Managers who have coaching conversations with their employees have staff who are more engaged in their work. From what I’ve observed in my work in organizations, many managers skip coaching because it involves more time and thought.
However, with a coaching conversation checklist, it’s easy to stay in coaching mode and it doesn’t take more time.
Without going in to all the statistical ROI studies on the benefits of coaching, let’s look at the benefits of coaching as a managerial style. Why bother with coaching conversations? (This is from the book by Zenger and Stinnett, The Extraordinary Coach):
- Coaching gives new meaning to work. When people feel that they are engaged in a useful cause and not merely performing menial tasks, they have more energy and motivation and will go beyond minimal requirements. Coaching provides managers opportunities to link each person’s job to the overall mission of the business.
- Coaching leads to more engaged and committed employees. Managerial coaching shows strong evidence of boosting engagement.
- Higher productivity outcomes. Coaching refocuses people on the most important objectives and lets them know that their manager is paying attention to them. Peter Drucker hypothesized that if an organization could increase productivity by only ten percent, profits would double. The bottom-line impact of coaching is hard to ignore.
- Coaching leads to a stronger culture. An organization’s culture has a big impact on performance and productivity. Leaders influence culture by the example they set and the behavior they reward or curb in their daily conversations with people.
- Coaching strengthens relationships between supervisor and employee. When managers coach, they are expressing their personal commitment to the development of an employee.
- Coaching promotes healthier individuals. When leaders take the time to coach someone, they contribute to that person’s self-esteem and confidence.
- Resilience. Coaching encourages resilience for when problems arise and mistakes are made. Managers can help people learn to think for themselves, create their own energy, and meet challenges without the need for micromanaging.
- Heightened creativity and innovative thinking. Coaching is a mutual exploration of better ways to approach challenging situations, thus encouraging people to have their own ideas.
- Increased risk taking and exploring. Coaching encourages people to pursue projects and provides a safety net and support.
- Mindset of an owner instead of a hired hand. Coaching helps people take responsibility and ownership of problems and solutions.
The Coaching Conversation Checklist
There is a strong case for using a checklist to ensure success in many professions. Airline pilots have used them for years. Surgeons are now using them to lower rates of infection and death, thus saving millions in hospital expenses.
Having a guide to follow reduces stress and uncertainty. It also increases a manager’s confidence that nothing important will be forgotten. Smart managers use a coaching conversation checklist to see breakthrough results.