The top-rated quality of good managers is solid coaching, according to a recent poll conducted by Google. Through interviews of managers and surveys of employees, as well as regression analysis on job efficiency and employee satisfaction, Google determined that the best managers were great coaches, empowering team leaders and results-oriented visionaries.
In order to mold your employees into the top tier independent thinkers that you desire you must find someone with the basic skills necessary then train them through positive reinforcement, incentive awards, and providing them with the training they need to take their career to the next level.
Five Key Elements to Effective Managing
An effective manager needs to bridge a high-performance mentality with an atmosphere of camaraderie. The business magazine Forbes emphasizes the importance of quickly establishing trust with employees while conveying loyalty and transparency through personal example. The top managers, according to the magazine, ensure that each team member feels motivated and appreciated. This translates to managers understanding the moods, motivators and mindsets of each constituent member and the team as a whole.
In the spirit of garnering employee trust, enthusiasm and team participation, managers should focus on developing these five indispensable skills: establish rapport; take a diplomatic stance; achieve credibility; engage in conflict resolution; and, lastly, show strong communication skills. The first two skills – establishing rapport and taking a diplomatic approach – allude to a manager’s successful navigation of a potentially irksome situation, such as being a very young manager.
Even if there is an underlying problem like a large age disparity between manager and employee base, employing sound judgment and providing appropriate incentives (e.g., raises and formal awards) can help quell any suspicion that age might be undermining managerial ability. This brings up the third point – managers must achieve credibility early on to be accepted as charismatic and worthy team facilitators. Credibility means having relevant technical skills, showing follow-through, and having a proven record of business accomplishments and successful leadership.
The last components of effectively managerial leadership are actually intricately related – effectively engaging in conflict resolution and being a clear communicator. One skill seems to inform the other and, perhaps, clear communication can preclude workplace conflict from arising at all. Nonetheless, managers should be amenable to suggestions and advice while being quick and methodical in dealing with workplace imbroglios. That said, managers must also communicate to all echelons of organization and create inter-dependencies across teams and departments.
Why Coaching is a Vital Managerial Skill
A landmark study by Bersin & Associates demonstrated that companies with senior leaders who effectively coached showed business results nearly a quarter higher than companies that sidestepped coaching. In this vein, the key takeaways for being an effective coach are focusing on the employee instead of the task and realizing that effective coaching is not about fixing people but rather proffering solutions.
That is, effective coaching is concerned about development and stoking the learning process. Therefore, managerial coaching should take the form of asking questions in lieu of barking out orders. By going the question route, employees are given the time and space to discover a solution themselves, which proves far more satisfying. Managers acting as coaches will bolster the employees’ focus by establishing a clear accountability structure for outcomes and trouble shooting.
Two things can help managers become good coaches in the next week – learn to ask open-ended yet germane questions and meet the employees where they currently are. On the latter note, good coaches steer the conversation to mutually agreeable developmental outcomes. Also, employees should receive and incorporate feedback information and respond to clarifying questions. This is why clear communication is so crucial for managerial success and coaching.
Much of what makes a good manager makes a good coach. For instance, both are results-oriented and emphasize clear communication. A coach, as opposed to an aloof manager, must ask open-ended questions and operate as more of a proactive facilitator.