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Becoming a Better Manager: Coaching Strategies

12 February, 2015

As managers, we all want to get the most out of our staff. But how do we do this effectively? What evidence-based techniques help us develop our staff and nurture the potential in our employees? How can we assist our workforce to thrive and the organisation to prosper as a result?

The answer is coaching! There is a growing body of research demonstrating the return on investment that coaching provides for organisations. Can you imagine the benefits if all managers were trained to coach their staff using evidence-based strategies?

The Reality

In general, most employees (including managers) don’t have an accurate representation of how they are perceived by others, whether it be colleagues, managers, subordinates or clients. They are also surprisingly unaware of their strengths, weaknesses and motivations. They often operate on automatic pilot, habitually performing the same actions day in and day out, irrespective of the quality of their performance.

The Possibility

Managers who coach can help staff:

Develop self-awareness: Coaching provides an opportunity to help employees develop self-awareness around how they are perceived. With an accurate representation of how they and their actions are perceived, staff can learn how to moderate their behaviour. The coaching relationship creates a safe and nurturing environment where one’s habitual behaviours can be brought under conscious processing so they can be adjusted to achieve a desired outcome.

Understand motivational factors: The reality is that an employee’s attitude is generally dependant on their success or failure at work. When the values of the organisation and the employee are aligned, the more likely for the employee to be intrinsically motivated, engaged and productive. The coaching relationship provides a vehicle for managers to open up an honest dialogue around their employees’ beliefs, attitudes and values and how these align with the organisation.

Identify strengths: When we utilise our strengths and talents, we find the task easy, enjoyable and almost always succeed. We are engaged, experience more positive emotions, often enter a state of flow, and are generally more resilient and energised. Managers can assist staff with identifying their strengths and helping them leverage these in the workplace.

Set effective and motivating goals:  The manager can assist employees set effective goals which are mutually beneficial to all parties and intrinsically motivating. Managers can ensure that goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable / Attractive
  • Realistic
  • Time limited

Provide appropriate feedback: The reality is that effective feedback can fundamentally change the way a person sees themselves. Coaching allows for managers to provide effective feedback to achieve long lasting transformational change, increased performance and engagement.

Eleasa Mullavey
Psychologist, Psychological Health Interventions

Want to know more about how to help your managers become effective coaches? Contact Psychological Health Interventions about our suite of Corporate Services.


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