A recent study carried out by Google in their ‘Project Oxygen’ (2016), demonstrated that more regular coaching conversations between line manager and employee produce the most effective results. They identified that the single most important differentiator between the good and the great manager was their ability to be a good coach. Yet why do we still experience technically gifted people being promoted into their first management position without being supported to develop their coaching skills?
Great managers recognise that coaching their teams can be a win-win situation, a truly virtuous circle.
- The employee builds their capability.
- The manager becomes more effective because the team are capable to take on more responsibility.
- The manager further develops and achieves their own business and personal goals.
- The team learn and grow.
So why aren’t more line managers grasping this positive nettle?
According to Weintraub and Hunt in their Harvard Business Review “4 Reasons Managers Should Spend More Time On Coaching.” (May 2015) line managers who spend more time coaching, tend to demonstrate four traits:-
- They recognise coaching as an essential tool to achieving business goals.
- They enjoy helping people to develop.
- They are naturally curious.
- They are interested in establishing connections.
Unfortunately, all too many line managers are not given the skills to become great coaches, nor do they have that natural desire to want to develop people. Is it any wonder that according to Lipman (2015), the number one reason employees leave an organisation is because of their line manager. That’s the harsh reality.
What a difference it would make to the economic health of an organisation if more line managers were able to brilliantly coach their employees to unlock more of their true potential. Growing the talent that already exists in an organisation is beneficial to employee engagement and productivity while at the same time providing the employee with a sense of value and belonging to the organisation.
Ask yourself these questions…
- How many line managers have you known to regularly focus on tasks to achieve company goals, then start to panic about having more meaningful conversations when the annual performance review cycle kicks in…?
- How often is feedback provided to support your team to be the best they can be?
- What do you need to do to encourage more regular coaching conversations?
Being able to have a regular coaching conversation is a key skill for any line manager, and it is proven to deliver the most effective results. Furthermore, having the ability to ask the right questions to understand what drives and motivates the team needs to be put on the ‘task’ list of any line manager. After all, a team is made up of people who have their own thoughts, feelings and beliefs, and they certainly have their own reasons for being at work every day.
Can your line managers look themselves in the mirror and honestly say that they know what they are?
If you would like to explore coaching in your organisation in more detail, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org