What It Means to Coach as a Manager

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BetterUp Studios

7 min

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An introduction to managerial coaching

One of the biggest trends in management today is an emphasis on a manager’s capacity to coach employees towards success. Yet confusion remains about what it means to coach as a manager. We curated this collection of five resources as a starting part for learning more about this critical topic.

1. Harvard Business Review: You Can’t Be A Great Manager If You Are Not a Good Coach

This article shares some of the most important skills that distinguish the most effective managers. With insights such as “the most powerfully motivating condition people experience at work is making progress at something that is personally meaningful” and reminding managers of the “ask don’t tell” policy, this piece is a must-read.

2. Daniel Coyle and Adam Grant: Establishing Trust – Don’t Be Afraid to Share When You Screw Up!

This article illuminates that good managerial coaching is built on a foundation of trust and illustrates how building trust can be a counterintuitive process. For example, sharing small vulnerabilities can send trust-building signals that are critical to supporting communication, job satisfaction, and performance.

3. Ed Batista: Keys to Coaching Your Employees

This resource contains a litany of key insights about how to coach employees more effectively. It describes the circumstances in which coaching will be effective as well as when it might not be, and highlights the most important methods of communication for maximum effectiveness.

4. Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation

This TED talk by Dan Pink synthesizes research explaining why most people underestimate the negative effects of financial incentives. Pink goes on to recommend solutions more effectively incentivize great work.

5. Matt Dubin: The Key to Peak Engagement: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Matt Dubin, a pioneer in promoting optimal conditions for peak performance at work, describes how leaders often undermine their employees' productivity. Dubin explains how leaders can avoid this pitfall by respecting the conditions that allow their employees to thrive.

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