As a trainer and coach, I am very fortunate enough to meet some fantastic people.  Brilliant people who are keen to learn skills and techniques to be a better manager.  We deliver numerous management development programmes and a key to the programme are essential management skills that focus on motivation and effective communication skills.  Sometimes this involves difficult and challenging behaviour, and of course, during the process of performance management, this also means motivating people to get staff to the next level to aid either employment or personal goals.

I believe this is where managers need skills that are not always natural in many people.  I honestly also think managers get promoted to management positions because they are good at their job and not because they are good managers.

This is why managers need effective development, and I believe that all managers need to be trained in coaching skills to be effective.  Managers are inevitably involved in the coaching of staff; this could be when staff have an issue or when we want to develop members of the team following on from an appraisal or following a delegation activity.  Of course, this is not something we can do without development in these skills ourselves, and individually we need skills in:

Understanding People– Having a greater understanding of the psychology of behaviour of individuals. A crucial management skill.

Questioning Skills– Understanding how to ask questions effectively to get to the deep root of an issue or problem.

Listening Skills– Having the ability to listen to individuals.

Action Planning Skills– Understanding techniques to be able to plan with staff by application of Goal, Reality, Options (or obstacles) and Will.  This will aid their development so they can reach their journey.

These are skills every manager needs to be able to be effective.  Moreover, the application of this expertise should be continuously developed. We are in the process of adding this as a module in our ILM accredited management development programmes.  Furthermore, we have added a standalone course which will develop managers in the correct application of these skills. I believe it should be mandatory for every manager.

Claire Moody is our head coach at Target Training, and you can read more about her here.  She delivers training on all coaching and numerous training the trainer courses.