Coaching Managers From Good to Great

Dec 10 2020 | Insights

In an increasingly fast-paced and competitive global market, how do businesses help their managers to perform better, develop their skills, and enjoy their professional and personal lives more? A focus on development is no longer a perk, it’s a necessity. It’s often said that employees don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers – and in today’s corporate climate, retention of good employees is crucial. 

The solution? Coaching for managers. Below, you’ll discover the benefits of executive coaching, how coaching can help develop effective leadership behaviors and skills among your managers, and why a coaching app is the perfect solution for hard working teams. 

Let’s start at the beginning…What is leadership coaching?  

Leadership or management coaching is tailored specifically to managers and executives. It connects professionals with a highly skilled coach who is able to develop and support them through one-on-one sessions. Nothing beats an hour of speaking face-to-face with an experienced, impartial coach who not only understands the issues that you and your organization are facing but is able to offer constructive feedback and support. 

The best coaches help your managers improve any aspects of their leadership style that they want support on – such as better communication skills, time management methods or help with effective delegation of tasks. 

Not only is leadership coaching a great way to support your people and show how much you value them, it’s also a sound investment in the future success of your team. That certainly seems like a win-win-win situation.  

Are good leaders born or made?  

Good news! ‘Leadership’ isn’t an inherent quality - you’re not born with leadership skills. There are several key leadership behaviors that individuals can learn, practice and develop in order to become better managers. When practicing these behaviors, it’s important to have a ‘growth mindset’ – the belief that it’s possible to develop and change – rather than beating yourself up for not being ‘perfect’ and embodying all the characteristics at once. 

Compassionate leadership 

Developing empathy and compassion for your team is one of the most powerful – and increasingly important - tools that you have. It often goes hand-in-hand with emotional intelligence. Successful managers take the time to understand what is going on for their team, their stressors and struggles, and their desires and aspirations. As a result, they are much better equipped to take positive action to benefit both the individual and the team as a whole. 

Effective listening 

In today’s fast-paced, tech-heavy world, face-to-face contact is limited, and it can seem like emails take the place of meetings. In many cases, they can – but one area in which you really do need to sit down with your employees is during your catch-ups. Scheduling these face-to-face meetings regularly is important for building trust with your team members. 

Try to practice effective listening techniques such as maintaining a good level of eye contact, putting away distractions such as laptops or phones, paying attention to what your employee is saying and giving them the time and space to express themselves, without interrupting or passing judgement on their thoughts. 

Developing others 

Often, companies with high retention rates and effective teams are those wo consistently demonstrate how much they value their employees by directly investing in their learning and development. This doesn’t necessarily relate to pay grade – instead, successful leaders regularly point out the potential in others and give employees the opportunity for career development through training, new challenges and the setting of stretch goals. Offering your employees corporate coaching is a great way to provide the support and encouragement they need, in a confidential and impartial setting. 

Woman standing in office.

The bottom line… behaviors and qualities of a good manager 

The most effective managers are those who motivate, inspire and develop their teams – while supporting them through any challenges they might face. Try implementing these behaviors to improve your managerial technique. 

Check-in regularly 

The perfect time to practice effective listening skills is during a weekly or biweekly catch-up, when you can sit down with your employee and discuss how they’re finding their role, specific projects, or any other issues they might have. When you do this, try to ‘hold the space’ by giving them the time that they need to express their thoughts and feelings in a non-judgemental setting, before working together towards a resolution or next steps. 

One-on-one check-ins can give your team the privacy and space they need to be open and candid with you. Whole team check-ins can also be useful to foster a strong sense of community and allow individuals to see the big picture. Allow everyone a chance to update the rest of the team on their projects and invite ideas or assistance from others. 

Give (and receive) constructive feedback 

Many people are uncomfortable giving and receiving feedback – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Focus on giving constructive feedback that’s specific, timely and purposeful. A good approach is to give at least as much positive feedback as negative – for example, start the interaction by pointing out an area of strong performance and celebrating it, before moving onto an area which your employee might like to focus their attention on next time. 

Finally, great managers invite their direct reports to give their own feedback on their management styles. For example, asking your employee if they feel that they’re getting the level of support that they require can be a very useful way to avoid future issues. 

Empower your team 

There’s a difference between managing effectively, and micromanaging – and that largely comes down to empowerment. Showing that you trust an individual’s decisions, respect their opinion and believe in their ability to do a great job goes a long way towards fostering a culture of empowerment and responsibility in your team which, in turn, will help you to develop your project management skills. 

Leadership styles 

There are many different behaviours of a good manager, and the most effective leaders use a variety of leadership styles. These include: 

  • Visionary. These leaders are inspiring, confident and aren’t afraid to make changes in an organization. They have an innate ability to foster trust and motivation, helping others to see a shared vision of the future and how they can contribute towards it. 

  • Autocratic. These leaders focus largely on results and efficiency within an organization and use their authority to give detailed instructions and clear expectations. This leadership style is most useful in industries with strict levels of compliance rather than more creative settings. 

  • Laissez-faire. Also known as ‘hands-off’ managing, this style focuses on delegating tasks and allowing team members plenty of freedom in how they complete them. This approach works best with experienced, trusted teams who don’t require supervision. 

  • Democratic. Also known as participative leading, this style welcomes input and feedback from their teams during decision making. As a result, employees feel heard, respected and valued – which can boost engagement and satisfaction in the workplace. 

  • Coach. Unsurprisingly, this is one of the most effective forms of leadership. These leaders are able to help their team members to grow and develop through goal setting, constructive feedback and challenging projects. 

 Coaching can help managers better understand the different leadership styles and which would be best suited to them, their organization, their team members and the situation. 

Improving leadership in the workplace – how can you do it? 

Coaching is one of the best ways to enhance leadership in an organisation. A skilled coach will help managers gain a greater understanding and awareness of their own leadership style, as well as alternative approaches that might work well in different situations. 

Every organization, team and manager is unique – so there’s no one solution to every problem. Regular leadership coaching sessions provide the valuable structure and support that every leader needs to achieve his or her potential. 

How a coaching app can super-charge your management

A coaching app, such as EZRA, offers a convenient, cost-effective and time-saving alternative to traditional coaching methods. Coaching is a way to show your employees how much you value their hard work by supporting them as much as possible. 

At EZRA our users often find that coaching helps improve their personal lives as much as their professional performance, by reducing stress and allowing a safe and confidential space to talk through issues. It’s a great investment in your team, allowing you to foster a culture of talking, learning and growing. 

EZRA. Coaching for the modern workplace 

EZRA puts your employees in touch with our network of over 2000 world-class coaches via private video calling. 

You set your own goals. Users can choose the areas that they want to work on, and we match them with a coach who has knowledge and expertise in developing those precise skills and qualities. 

Access the app anytime, anywhere. The best thing about EZRA is that you have a coach in your pocket. Whether your employees choose to check in from their home office or a quiet meeting room, they can schedule their call at a time and place that fits effortlessly into their schedule. 

Keep an eye on the data. HR professionals can access monthly reports and track how their teams are doing, plus clearly see the impact that EZRA is having on their employees and the business. 

Boost staff efficiency and productivity with business coaching.  

Coaching is used to improve on-the-job performance in many ways. Studies have shown that coaching supports a host of learning and performance outcomes, including development in attitudes and motivation (such as wellbeing and satisfaction), knowledge and strategies (such as problem-solving) and learning new skills. Ultimately, by investing in staff on an individual level, organizations can contribute to their own goals and overall success. 

Upskill your management for the future with EZRA’s world-class employee coaching.  We've redesigned leadership coaching for the modern age to help transform people through affordable, scalable and high-impact solutions, with equitable access through our world-class coaching app. Find out how digital coaching could make a big difference to your organization today. 

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