Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1: What is Coaching?
Coaching is a management practice where managers work with their people to develop their skills and talents. Coaching is becoming a core management practice for the 21st century. You need to learn how to do it well. The more effective you become at coaching, the better manager and leader of people you will become.
Coaching is all about developing and leveraging the talents of your people - your star performers, your new managers, your team leaders - anyone you want to develop to perform at higher levels or take on more responsibilities.
Research is showing that for real development of people to take place, one-on-one coaching is the best way to help people grow, change, and improve their effectiveness. Training alone will not do the job. Training in a group setting, combined with one-on-one coaching over time, packs a one-two punch for accelerated development.
To Coach or Be Coached?
Most managers will ask the question whether they need to be coached themselves or whether they need to be coaching their people. The short answer is - do both.
No matter what job you currently hold, what level of manager you are, or what degree and experience you have, there are some additional skills you can develop to improve your effectiveness or prepare yourself for your next job. In most companies where coaching is actively practiced, the senior managers have used or are using executive coaches. They are also coaching their subordinates, or making external coaches available to their managers.
If you are wondering which of your subordinates might need or benefit from coaching, the answer is - all of them. Some managers thinkof coaching as something they need to do if one of their people is not performing up to expectations. They need to point out the areas in question, and then "coach" the individual to improve his performance. They think of coaching as a form of training to help "shore up a weakness" in someone who is underperforming.
In other companies, coaching is viewed as a "perk" or privilege. It is reserved for those executives, managers, and high-potential leaders who are being groomed for higher office and expanded responsibilities. Coaching may be integrated into the company's leadership development program for its key managers.
Our view is that coaching needs to become a core management practice and fully integrated into all aspects of the management system. All managers have an Individual Development Plan. Everyone is being coached and coaching their subordinates. People are being coached on improving their effectiveness, managing their people, and developing their careers. In this world, you are both being coached as well as coaching your people. It is a key ingredient of how you manage.