Can a Manager also be a Coach?

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manager as coach

Can a Manager also be a Coach? Yes! But this is easier said than done.

Let’s start by asking “should managers also be coaches”?

Employees want their managers to be coaches not Bosses, so YES!

Consider this quote by Kathy Austin, Business Coach and Management Consultant –

“Managers Light a fire under people, Coaches light a fire in people.”

There are key differences between a ‘Manager’ and a ‘Manager Coach’. These differences are what make the transition challenging.

Supervises the workEngages employees and teams
Instructs team members on what to doLeverages team members strengths to maximize potential
Correct or punishes when performance is not metHelps unlock goals that propel a team member forward
Is self oriented about successIs oriented toward the team members success
Is task orientedIs development oriented

With each of the above comes a challenge for the manager but also an opportunity from the transition. The idea is to augment being a manager while also being a coach. Let’s look at these 5 key areas and how manager coaches tackle them differently.

Supervises work vs engaging teams

Supervising work is good, it gives an idea of the “What”. However, this can cause distance if a bond is not created. A coach will look to engage the employees “why” and engage his/her passion. This in turn create outcomes above the starting “What”.

Instructs vs leverages strengths

Managers are trying to accomplish and often do a lot of “telling”. The coach will understand a team member and uncover his/her strengths and help the team member find ways to fully leverage their strengths.

Corrects or punishes when performance is not met

Managers are perceived to be punishers since they tend to look for and catch mistakes and highlight consequences for non-performance. A coach is interested to helping the individual to self-discover and self-direct hance any consequences are self-imposed.

Oriented about success of own goals to Oriented on team success

Goal orientation is a good thin, however, an extremely strong focus on own goals can alienate the team. Coaches focus on the team members goal and helping him/her think through on their own achievement.

Task Oriented

Managers tend to have a more immediate view and priorities and hence create a day to day view and therefore are asking for outcomes. Coaches are development oriented therefore are planning a few months ahead to build competencies that enable key tasks.

We try to establish these clear roles and behaviours and thus help managers transcend into becoming coaches through our Coaching solutions.



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