Can line managers ever be effective coaches?

Line managers have the power and responsibility to structure people's real experience of doing work and offering learning opportunities, providing guidance and guidance along the journey and stimulating the learning of team members. Increasingly, line managers in organizations are being asked to train their direct reports. While this is good, many organizations are missing the opportunity to create an enabling environment that allows a strong coaching culture to thrive. Can a manager be an effective coach? Some professional coaches suggest that managers cannot and should not attempt to train their employees.

After all, the coach has too much personal interest in the outcome of the training and couldn't be neutral enough to retain his opinions. As a newly promoted manager told us: “My level of motivation to apply what I had learned increased when I started the training sessions. To learn how to train, managers must experience what it's like to be trained by someone who's really good at it. Similarly, a 2004 Corporate Leadership Council study of 50,000 employees from around the world concluded that “the manager of frontline employees—in particular their effectiveness in managing people—is the most important driver of performance and engagement.

By increasing the levels of active management performed by frontline managers from less than 30% to more than 60%, the lost or hidden capacity that currently exists in their teams can be released and used effectively. Frontline managers often go from being team members to becoming senior managers once they have proven their worth in the position. This improvement can be achieved through a blended learning program that combines competency assessment, management development and an extended period of individual counseling and support. At best, managers can be offered “simple” management training; most of the time they learn on the job from their colleagues (who may be equally ill-equipped).

Not only would I have to manage the training and training of gaming staff, but I would also have responsibilities in organizational, financial and commercial management, and I would need strong interpersonal communication skills and charisma to deal with senior staff, shareholders and journalists, as well as the vision and ability to plan for the future. On the other hand, many managers think that they are already training when what they are actually doing is teaching, advising and counting or, in the worst case, micromanaging. Improvements in the performance of a team after 12 weeks of specific frontline management development and subsequent training.

Don Demattia
Don Demattia

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