Manager as Coach

Think about it. As a manager if you don’t coach your team effectively and with a genuine concern for the development of each one of them, you are letting the competitors poach your team right from under your nose.

Let’s face it. Today talent is short and attrition rates are high. People today in addition to attractive remuneration and hygiene factors are looking for opportunities to flourish and grow in their careers. Learning and continuous improvements are crucial for progress in the current hyper-competitive business environment. Research clearly indicates that people leave more often from organisations where managerial competence and concern towards subordinate development are low. In other words where there is no effective performance coaching. Coaching is therefore, not something nice-to-have or optional. It is mandatory!

How to coach effectively? When to do it. The answer is simple. Coach as often as you can and as often as necessary. Here are five essential steps of performance coaching to improve performance and develop your team:

  • Open each coaching session by setting an appropriate tone. Make them comfortable. Remember, coaching is not a performance review or evaluation.
  • Focus on one or two tasks or activities that are very important to discuss and stick to them.
  • You can bring about a sustainable performance improvement in your team members only when there is a change in their current behaviours on the job. Observe the transition points carefully and provide timely feedback to accelerate positive change.
  • Explain clearly specific steps needed for improvement, acknowledge and recognise the progress and encourage continued success.
  • Set clear, measurable and achievable goals for the next coaching session. To coach or not to coach is therefore, not a dilemma. The choice is clear. Coach your team effectively or else your competitors are going to poach!

There has been a lot of confusion prevailing around the two words—‘coach’ and ‘ mentor’.

Who is Mentor?

Mentor is a character, who is a trusted counsellor or guide, tutor, coach, a common noun meaning wise counsellor. Mentor is an appropriate name for person such as a wise counsellor as it comes from the Indo-European etymology men, which means ‘to think.’


Today mentoring has been widely recognised as a critical aspect of the professional as well as personal development of an individual.

It is important to build mentoring programs for organisations to be successful. Mentoring programs are not only meant for ‘A’ players but also for ‘B’ players, as they form the solid citizens of the company that make up to about three-fourths of a firm. They all need constant and constructive feedback and encouragement to meet the challenges that the ever-changing future brings in.

Who is a good Mentor ?

There are certain key characteristics of a good mentor. A good mentor is someone:

  • Absolutely credible, whose integrity transcends the message, be it positive or negative
  • Tells you things you may not want to hear but leaves you feeling you have been heard
  • Interacts with you in a way that makes you want to become better
  • Makes you feel secure enough to take risks
  • Gives you the confidence to rise above your inner doubts and fears
  • Supports your attempts to set stretch goals for yourself
  • Presents opportunities and highlights challenges you might have not seen on your own