Today there is a plethora of books, literature, and courses on the manager as coach. Even so, that does not mean every manager can move to the manager-as-coach model. In her article Buhler laid out several basic ideas -- the manager as coach:
- “Advises and assists employees” rather than being “controlling and issuing commands”
- “Provides guidance”
- “Focuses on the developmental needs of employees”
- “Helps employees tap into their full potential”
- “Empowers employees”, “sets employees up to manage themselves”
- “Uses participative decision making”
- “Shares information, “Hoarding information has no place in coaching.”
- Be “sincere and open”
- “Create a climate of trust and mutual respect”
- Allow employees to “take risks without fear”
1. My favorites from the list above are helping employees by (1) focusing on developmental needs and (2) tapping into potentials. Both are hard but both get at what I consider a key to leadership: helping those with whom you work develop and grow. In my opinion, grow your employees and you grow success.
2. Organizational culture is an important variable here. Without a strong culture that is supportive of employee development or the coaching aspects of leading, individual success as a manager-coach is more problematic. Probably the most important aspect of that culture is trust. Where trust is embedded in the culture, constructive feedback will find more fertile ground. Growth should be greater.
3. Buhler was not the first to suggest the manager-as-coach model. For example, she quoted Dennis Kinlaw, “coaching is eye-ball-to-eyeball management.” However she identified clearly that “astute managers” were incorporating coaching into their managerial behaviors. That remains true 20 years later.
Buhler, P. (1998). A new role for managers: the move from directing to coaching. Supervision, 59(8): 17-19.
Untitled image. Obtained from https://pxhere.com/en/photo/595817
Public domain. https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
© John Ballard, PhD, 2018. All rights reserved.
Author of Decoding the Workplace, BEST CAREER BOOK Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2016.
"Decoding the Workplace: 50 Keys to Understanding People in Organizations is as informed and informative a read as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. . . Decoding the Workplace should be considered critically important reading for anyone working in a corporate environment." —Midwest Book Review