Management coaching is a talent development imperative. When it comes to transforming capable middle managers into higher-performing, executive-level leaders, coaching gets results. According to IMPACT Group’s study, 2022 Trends in Leadership Coaching, HR leaders rank, “increase the success of leaders stepping into new roles,” among their top three priorities. The same study revealed that most HR leaders plan to expand the use of coaches to develop individuals and/or teams.
Maybe management coaching (also known as leadership coaching) is already part of your talent development program. Or maybe it’s on your radar, but not yet widely adopted. If you’re striving to help your leadership team perform optimally and want them to feel supported during times of enormous changes and uncertainty, coaching can make the difference.
The Value of Management Coaching
Your instructor-led leadership programs and self-directed, online leadership content may succeed in building knowledge. But knowledge isn’t the same as behavior. Many people fall short of putting newfound knowledge into action. Coaching is the added accelerator. Coaching helps leaders take what they’ve learned through other curriculums and apply it in their everyday performance. Coaching is personal, situational, and with the right coach – very effective.
Coaching helps leaders become more effective coaches themselves. Today leaders must rely on their coaching ability to lead. The authority derived from their position or title isn’t enough.
According to a Gallup study of 1.2 million employees in 22 organizations across the world, great managers aren’t really bosses in the traditional sense. Instead, they’re coaches who “focus on individual and team engagement, seeing their role as the provider of what employees need to succeed.”
The Role of the Management Coach
Whether it is an athletic, wellness, executive, or leadership coach, you’ll find the common denominator is performance improvement. A qualified coach helps someone adopt new behaviors. Coaches are there to help uncover blind spots, think through issues and strengthen performance. According to the International Coaching Federation (IFC), “the typical coaching client is between 35 and 44 years old (37%). A little under one in three clients (30%) are in the 45–54 age range. Around one in four (24%) are under 35 years old.”
Here are nine ways your team (and you) can benefit from management coaching now:
1.) Provides a Sounding Board
Keeping open channels of communication with your leaders as you exchange information, strategize, and execute your plans is paramount. A management coach can fill that necessary, impactful role. That means when your leaders meet with you, they are better prepared during discussions.
2.) Shows Your Talent They’re Valued
Crisis creates opportunity. Your competitors know this. They could steal one of your key leaders. Providing management coaching is a concrete way to show you value these players. Your talent is less likely to leave when they feel valued.
3.) Provides a Meaningful Investment
Coaching programs come in various formats and price points. At the higher end, you might offer six-12 months of coaching. However, a more modest program might include a leadership assessment and three coaching sessions. A program of just three coaching sessions might dramatically jumpstart your leaders’ growth but cost $5,000 or less. Think about that investment versus paying out an additional $5,000 in bonus dollars. For those making six figures, $5,000 is a small gesture that can quickly be forgotten. However, coaching is an invaluable investment they’ll remember for the rest of their career.
4.) Signals Trust
Your investment in management coaching shows commitment to your leaders’ future with the company. Securing a coach is a clear signal you view that person as having a long-term seat at the table.
5.) Helps Them Deal With Conflict Productively
During times of uncertainty, emotions can run high. Even the most cohesive teams can let emotions (anger, fear, pride, jealousy, overconfidence) control them. Experienced and objective management coaches can guide leaders in working through emotional conflict
6.) Fosters Cooperation
New needs cause roles to morph as you assign new responsibilities. New assignments can be misconstrued as significant role changes with increased or diminished stature. Fear and uncertainty can build as people wonder about power shifts. Investing in a coach for every leader on your team reaffirms your recognition of each person’s value, fostering goodwill and more productive interactions.
7.) Gives Leaders a Confidence Boost
Your leaders are tested during times of extraordinary growth or a restart. Employees are less likely to embrace changes if they doubt their leaders. A coach can reassure leaders and help build their confidence. Working with a coach gives your leaders a chance to discuss situations with a trained expert for extra input. Leadership coaches typically have greater experience than those they coach and can serve as experts in helping manage difficult communications, relationships, and conflict.
8.) Offsets Isolation
In 2019, Cigna reported that three in five Americans (61%) reported feeling lonely, and 12% of lonely workers believed their work decreased in quality. Loneliness affects productivity and health. A United Kingdom study compared the destructive health effects of loneliness to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Management coaches – who check in regularly with your managers – can be on the lookout for managers suffering from social deprivation. A coach can help someone develop habits to stay more engaged with colleagues, direct reports, and others. In this way, a coach may offer meaningful protection against loneliness and could boost your leaders’ wellbeing.
9.) Inspires Leaders to Embrace Change
In many new situations, change is critical. Sometimes, even after you encourage new skills, managers fall back on old ways. But a management coaching program can empower leaders to test alternative approaches in communication, change management, and delegation.
Maybe the best reason to invest in management coaching right now?
Management coaching is a powerful talent development solution. It’s no wonder that IMPACT Group’s recent leadership study found that nearly 80% of HR leaders said, in a typical year, four or more employees receive coaching through an engagement with a dedicated coach who is not the person’s direct supervisor.
Even as far back as 2018, an ICF survey found that executives and entrepreneurs who use a business coach can increase their net income by an average of 46%!
However, management coaching isn’t just about a monetary return on investment. For some employees, coaching can build self-confidence, lower anxiety levels, and help the talent who are struggling with feelings of isolation.
Allowing your team access to expert leadership coaches could have the most effect on how your business succeeds. Learn more about IMPACT Group’s Leadership Coaching programs here.