Management coaches lead your supervisory staff to be their best, so that they can ‘pay it forward’ to employees. Such a vital responsibility makes management coaching a priority for HR, organizations, and even workers who want quality guidance. It’s therefore important to understand not only what management coaches do, but how to find the right ones for your company’s needs.
What Is Management Coaching?
Management coaching is a coaching engagement with the purpose of building managerial skills for someone who is, or is going to be, in charge of employees or in a role where they will be directing people.
Management coaching and leadership coaching are not always the same. Anybody can be a leader, because, in addition to being in charge of others, “leaders are also those who take initiative, help others, and have the courage to speak up when something is wrong.” Leadership skill training aims to develop behavioral aspects such as self-awareness and strategic thinking, which are applicable to any role. In contrast, management coaching develops the skills that are specific to a supervisory position.
Management coaching doesn’t necessarily prepare someone to be in charge of a team. That’s because there are high level positions that do not require a traditional top-down “chain of command.” For example, in the high-tech industry, some managers only deal with technology. But even they need to understand the principles of communication, administration, and effective control.
The Importance of Coaching
Management is not a single skill. Instead, managers depend on a wide set of interrelated abilities to do their job effectively. Because it is so diversified, very few people are totally prepared for the role of a manager.
In fact, most managers barely receive any training at all. This is a problem for employees, who need proper direction. But it’s also a barrier for those placed in management positions. Without the right development, managers become frustrated, and many of them leave their positions. This is one of the reasons why there has been a recent 14 percentage point drop (from 83% to 69%) in the number of middle managers who intend to stay with their current employer.
Organizations that want to fight this trend often turn to coaches. Coaching is an excellent method for changing behaviors and building complex skills. Over the course of a long-term engagement, manager trainees and coaches work closely to discover strengths and weaknesses. The coach then guides the employee to realize their own path forward.
What Skills Does Management Coaching Cover?
There is certainly overlap between leadership and management skills. However, management tends to deal mostly with being in charge of what other people are doing. This involves a mix of soft skills, such as:
- Critical thinking
- Decision making
- Time management
In addition, there are functions where certain procedures are specific to that organization, such as:
The Management Coaching Process
Behind the scenes, getting a management coaching program underway takes a lot of effort, from obtaining approval to agreeing on an assessment method. From the point of view of the managerial candidate, the general process goes as follows:
Initial meeting. The coach gives an introduction about their methods and experience, while the candidate briefly presents their goals. HR often attends because they must coordinate the process. One of the most important aspects of the initial meeting is to find out if the coach and candidate have “chemistry”, because they will be working together for a while.
Goal setting. This takes the form of an in-depth discussion. The candidate talks about the areas where they want to improve and some of the possible reasons behind their challenges. A good coach will refrain from any type of judgment. The objective of this phase is to create a list of upskilling areas. It is critical to decide on how progress will be determined over the course of the engagement.
Coaching. The classic form of workplace coaching is a question-answer format. Let’s say that the candidate is building their communication skills. In this situation, the coach might ask:
- Why did you take this action, and were you happy with the results?
- How are those around you affecting your performance?
- What would have been an ideal outcome?
The style of the coach should be to pose questions as a way to lead the candidate towards coming up with their own answers. The coach needs to follow up by making sure that the employee acts according to the employee’s own conclusions, providing feedback, and trying again if necessary.
Review. At the end of the engagement, and probably at the half-way mark, both sides should review the process. This is a way of improving future programs and deciding if more L&D is required. During the review process, it’s important to determine if the goals that were set at the beginning of the engagement were met.
Source Coaches and Support Managers with GrowthSpace
There are thousands of coaches out there. How do you know which ones are best for your organization, and will be a good fit with your management candidates?
The GrowthSpace platform gives you access to a global network of coaches with specialties that cover management and other related professional areas. Each one is registered with the ICF. But more than that, every GrowthSpace coach is graded by employees and managers once their engagement concludes. So if you’re searching for vetted, top-ranked workplace coaches, start with GrowthSpace.