What is the Difference Between a Manager and a Coach?
Is there a difference between being a good manager versus being a good coach? One of the classes that I teach at Businessmaker Academy and find really interesting is Coaching Skills in the Workplace. Why? Because I will be standing before a group of managers – leaders in their own rights! I am humbled by every experience.
Therefore, to start off the session, the first question that I usually ask them is – are you brave enough to ask your subordinate-employees how they would rate you as their Manager? Confidently, their answers would be yes! Next question, will you be brave enough to ask them to rate you as their Coach? Their answers? Ahmmmm, yes??? (slowly nodding their heads, smiling – but with traces of doubts on their faces). And one would ask, is there really a difference?
Which leads me to the first realization of most of my participants. Yes there is a difference. A long time ago, the main role of a manager was to give directions to his subordinates, tell them what to do and how to do it and evaluate their performance. However, that should not be the case anymore.
The Workforce Generation Is Rapidly Changing
Most notably the younger generations are now entering the workforce and we all have to cope with the reality that our environment is rapidly changing because of this. So, we have to move away from the traditional leadership practices of command and obey, and shift to a more “nurturing” approach of managing people. In the newer generations, specifically with the Millennial and now the Generation Z workforce, we need to support our people in ways that were not really the norm for Generation X and the Baby Boomer generation. This is where Coaching on top of Managing is needed to help your team discover their potentials, take courage to innovate and adapt the value of commitment.
5 Tips on How to Coach Your Employees to Succeed.
In this rapidly changing environment, we have to ask “How do you coach your team to succeed?” Well, it first starts with you. You might be a manager, but managers should be coaches too. You see, we have to accept the fact that you cannot be an effective manager, without being a good coach. To enumerate further, below are the 5 tips that have worked for me as I myself needed to transform how I function as a manager.
Tip # 1: Empower your people.
Let them know of the expected end-result but guide them and allow them to draw-out their Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound goals and spell out their plan of strategies and actions. Empowering them makes them accountable to the outcome of their work. Giving them a sense of ownership, commitment and pride for great results. Now I know that this is easier said than done. Believe me, this tip alone will not cut it so read the other tips as they all have to be done in unison
Tip # 2: Know your People
Empowering without guidelines can be dangerous. and so here is tip number 2 — Coaching is not about you. It is about your people, individually. Remember, in as much as there is no one best style of leadership, you cannot coach everybody in the group in the same way – as we say, different strokes for different folks! Every individual is unique. As a coach, you need to get to know your people and assess their strengths and weaknesses. It is one of the best ways to help your people to come up with plans and work towards the achievement of the team’s, as well as their personal goals.
Tip # 3: Build your people’s confidence
Now, regardless of the personality, one thing that will remain true is that Praise and recognition are one of the least expensive ways of motivating people. As you recognize your people’s strengths, acknowledging their contributions can inspire them more and eventually boost up their confidence. Let them know that you notice their hard work and efforts. You will see that as you motivate them, they will start believing more in themselves and commit to higher levels of success. When you start seeing it in their attitudes it will show in their results.
Tip # 4: Give your people tough love
While it may seem natural to some, scary to others, a very important part of coaching is to give them guidance. Stern guidance. Contrary to popular belief, your people want to know how they’re doing in terms of work performance. As a coach, your task is to give them regular, consistent and honest feedback. Positive and negative ones. It may be tough to talk to them if something isn’t right, but that’s part of being a good coach. You have to let them understand that it is a constructive feedback and that you are not an enemy. You are on their side. Empathize with your people but remain objective. Help them come up with actionable plans to change what they can. And when they were able to remedy the situation, celebrate with them!
Tip # 5: Care for your people
And so we come to the last tip. The first 4 tips cannot be properly done if you don’t have this — Genuine care for the people you are managing and coaching. This means you need to sincerely encourage and help your people succeed for themselves, and not so that you get recognized and get promoted yourself. If it is genuine, you don’t have to force them to feel that they can come to you, talk to you comfortably and ask for advice when they need it. Instead, it will come organically and naturally. Remember, when your people feel that you genuinely care for them, that’s when the magic of coaching begins!
Coaching on top of Managing is necessary.
There you have it, the 5 tips to coach your team to succeed. Coaching is an inevitable task of good leaders. Coaching is no longer optional. These 5 tips are what I have experienced and do as a manager in coaching my people to succeed. The challenge to managers now is to get into the coaching leadership style to promote and develop professional relationships, and enhance their employees’ skills and abilities by getting to know their people personally, while maintaining confidentiality and trust as a foundation of good coaching. However, with practice and patience, like me, I trust you will learn that too in no time.
Good luck and see you at Businessmaker Academy soon!