A Manager's Role During and After a Business Coaching Session
Engaging the services of an experienced business coach often results in significant gains in performance and effectiveness of a person in their particular job role. The identification of issues and the creation of action plans to overcome these problems proves time and again to be a powerful combination for enabling a person to become a more effective contributor to the achievement of the company's objectives.
Business coaching sessions themselves are only half the story however. In order to advance from just useful meetings to highly effective systems of improvement, what happens afterwards is crucial. Making major changes to factors such as methods of working can be extremely difficult. A person will have gotten comfortable at performing to a certain standard, and making a change designed to increase their performance will take them out of their comfort zone and often into uncharted territory for them. In order to help facilitate this, a manager needs to play a key role both in between the coaching sessions and afterwards.
How Important is a Manager's Support and Guidance?
A manager's assistance is vital for the successful transformation of the employee from one who is underperforming to one who functions at a higher level. An employee will find it extremely hard to make the adjustment on their own (if it were that easy they could have done it by themselves already), and so will need the support and guidance of a manager to help them through it.
We have already seen in the article "Focus on Solutions with Business Coaching Rather Than the Problems" that although previous shortcomings need to be identified and discussed, far more is achieved by focusing on the positives going forward than it will be through constantly dredging over past failings.
A manager must therefore be positive about action and the future abilities of the employee. If they are not, and this comes across to the person in the manager's tone of voice or directly through what they say, then the individual will struggle to find the motivation to make the necessary changes.
In fact, a manager needs to ensure that negative emotions, from either party, do not have a detrimental impact on success going forward. If either side is negative about the future prospects, not only can it lead to a lack of motivation, but can also cause arguments and stand-offs between the employee and their manager. If this happens then the person is likely to become defensive and extremely reluctant to make any changes for the good of the company. Managers must work with the employee to resolve issues and improve performance without dictating what should be done or criticising without explaining the reasons, or listening and understanding the causes of the existing issues.
Understanding versus Staying Firm
There is a fine line though between being sympathetic and understanding to an employee's issues, and staying firm insofar as insisting that change needs to happen, and that the current status quo cannot continue simply because it requires effort and alterations to take place. We have seen that workarounds do not work as long term solutions to problems and issues, and that resolutions need to be found and enacted.
What about Managers Receiving Coaching?
Of course, all this is fine for employees who have their line manager and supervisors to support them, but what about when the person being coached is themselves the manager or supervisor? Who supports them?
Unless the individual receiving the coaching is the managing director or chief executive officer, they will have someone who they report to and is effectively their manager. In this case it will be up to them to provide support in the same way as a line manager would to a shop floor worker.
Alternatively, or if indeed coaching is being provided to managing directors or CEOs, then the expertise of experienced business coaches can be called upon to provide this valuable assistance and encouragement. These coaches will have seen identical or highly similar issues with other clients in the past, and as such will be able to provide extremely beneficial advice and guidance. Coaching meetings can be scheduled around the many work commitments that an executive has, and have proven so valuable for many executives in all kinds of different industries that many continue their executive coaching sessions indefinitely on either a regular or ad-hoc basis as issues arise.
For more information on how executive coaching or business coaching sessions can assist you or your employees, please contact us on 0844 800 3295 or send us an online contact form outlining your requirements.