Role of the Manager as Coach

What do you think of your role as a coach when aiming to develop people who report to you?

Do think that you are a role model, teacher, mentor or disciplinarian?

The role of a coach is to develop people so that they can have the insight needed to continue to develop beyond your coaching.

The role of manager as a coach is to help people succeed beyond their current roles and position them for promotion.

1. The first role of the coach is to establish the coaching relationship, time and broad goals for coaching. The coachee (one who is coached) has to be willing to receive the coaching, with no fears of retribution or loss.

This is important. The coach’s role, therefore, is to establish an environment of safety and trust. This trust has to be treated as sacred. One breach and the trust will never be restored!

2. The leadership coach’s role is to evoke deep thought and understanding of the personal attributes needed to lead others. The coach’s questions lead to an understanding of how the coahcee’s behavior and communication style work to build or damage relationships.

Coaching goes beyond teaching or mentoring because the purpose of leadership coaching is to develop the skills for personal communication and behavioral change, which result in improving leadership potential.

It may involve discussions on time management, relationship building, communication styles, delegating, conflict resolution, decision-making and creating effective leadership strategies.

As a result, coaching demands a fundamental understanding of human behavior and successful strategies for improving certain behaviors. Building on that foundation of knowledge, the coach has to have the skills of asking provocative questions to elicit thought, introspection and challenge so that the coaching candidate can gain insight.

Insight is not gained by being told how to do something or how to think. It comes from searching for an answer. That means that the questions a coach asks have to allow for expansive thinking and searching on the topic being discussed.

In summary: the role of the coach is to create a trusting relationship and forum for exploration and growth without injecting his or her own agenda, personality and perspectives. The coach has to be less so the coachee can be more.

We’ll talk about how to coach in the next Manager’s Minutes.

Share this with every manager you know.

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