The coaching manager
The most sensitive role of managers is not to tell staff members what to do and how to do it, but to help them change their attitude and behavior.
Coaching is an important part of the job of any manager. Managers are expected not only to make decisions, organize and coordinate people, but they must also support the development of their subordinates. To do this, they must provide feedback on performance and make people aware of inappropriate attitudes – reticence to delegate, tense interpersonal relationships with coworkers, etc. – in order to help them behave differently.
Now, getting people to change the way they work and act is no easy task. Simply dictating behavioral change is rarely effective. A shy employee ordered to participate more actively in meetings, for example, will continue to be intimidated by the context and won’t be any better equipped to speak before an audience. To improve in this domain, the concerned individual must first be aware that he or she behaves inappropriately, decide to change, understand the new behavior that he or she must adopt, and then work to make the required changes. This is often a lengthy and painful process, during which the employee must be able to count on managerial support.
The publications that we have selected provide valuable tips for managers on how to coach their employees and manage change. Four key messages in particular are emphasized:
– Make the concerned employee aware of the issue in order to stimulate an inner desire to change.
– Help the employee understand the root causes of his or her behavior, in order to identify effective ways to change it.
– Build a coaching plan that will gradually get the employee to develop new behaviors.
– Maintain the employee’s motivation to change throughout the process.
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