Page 5 - VOICE January 2014

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There are times when, as a manager, you need to be very
directive and authoritative in your managerial style.
When there is a crisis or tight deadlines, or when the be-
haviour of a team member is inappropriate. However,
for the majority of time, using a coaching style of leader-
ship can be a very effective approach. So what exactly
does it mean to be ‘The Manager as Coach’ and why is
this style of leadership sustainable?
During coaching sessions I have often heard a client say
that it is too time consuming to use a coaching style and
it is quicker to simply tell someone what to do. Whilst
this may be quicker to reach an immediate solution, this
approach is not sustainable. When consistently ‘telling’, a
manager is restricting a member of staff from developing
but when using coaching skills in their approach a man-
ager can encourage and develop a member of staff, which
is ultimately better for both the leader and the led.
So how do Managers use this approach? Managers as
coaches have a set of qualities evolved from self -
awareness and people skills development that they use
The ability to build trust and rapport
Strong listening skills
A variety of questioning skills
The ability to read body language
The ability to give effective feedback
And knowing when to give advice or suggestions.
They also know when to be more direct and because this
approach is used relatively infrequently, it is recognised
as an unusual behaviour and is therefore taken more se-
riously or acted upon quickly.
The skills of the Manager as Coach are even more rele-
vant now as businesses are starting to see growth. Fre-
quently managers tell me that there has been a switch
The Manager as Coach
A Sustainable Way of Leading
Get feedback on your style; no one
can develop in a vacuum. Then
reflect, modify and practice. Use
some humility to get it right and
remember, don’t give up. ”
Book Review
Legacy – 15 lessons in leadership
by James Kerr
James Kerr spent five weeks with the New Zealand
All Blacks Rugby Team ahead of their World Cup
victory in 2011 and in this beautifully written book
he shares what he learnt. He shows this not simply
in terms of how to develop a highly performing rug-
by team, but through a real insight into how the ap-
proach taken by Graham Henry (Coach) and his
team can be easily translat-
ed into other sports and into
Now, I am a huge rugby fan
(I blame my Dad!) and so,
for me, reading about the
‘behind the scenes’ approach
taken by the New Zea-
landers was a treat. What I
hadn’t anticipated was how
well the messages are com-
municated by James in his
writing style and the structure of the book. The
book’s key message also resonates with all that we
believe at VBL; to ‘develop inspirational leaders’. So
if you want to really think about how you as a lead-
er wish to leave a legacy then this is a book I would
highly recommend.
But don’t just take my word for it, watch and see
what other people think:
Reviewed by Karen Frost
Director of Coaching at Values Based Leadership
Publisher: Constable
When consistently ‘telling’, a
manager is restricting a member of
staff from developing but when using
coaching skills in their approach a
manager can encourage and develop
a member of staff. ”