As workplaces become even more demanding in their requirements seeking innovators and over-achievers, companies are calling for a new type of manager to lead. They are looking for managers who have the ability to work as performance coaches as they lead their teams. Managers who can’t fulfil this role will gradually become redundant because they won’t have the ability to influence their teams to achieve sustainable performance and goal reaching. That’s a cost to the individuals as well as to the organisation, particularly if competing businesses have managed to introduce performance coaching in their companies.

So how can you make a smooth transition from one style of management to another?

While there are lots of different approaches, these five tips will ease the transition for your managers, and set them up on the road to performance coach success.

  1. Help them to understand what coaching is.

Surprisingly perhaps, not everyone understands how a manager can also be a coach. It’s quite a change of mindset for traditional managers who often see coaches as organisers, calling the shots from the coach’s box. They need to see that coaching isn’t about calling the shots; it’s about helping others to perform better by improving their current performance or learning new skills.

2. Help them understand why it’s important to become a performance coach.

We all perform better if we understand the importance of what we are doing, so make sure your managers understand the ‘why’ of performance coaching. Show them how coaching makes a difference, and put it in terms that will mean something to them – results, statistics, runs on the board. When they can see that it works, they will be more willing to try out in the role. If they can’t see why performance coaching is relevant, they won’t be interested in making a change.

3.Help them build their skills.

When you are looking at what a performance coach is and how he or she works, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to look at the skillset a coach needs. It’s the so-called soft skills that are really important; skills like listening, reflecting, communicating and the people skills that managers of the past haven’t had to rely on. Help your managers take a good look at the skills they have now and compare them with the skills they will need as a coach. Find the gapes and find ways to help your manager develop the skills they need for the new role.

4.Give them a coaching experience.

This is really important. We learn through experience, so find them a coach or coach them yourself, so they can see and feel the coaching process in action. When they know what it’s like to be coached, they have a whole new perspective on how it should be done.

5.Encourage them to practice with their peers.

David Rock, author of Personal Best, says, “It’s also important to take into account the ego in the workplace. This sometimes means separating out layers of management into their own programs where they are more likely to try out risky new skills on their peers than with direct reports.”

Make no mistake; this change of approach will be challenging for some managers. By putting them with their peers, they can explore and practice. They can ask for advice or help. They can share experiences and compare notes. It’s all part of the learning experience.

Leaders – and performance coaches – aren’t born; they develop their skills over time, through practice and experimentation. Similar to great leaders, a great coach is developed through hard work and dedication. Experience and quality training will aid the transition and ensure that your company is proactively focused on learning and developing its team for maximum efficiency.

If you are looking at building your leadership skills or those of your team – check our the AMAZING workshops at Events – www.leadershiphq.com.au OR book one of our brilliant leadership coaches!

Phone 1300 719 665  www.soniamcdonald.com.au

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