The Coach Role of the Manager
To be successful or to achieve performance, people need to KNOW to (be prepared for certain tasks), to BE ABLE to (have cognitive, analytical, interpersonal, learning, innovation, skill, etc.) and to WANT to (be motivated and self-confident enough to approach tasks with enthusiasm in commitment). In order to reach a growing potential, people have various ways to develop.
Mentors are the ones who naturally convey to us what passion, vocation, volunteering, and sometimes even the apostolate mean. Once they enter in our lives, they imprint us forever, because they teach us collaboration, unconditional love, generosity, gratitude (and not fierce competition, envy or manipulation).
That is why the mentor generates less skills and rather attitudes. Mentoring is perhaps the most subtle and difficult to quantify form of education, but also the most profound, with long-term effects.
Through training, specific knowledges are transferred and skills are trained (to KNOW and to BE ABLE), but there are no guarantees that the trainee will want to put into practice or that he will have the opportunity or the context in which to apply exactly what was learned in the courses. Therefore, it is necessary to train as carefully as possible adapted to the real needs of the participants.
Training is not always enough (in the gym, at work, in the form of technical training or interpersonal skills and management, internal or external).
When a person is mature and genuinely motivated to develop professionally and personally, when he faces the current job and prepares for a new role, when he leads people, when he becomes eager to work on a deeper level of his individual and professional identity, then it is appropriate to resort to coaching.
Coaching is based on accompanying, mirroring and reflection, does not ensure a transfer of knowledge or skills, but uses the personal and professional baggage of the coaching client, giving him the challenge to seek and identify other perspectives or solutions, to clarify systems of beliefs and values, to create or change work and life paradigms.
The coach listens, asks, provides feedback, reflects, provokes constructively, accessing the client’s thinking and emotions in a confidential and secure context. The coach works for the future, with the goal of development. That is why the confusion between coaching and therapy is to be avoided, although sometimes the methods can be similar.
Therapy seeks to support the healing of the past, the understanding of acquired mental and behavioral patterns, and the removal of current blockages. Coaching works with these mental and behavioral patterns to facilitate the client’s awareness of their effect and to help them to form open and productive growth patterns.
Coaching for the development of managers is an essential development process, because it aims – among other objectives – to train versatility in terms of appeal to a spectrum of seemingly opposite behaviors (focus on efficiency, details, operational excellence vs. focus on the future, growth strategic and innovation).
High performance is no longer so much about the knowledge gained and cognitive skills – which tend to be similar – but about refining interpersonal skills, nuanced interaction with different people, influencing, vertically and horizontally, those around you to help him do what needs to be done.
Understanding dysfunctional interpersonal patterns (the dark side of the personality that generates behavioral slippage) is critical to the success of coaching (”coaching on the dark side”).
For a manager who offers coaching to his employees, it is important to establish very clearly the conditions of the relationship, the indicators of success, and the concrete objectives (how do we know that we have reached where we wanted to go).
In his role as a team coach, the manager can use his talent to listen respectfully, to rebuild, to reformulate, putting in a different light the statements, motives, situations, to create other experiences, to bring to attention other possibilities.
Thus, the team member can see things from a different perspective, gaining more control over a situation, transforming himself, or even reinventing himself.
In the case of a manager, the coaching process is not necessarily as structured as in the case of a professional coach. It is essential for the manager to understand that it is good to plan and especially to spend quality time with each member of the team.
The responsibility is not only of the manager, but also of each of the team members.
From technical coaching focused on processes and work directions, to mediation of conflicts and situations within teams, “training” has several valences. Where there is a coaching culture, performance coaching is supported by constant feedback, and the organization is the main beneficiary.
When you are a coach, you are not a manager – it is the first rule of this “game”. Because when we are managers, we evaluate our people for the good things they do and, obviously, for the bad things as well. In coaching there is no judgment, neither of situation, nor of value. It is a “game” of sincerity and vulnerability on both sides, in order to increase performance and improve the quality of life at work.
Lack of judgment, positioning on the same level as the beneficiary of the development process (coachee), patience and attention are some of the aspects that will work wonders in the manager’s coaching relationship with the people in his team.
Coaching could be one of the main tools for managers.
In our times, management means to understand very well the resources you have at your disposal and to identify the most efficient and effective way to get the most out of what you have.
Optimization, at the human level, as we move forward in time, no longer refers strictly to technology, but means to identify the potential that you can then develop through action.
It is important that someone who wants to offer coaching to someone else knows at least the basic principles of coaching and the art of asking questions correctly. If a manager wants to offer coaching to the people in his team, it would be ideal for him to go through an authorized training first.
Working with people, more precisely with their mind and soul, if it is not carried out according to an adequate methodology, with feedback and with maximum consideration for the person in front, is a great imposture.
Presence has a power that allows the manager to access something beyond the ordinary, and the coaching conversation moves to a fundamentally different place. This is where the biggest change is happening. Tensions are released and new ways become possible.
Presence coaching allows the manager to have the greatest impact on his clients and to become a real positive force dedicated to change.
- Article “Characteristics of leaders based on principles” – Author Liliana-Cristina Sandu
- “CAREER” Magazine
- Staff motivation: challenges and solutions – A practical guide for public service managers
- Anne Sugar, Author – ”How to give positive feedback when it doesn’t feel natural”
- Manual for the course Human Resources Inspector, Author Ane-Mary Ormenișan (Project: “Training of employees involved in management activities and human resources through integrated programs – INSTRUCT -SV”, ID: 118136, contract no. POCU / 227/3/8 / 118136)