Face it, sometimes the coach does have an agenda.

When you are a manager or leader in an organization, striving to coach your direct reports is a great way to increase performance and impact morale.  AND the kind of coaching you do as a supervisor is different from the coaching done with paying clients.  After all, when you supervise you have a responsibility to the organization, to your team, to yourself, as well as to the employee you are coaching.

So how do you make the most of coaching within a supervisory role?  Here are three best practices I’ve picked up through the years:

1. Make a distinction between outcomes and process.  Outcomes are often non-negotiable (make X number of sales this month), while the process or approach for reaching the outcome can be different from employee to employee.  Coach process, and manage for outcomes.

2. Know the developmental stage of each employee.  New employees often need lots of direction as they learn the job, while experienced and growing employees have more room for benefiting from coaching, which aims to pull out their accumulated experience and expertise.  When it comes to coaching new employees, the coaching can focus more on factors for motivation and commitment, less on the knowing how to do the job.

3. Don’t be a lid.  Too many managers and leaders surround themselves with employees who are less capable than the manger, figuring that it’s best for the manager to be the most capable person on the team.  This practice severely retards the performance of employees, the team and the organization.  The coaching manager knows he adds value by bringing out superior performance among direct reports, not by outshining them.

What else have you found helpful in coaching those you supervise?

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