By Jim Wong, CPA | September 2, 2015


Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life; It’s about what you inspire others to do.

Every so often, I like to reflect on how effective my managers and leaders are and what type of mentoring they’re providing to their teams. In general, some managers are content simply overseeing the day-to-day tasks of their department, while others go out of their way to nurture and develop their colleagues through coaching.

While it does not necessarily make someone a poor manager or leader if they refrain from the idea of being a “coach,” it does make for an interesting question as to what they are doing to develop their team’s talent then. Coaching can play a vital role in allowing team members the opportunity to develop their skills. Managers and leaders should see the benefit in spending more time doing so.

I recently came across an article from the Harvard Business Review that discusses the distinguishing factors of managers who coach their teams from those who don’t. Of the managers who believe that coaching is a natural aspect of their role, they all agree on the importance of making time for mentoring their teams.

I’ve listed four reasons mentioned in the article as to why it’s important for managers to make coaching a priority.

1. Coaching can help achieve business goals. 
Managers who regularly coach their teams believe that being involved in their employees’ development is essential to the success of the business. They make it a priority to be involved because it’ll help with retention, talent development and overall operations management. In order to have a successful organization, managers know that they need both extremely talented team members as well as solid team members. Ideally, all will benefit from the managers’ team-building skills.

2. Coaching managers enjoy helping other people develop. 
Coaching managers know that the people with the most potential will likely need help realizing their ambitions. Managers who coach understand that there is always room for improvement and that it’s their duty to allow their team members an opportunity to grow. This will help their colleagues achieve both personal and professional goals in the end.

3. Coaching managers know how to ask the right questions. 
Coaching managers are curious to know how their team members are performing, what kinds of problems are arising and what can be done better. When coaching managers ask questions that allow for a give-and-take dialogue, they begin to build a rapport that allows for free and open discussions. They’ll be able to recognize what is working and where they might be running into issues.

4. Coaching managers want to establish strong connections. 
When team members feel there is a strong line of communication with their managers or leaders, they feel more comfortable asking for help and guidance. Likewise, when managers or leaders listen to their team members, they’re able to pick up on what sort of coaching style works best for each individual. This then allows a coaching manager to adjust his or her style to suit an employee’s style. The ultimate goal of this sort of relationship building is not to establish hierarchy, but instead to work together to achieve success.

The essence of Managing and Coaching is about building a respectful and solid relationship, listening to team members, asking questions and providing guidance that will allow for meaningful reflection on how to improve and be successful.

What are some other reasons managers should spend more time coaching their teams? Comment below and let us know!


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