Managing Managers

Everyone wants to be a leader. Leaders run the show. Leaders have followers. But what about managers? Managers manage, and according to the latest book from Gallup, the most effective organizations have managers who coach. In [their book] It’s the Manager, Jim Harter and Jim Clifton from Gallup list three requirements for managers who want to transition to coaches: establish expectations, continually coach, and create accountability.

For organizations interested in moving managers from overseeing day-to-day activities to being effective coaches, five steps should be considered:

  • Review all current management programs to ensure they are in line with the organization’s goals;
  • Use classroom learning to help managers develop coaching skills that focus on employees’ strengths;
  • Use other types of development such as e-learning to further provide managers with opportunities to observe and practice coaching skills; and
  • Enlist executives to help develop coaching skills by engaging in regular coaching conversations with managers.

As managers take on the mantle of coach, each organization needs to consider the balance between coaching and traditional activity management; how the effectiveness of coaching will be measured; the impact on organizational culture; and the desired outcome of this type of managerial shift.