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Coaching Conversations

March 11, 2013

By far the greatest determinant of an individual’s performance is their relationship with their manager.  A good manager is accessible, sets clear tasks, gives feedback, provides challenge and assists without interfering.

coaching conversations

What does it take to make a successful coaching manager?

A great manager goes a step further and takes on the role not just of supervisor but also that of coach.  Athletes often thank their coaches after a win, not for making their life easy but for putting them through pain, setting apparently insurmountable goals and most importantly, for believing in them.  If more managers approached their role in this way teams would thrive, individuals would become fully engaged and organisations would flourish.

So what do coaching managers do?

  • They make time to meet with their team members, individually every week.
  • They exhibit the behaviours they expect to see in others
  • They ask the right questions
  • They listen

The emergence of executive and life coaching in recent years has led to a plethora of qualifications and courses. Whilst many of these may be helpful there are also some simple but effective coaching tools and models that can be used to turn a 30 minute one-to-one into a coaching conversation.  One of the most respected is the GROW model, developed by Sir John Whitmore.

The coach, using questions, simply takes the coachee through a process using the acronym of GROW:
Goal – What’s the ultimate target?
Reality – What’s the current state of play?
Options – What are your choices?
Will – What’s driving you to take action?

Before using the tool it’s well worth doing some further reading: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_89.htm and spending time preparing for the coaching conversation.  With practice, a manager can become a highly effective coach, in turn creating a skilled and dedicated team

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