.

It is important that a trusting, and connected relationship happens before managers take action. Coaching managers often put their pedestals aside and work together with the team.

Second, a culture of trust and a solid relationship must be built with the coachees prior to do executive coaching. If the coaching manager doesn’t have a connection with his people, you will never succeed.

Third, coaching managers must be knowledgeable , if not they must be trained through an executive coaching program. Coaching isn’t about spoon-feeding. Executive coaching is more about having a conversation and asking good, open-ended questions to the coachees, allowing them to think about where they are now, and what they need to do to achieve their goals. 

Finally, the coaching manager focuses on their coachees. This is after all, about them. 

Written by Rod Gabriel

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