Leadership Development

Adopting the Coaching Technique to Manage a Team


Effective teams are the driving force for successful organizations; and effective teams are built by superior management skills. Employees reach their highest potential when given an opportunity as well as the right direction by their manager. One of the essential skills of good managers is their ability to effectively coach and mentors teams to work in collaboration and bring out their true potential.

Manager Vs Coach

Being a manager involves setting project goals, having authority over team members, directing them and measuring their performance against project achievements. Coaching involves guiding, facilitating better performance though mentoring and ensuring individual as well as the team’s professional achievement and career growth.

Managing involves a more directive, task-oriented style that should only be used under certain conditions. It usually produces the best results in a crisis situation, when someone has never done the task before, or when they have little or no confidence in their ability to get it done.

Coaching works best for developmental purposes, especially when you have a team of competent professionals already performing at a reasonably high level. Once you define winning for your organization, team members may need your guidance and support. But in most cases they shouldn’t need direction. – Forbes

Coaching the team

A survey of nearly 275 managers and human resources leaders by Bersin & Associates, says 70 percent of organizations have abandoned competitive assessments in favor of a “coaching and development model” of performance management. With an increase in millennials in today’s workforce, compensation is not the sole parameter to measure employee satisfaction. Millennials seek regular performance feedback, mentoring as well as an understanding of their career needs and goals as a means to achieve job satisfaction.

A coach balances the art of offering excellent instruction while comforting, motivating and inspiring all at the same time. Business leaders that take this approach will find themselves developing far more effective teams. That’s because coaches change people’s lives, even if it’s simply the difference in their attitude at the end of the day. Good coaches show team members their potential, help them find confidence in their work, point out the value of what they do and inspire them to be the best version of themselves. – Entrepreneur.com

Managers should consider adopting coaching techniques instead of the managerial approach as an effective method to improve working relationships amongst their team members.

Here are a few tips for managers to adopt the coaching technique:

  • Have effective conversations and more importantly listen! Guide the conversation through open ended questions and do not give directions, since coaches always adopt an ‘Ask’ approach.
  • Work on your team member’s development plan and try to bring about an alignment with their career goals and the department/organization objectives. Cultivate a developmental alliance with them.  The coaching process is directed at their development which in turn will contribute towards the team’s development and performance.
  • Build strong relationships by offering help and being there for your team members when they need you.  Ask them how you can be of help to them in overcoming any roadblocks they may face.
  • Cultivate a sense of accountability. This helps give coaching conversations more structure and makes them measurable. A sense of accountability makes team members take your time more seriously. Creating timelines to identified tasks for improvement helps achieve tangible results.

The process of improving team performance takes time, and it may involve looking deeper than team processes. Adopting a coaching outlook is a comprehensive approach that acts as a catalyst for the teams’ development. This in turn contributes to the organizations overall talent development.

HR executives in large and small organizations benefit team effectiveness by promoting the coaching approach amongst all employees at the managerial level, providing them the required training and encouraging them to lead, coach and inspire their teams

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