Bearing in mind
the fast pace of business today and the
need to stay
it's essential that managers should be effective. They need to be especially
effective with their people and this requires learning to
For most managers,
has been added to their role anyway, but the majority haven't received any
training in coaching skills. More than 80% of organisations use coaching to
develop their staff, but only a fifth train their managers in
according to a survey by the Work Foundation.
This lack of training can be costly and damaging. It's like putting a complete
beginner in a car, telling them to drive and just saying "Good luck". They may
have some idea of what to do, but they won't have sound training in the skills
Coaching is a specific set of core competencies and
skills, not just a
new label to add to what a manager has always done. Managers need training so
that they develop those specific skills, know when and how to use them, and have
confidence in themselves to coach people.
People Skills 360
With the right training, your company
will benefit dramatically from this coaching. Benefits such as:
You don't want your company to miss out on these
benefits, do you?
I invite you to start the process of ensuring that
your managers have been adequately trained in coaching skills. And not only
trained, but most important, they need the opportunity to learn, experience and
evaluate coaching. For help with improving
join a Solution Clinic.
First, they need to understand what coaching is and isn't, and how it's distinct
from mentoring, training, counselling or teaching. Without this understanding,
they'll be caught in the trap of not knowing whether they're coaching or not.
They'll need to know at least one coaching model to give them a process and a
structure to work with. This gives the coaching focus and clarity, and reaches a
conclusion with agreed actions. To start with, they'll need a thorough grounding
in basic coaching skills such as
requesting, trust and
challenging, acknowledging, collaborating and action planning.
As these are learned, practised and refined, they can be built on more.
Being trained in coaching skills is the first step and the real learning comes
from experiencing coaching for
yourself personally and
coaching others. Therefore, it's important that you
don't just get trained in the basic
skills and leave it there. There
needs to be a supportive structure and environment for you to continue with your
coaching. How often have you
something new, only to find when you're back in the workplace that you've only
retained a little of it? Or that you're facing obstacles you don't know how to
overcome? Managers need their own fully experienced coach to continue working
with them after their initial training. This is where they'll dramatically
improve their ability to coach and have
confidence in themselves as coaches.
Training your managers
in coaching skills doesn't have to be done all at once and overnight. You can
choose to start in a small way perhaps with only a couple of managers and as you
experience the results, build on this. As you start thinking about
your managers, I suggest you first find out what your managers really need to be
effective; what they already know about
coaching; what more they need to know
and which of them already has a keen interest in learning to coach. Asking these
questions of your managers will give you a clearer picture of what's needed.
This may involve some time and
commitment now, but it will ensure they get the
training they most need. Knowing your company as you do, what's the most
important action you can take today that will move your managers closer to being