If you have been up to date, you’ll understand that management has gradually evolved into coaching. And as a manager, if you haven't developed your coaching skills, you need to start doing so immediately (with a sense of urgency!).
There was a time when bossing people and coercing your employees or subordinates, and throwing directives at them was fine. But definitely not in 2022! It just doesn't work anymore.
So, as a manager, you need to start working on your coaching skills. You'll need this as a tool to develop your employees to perform.
When we say you need to coach your employees or subordinates, what do we mean?
Firstly, learn to praise their achievements and growth. No matter what stage of growth your employees are at, they are certainly not who they were a few months or years ago. So, acknowledge whatever contributions they have brought to their positions in the organisation. This will go a long way in making them feel appreciated and valued before you begin to develop their skills further to start making more demands from them.
Secondly, you need to identify whatever performance issues they are having and offer your support as their line manager. The last thing any subordinate or employee wants is an overly critical boss who never provides support or empathy. By now, I’m assuming that you set annual or periodic goals for the employees and they already know what they are expected to achieve.
When you have found out where they’re struggling, do not put them down or berate them. Rather have an honest and open conversation about a way forward -on how they can improve. Refrain from expressing your frustration as their manager. Rather, choose to coach them to achieve the desired performance.
Furthermore, provide resources in the forms of books, pieces of training, courses, etc, that will be useful to develop them.
Follow up on these to see how they are applying the knowledge acquired and how they're translating the knowledge to skills. They can review relevant books to get actionable points to apply to their jobs. Or when they attend courses or training sessions, they need to state how they will apply the knowledge learnt.
Additionally, learn to ask the employees their perspectives always on issues bordering around their jobs. As much as possible, avoid proferring solutions to challenges they face as they go about their duties. This helps to stretch and develop their problem-solving and critical thinking skills, which further strengthens their ownership mentality in their job roles. This way, they’ll also learn to think dynamically instead of waiting for you to provide solutions.
That is not all; identify the barriers to their improvement as they make efforts at developing themselves. Then provide mentoring and one-on-one coaching sessions where you can share your experiences to them about when you were rising to the top, the challenges you encountered and how you dealt with or overcame them. Inspire them with your success and failure stories. Inspire them instead of judging them!
Remember to set goals with them every year, which should be broken down into smaller periodic goals. Have an action plan with them for achieving those goals, check in on them regularly and have them check in on you, too, to provide feedback. There should be regular communication between you and your line managers.
The summary of this all? It is that as a manager, you see potential in your employees or subordinates and you show care to them as individuals who need to be supported to develop. Then empower them to move to the next level in their achievements.
It’ has been found that coaching employees (as against bossing, controlling or coercing them) to work leads to better staff retention. The process of coaching fosters a better relationship between the employee and his line manager or employer, now turned coach. It inspires them to perform better, and to aspire higher.
So, as a manager, will you remember from now to guide, support and encourage them instead of coercing and forcing them to get things done?
I hope this helps. Please share your thoughts in the comments.
NB: The next cohort of my online coaching academy, The Connected School Administrators Academy (COSAA) commences on the 1st of August 2022.
COSAA is a twelve-week online academy for school administrators, managers and school owners where I share in-depth on relevant topics in school administration and management. Live sessions take place once a week for one-and-a-half hours at a time agreed upon by the participants.
The live sessions are recorded and can be watched later. There's also a support WhatsApp group where conversations take place and resources are shared and announcments made. And there are some dedicated website blog posts which are passworded especially for the members of the academy.
I Interested in joining or sponsoring someone? Reach out to Nancy Ekpezu via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a WhatsApp message to +234-8035880367.
I look forward to hosting you in this impactful academy!
Here's the link to the registration form: