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Transform Managers into Coaches

The easiest way to boost performance is to transform managers into coaches! Poof!

Welcome hand.

Life is full of moving parts.

Easier said than done, I admit. However, here is an easy method to begin the magical transformation.

Define terms

Ask questions like these:

  1. What does a coach do?
  2. What about you would make you a positive coach?
  3. How can you make “room” for mistakes?
    1. Buddy system so they check their own work
    2. Have “lab” sessions to allow people to noodle and doodle their way to a solution.
    3. Encourage engagement around participation rather than having the “right” answer. There may not be a right answer.

Coaching is sharing, not telling.

Build confidence and trust. When a manager coaches rather than directs, the team members are more confident and less likely to feel criticized. They must feel that the manager trusts them to deliver on the promise.

Move from bossing to managing your team. When you present the initial idea and due dates, have the team choose where they can apply their strengths. Have the overview and be sure the team has the tools and expertise required for an optimum outcome. You must assess this before the project starts.

Coaching speaks to investment because the team member is valuable. Every person is responsible for a positive outcome. If people are not equally contributing, allow the team members to bring them along, usually done by the team leader.

Managers must be open to feedback. Grow your team’s performance when they are appreciated and know you expect their feedback and input.

The manager will not only have less interruptions (yeh!), your team will be more productive and innovative when they know their input matters. Be sure to interact with all the “moving parts” of the project. However, don’t just do a status report around the table. Have members explain how their portion of the project interacts with the others. Have them gather to produce a graphic, for example. This builds camaraderie and communication skills, you will enjoy more respect back as you extend it to others.


As a credentialed business coach and analyst, one of my primary functions is to work with individuals and company managers to clarify where they are presently, where they would like to advance, and what tools they have and need to achieve their desired outcome.

I use a variety of tools to assess perceptions including Platinum Rule instruments, my experience and training in assessing behavior. My preferred tool is the EQ-i®, emotional intelligence inventory. I have specialized training on the EQ-i® and DISC Inventories and access to multiple other sources including a company culture index. I prefer the EQ-i® because it is the least judgmental instrument I have found. It focuses on strengths and areas of development related to the goals set by the individual. For example, people are more likely to apply the EQ-i®’s information rather than label themselves by the Myers-Briggs categories.

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