Adopt a Coaching Style If You Want to Succeed

Posted by Sarah Christie 11 May, 2011 (0) Comment

It seems that Lord Alan Sugar is not most people’s idea of a great manager or leader and it’s hardly surprising, is it? Whilst he makes very good television viewing, his arrogance, rudeness and unapproachability would not make him an effective leader in the real world.

Nor is the behaviour that is tolerated (and probably encouraged) on The Apprentice a good thing to nurture in your workforce.

A survey conducted by The Institute of Leadership & Management (the ILM) found that Lord Sugar was the least popular choice of leader among the managers questioned. Richard Branson, with his easy going style, was the favourite.

The survey also revealed that the majority of managers are not performing at their optimum level, with 79% of those questioned believing their performance would improve if they had a coach at work.

Penny de Valk, chief executive of the Institute of Leadership & Management, says: “Leadership styles have changed from being command and control to a coaching approach that doesn’t assume the boss is the expert. It is more important to help people and teams get to better solutions. Helping managers develop that ability is a critical management and coaching skill.”

I have often taught in my leadership workshops that a coaching style should be the overall management style, in other words, always enabling and developing the team, rather than taking the easier option of issuing instructions. Not only does this halt the initiative and learning of the individuals, but it also prevents the team leader from focusing on his or her priorities – that of strategic planning and ensuring that objectives are being met.  An effective leader is one that ensures the work is done, but does not do it all him or herself.  An effective leader spreads the workload by delegating tasks and responsibility. He or she spends time with the individuals, ensuring they are clear about their contribution and comfortable with it. New skills must be taught and coaching conversations must be frequent and the norm.

Penny de Valk goes on to say, “Managers need to be confident in their ability and direction if they are to lead their staff effectively and contribute to the country’s economic recovery. Developing managers’ coaching skills is the single most cost-effective development investment a business can make, and the wise CEO will ensure coaching is introduced across their organisation to help staff work at the optimum level.”

A large number of respondents (59%) said that they had previously received coaching at work, with 92% saying their performance had improved as a result.

Although we are using the term “manager” here, do not think this refers only to non-medical managers in the NHS. We are talking about all leaders, clinical and non-clinical. Everyone in a position of leadership would do well to adopt a coaching style and not hesitate to hire external coaches to improve the performance of their staff. It is motivating and energising and results in improved performance. A win win situation really!

If you want to read the full article, please click here ~

Categories : Lessons in Leadership, coaching Tags : , , , , , , , , , ,