APCA Editor's Note:
Traditionally, there has been a view that coaching is something that coaches do. However, in recent years more and more evidence is pointing to the fact that coaching is something that great managers do; That it's extremely difficult to be a great manager without being a good coach. This is why, at APCA, we are finding more and more interest from professionals who are not just looking to coach full time, but who are professionals in managerial or human resource positions and who are finding that having a strong coaching ability allows them to perform better at their job while helping their direct reports or staff do likewise.
You Can’t Be a Great Manager If You’re Not a Good Coach
by Monique Valcour | 1:00 PM July 17, 2014
If you have room in your head for only one nugget of leadership wisdom, make it this one: the most powerfully motivating condition people experience at work is making progress at something that is personally meaningful. If your job involves leading others, the implications are clear: the most important thing you can do each day is to help your team members experience progress at meaningful work.
To do so, you must understand what drives each person, help build connections between each person’s work and the organization’s mission and strategic objectives, provide timely feedback, and help each person learn and grow on an ongoing basis. Regular communication around development — having coaching conversations — is essential. In fact, according to recent research, the single most important managerial competency that separates highly effective managers from average ones is coaching.
Strangely, at most companies, coaching isn’t part of what managers are formally expected to do. Even though research makes it clear that employees and job candidates alike value learning and career development above most other aspects of a job, many managers don’t see it as an important part of their role. Managers think they don’t have the time to have these conversations, and many lack the skill. Yet 70% of employee learning and development happens on the job, not through formal training programs. So if line managers aren’t supportive and actively involved, employee growth is stunted. So is engagement and retention.
Can you teach old-school, results-focused line managers to coach their employees? Absolutely.
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