I felt I wanted to write a blog on why it is essential that managers need coaching skills to encourage their staff.  First of all, I continuously hear managers tell me how they coach their staff and then witness quite the opposite. The problem is people don’t fully understand what coaching skills are.  Furthermore, they don't understand the boundaries between coaching, training and mentoring. A manager needs to know all three skills and how to cross between the boundaries between the three of them, more importantly, know when they are crossing the boundaries and more importantly, being fully aware of what mode they are in.

What are the boundaries? To keep it simple a trainer teaches a skill, a mentor shares his or her own experiences and experiences, and a coach encourages. As a manager, you need all three skills and to know when to use them. Then move between them with great awareness to be fully aware of what mode they are in and how best to use which skill at which time.

Coaching skills are essential with managers; managers need to be aware of the coaching skills required to be not just satisfactory managers but great managers, be something that people aspire to. Through all of my working life managers usually, end up in the role because they are good at their job. They don’t understand what would make them fantastic managers and of course in the next few series of blogs understand some essential coaching skills.

Think about it; are you judgemental when you are in the coaching role with your staff? How do you prepare to allow your staff to open up? What triggers you as a manager, is the conversation based around your learning style, your preferences in how you communicate? It is essential to understand your people, but more importantly how your staff understands you and how you can come across as a manager to how you think you come across.

As a manager how well do you know your people and the factors that motivate the people you are coaching, the encouragement of your staff and if there are boundaries you don’t cross because you are uncomfortable? It is essential you are aware and allow yourself that time to reflect.

To be a great manager, it is essential you start with yourself. Self-awareness is the beginning. What is your coaching style is this for you or your staff? Who is the session for? It is key understanding yourself first before you understand how to encourage your staff.

Claire Moody is our head coach at Target Training, and you can read more about her here.  She delivers training on coaching for managers courses, and you can learn more about these courses here and see dates here