It’s strange that so many managers still think that they need to have all the answers to the problems facing their teams or departments. They then insist on telling their people what to do, especially if there’s a crisis or a tight deadline to hit. After all, these managers were probably once the experts, the ones who had all the experience, and therefore – at least in their minds – ought to know what’s best.
What’s wrong with this approach?
1. It’s exhausting for the manager, doing the problem solving all by him/herself.
2. It’s really hard work trying to get a (at least partly) disengaged workforce to listen and follow up on the commands.
3. Anyone working for this manager will feel that they are undervalued, wasting their creative energy, and not being listened to.
4. Although that knowledge and experience do have some value, a dependence on the manager develops into being spoon fed information for the next task.
5. And of course, PRODUCTIVITY DROPS.
What else can you do to get results?
The answer is to have a different type of conversation, a conversation where telling is replaced by coaching.
Managers who use their coaching skills find that their people are actually more productive and more engaged in their work. They witness their team’s capacity to think for themselves, to take on greater responsibilities and to develop and make a bigger contribution to their organisations. These managers also notice a growing confidence in their teams’ abilities and their potential to grow.
In their roles as “manager-as-coach”, they listen, probe, challenge and inspire, and through the attention they pay and the questions they ask, they provide fuel for their people to be creative, improve their problem solving and their commitment to taking positive action.