Equipping Managers to Succeed in a Leader-as-Coach Role

Equipping Managers to Succeed in a Leader-as-Coach Role

By | July 5, 2018

Through almost a decade of experience, we’ve seen well-designed executive coaching programs produce incredible results, including increased engagement, improved relationships and collaboration, and increases in both the volume and quality of individual leaders’ outputs. And we aren’t alone. A global survey by PWC and the Association Resource Center showed a mean ROI for companies investing in coaching at 7X the initial investment, with more than 25% of companies reporting a ROI between 10X and 49X the initial investment.

Considering these benefits, it’s little wonder that talent and HR leaders are working to expand the application of coaching beyond the executive level. Rather than deploying 1-1 executive coaching across the board, many strategic organizations are using a portfolio approach that combines 1-1 executive coaching, team coaching, internal coaching, and leader-as-coach skills training to address different needs.

Of these coaching modalities, leader-as-coach is the most widely adopted. According to the Human Capital Institute (HCI) and International Coach Federation (ICF), the number of organizations leveraging the leader-as-coach model has increased dramatically over the years, and 73% of organizations plan to expand the scope of managers and leaders using coaching skills over the next five years.

In the leader-as-coach approach, internal managers use coaching skills to accelerate performance and development. In contrast to a formally structured coaching relationship characterized by scheduled coaching engagements spread over a finite timeline, the leader-as-coach model is characterized by frequent, in-the-moment coaching conversations. Managers engage their employees through coaching conversations that drive performance. The purpose of these conversations is to support others in growing their skills and achieving their professional goals.

Let’s look at an example. Mary is a finance manager at a global technology company. She manages a team of eight individuals but has recently observed mixed performance on her team. Specifically, one of her key direct reports, George, has been consistently missing deadlines and seems to have lost the motivation he was always known for.

Mary can certainly point out these observations, share this information with HR, and/or let George know that she is concerned. With the right skills though, Mary can also coach George in an effort to:

  • Share important feedback on how George is showing up
  • Identify possible solutions to his situation
  • Set goals and accountabilities to increase performance

To do this, Mary will need to leverage coaching skills. However, having never received training as a coach, she is struggling with an effective solution.

We created the Coaching Mindset Index™ (CMI) as an answer to this problem. The CMI is a psychometric assessment built on a concise framework that is:

  • Based on observable behaviors, rather than thoughts and feelings
  • Intuitive and easy to grasp
  • Memorable, for in-the-moment recall and applicability
  • Actionable, lighting a path forward with specific suggestions and guidance

Our research shows that effective coaching is built on three foundational skills: sharing feedback, finding solutions, and setting goals. The Coaching Mindset Index™ shows managers and leaders how they use each of these foundational skills along the dimensions of Push Coaching and Pull Coaching. Using this information, coaches can lean into their strengths and understand their coaching style to more successfully support their employees to maximize performance and development.

Give your managers the tools to succeed in their leader-as-coach roles.

Learn more about the Coaching Mindset Index™.

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