Manager = Coach

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Manager = Coach

One of the most common HR questions I come across is “how to get and ultimately keep good employees”! I can promise you that the answer is generally not “more money!”

If you manage a team of people, you are ultimately responsible for their performance. If they don’t perform, you all suffer. It is the manager/coach’s obligation to work with the weakest members of that team to build and strengthen them.

A good coach will encourage others to perform from their passion and it will win every time over a draconian style of leadership.

The single most appreciated and valued aspect most people get from work is a sence of achievement! (not money) People want to perform to their potential and feel as if they are making a difference. Therefore, as a leader, if you can facilitate an environment where your team members are adding value and performing well, this goal is a win/win scenario for all involved.

Traditionally, managers took the position of “I’m the boss therefore do as I say!”. This doesn’t inspire anyone to perform. In-fact, it is more often than not counterproductive.

Getting the best performance from your team comes from effective communication and coaching. Understanding where they are at with their abilities and either providing the tools to get to the next level or encouraging them out of their comfort zone will inspire the highest level of performance in the workplace.

This feeling of accomplishment builds loyalty and pride! And these are strong emotions.

Here are 6 tips to help increase your ability to ‘coach’ your team and get the most performance out of your team!!

Listen openly. (Seek first to understand)
People’s greatest desire in communication is not that they have their point taken on as the best opinion, it is simply that they are understood. I’m sure all of us have experienced a situation where we have had a deep discussion where we have had our point validated and have been made to feel as if we had something important to say. This should be the goal of every conversation. Once we feel validated and understood, most of us don’t care whether our point is taken on as the way forward or not. The role of the manager is not to have the best ideas! It is to be in a position where they can thoroughly understand all the options before them and chose the best option based on their understanding. So the better the understanding, the better your decision will be! You can not learn new things when you are talking… you can only learn new things when you are listening.

Provide positive guidance from a position of “higher ground” and give regular feedback
We all know how easy it is to get caught up in what we are doing so we can’t see the forest for the trees… A managers role is not to get caught up in the trees. Coaches don’t coach from the middle of the game. They provide the strategic direction, the ‘game plan’ or goal for everyone to fall back on regardless of whether times are good or tough. To do this, a coach must ensure they see the whole picture. This is the same for a manager. Which activities will provide the greatest return on effort or investment? Developing individuals to perform on their own to the company standard is the highest form of leverage. Don’t get stuck in the day to day grind and find yourself too busy to look at the overall picture.

Ask, don’t demand.
I’m sure you’ve all heard someone say “you’ll do it ’cause I’m the boss/parent/person in charge!”. How much respect did you hold for that person at that time? You probably did what you were told to do, but how well and willing were you to do it? Most people relish the opportunity to help others… Not many like being told what to do.

Identify the target, let them identify how they will hit it.
Steve Jobs said: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do, we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”! Good leaders ask great questions that inspire others to think and come up with their own solution. This is how a great coach and manager should operate. It instils ownership which means people will finish the job properly. Telling people how to suck eggs doesn’t inspire them at all.

Align individual and organisational objectives
In developing a strategic plan, first one has to identify the company objectives and KPIs, then the tasks within these can be assigned responsibility. If these tasks are assigned to the individual with the strengths in this field as opposed to the person because they sit in that seat, you are going to get a higher level of performance. People love to do things that they are good at, as they perform better and therefore look better. Take advantage of this fact. It is a win/win situation. If you have someone developing in that area and learning the task as they go, have an expert shadow them.

Leverage Accountability
A great leader follows through with what they say. This includes following up on what other people say, if nothing else, this shows that you were paying attention to what they said and that you are relying on them. Diligence and an ability to deliver on time build respect, and as a leader, respect goes a very long way. Holding people accountable isn’t a process of chasing people and punishing them if they don’t deliver. Holding people accountable is an opportunity for people to show they can deliver when required and also pushes them to perform. The higher people perform, the more reward they feel from what they have done.

Coaching your team builds trust, loyalty and a sense of belonging. These qualities means that your team is going to be with you for the long term.

The final benefit of coaching individuals and teams that I’ll mention is the personal reward that you get when you see the pride on someone’s face when they have achieved a great thing – because they had an awesome coach! This is why I love what I do!

If you want to know more about developing systems to build your team or need help systematising your business to get better performance, please click on the link below or contact me on the details below.

I look forward to helping you achieve your goals!

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About Bruce

I’m ‘The Systems Guy’!  I add value to businesses like yours through the development and implementation of systems and measuring performance.

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