What can Management do when they have the Soft Skills?

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inner-banner What can Management do when they have the Soft Skills?

Management & Development

April 24, 2024

The Importance of Coaching  

How do you manage the individuals in your team? Do you instruct, or do you inspire? We wholeheartedly believe the latter is more effective. However, inspiring managers are more often the exception as opposed to the rule, as evidenced by Gallup findings that 86% of employees find their boss uninspiring. 

The traditional ‘command and control’ style of management, which is solely based on instruction, is now considered the proverbial dinosaur in management terms. Younger generation employees, in particular, don’t respond well to this style. Generally, studies have shown that Generation Z expect more from their managers than mere task-setting; they want support to achieve their maximum potential. And guess what? This requires much more emotional intelligence, time management and communication skills than the archaic ‘command-and-control’ model.

So, how do you achieve this, you may be asking? One word: coaching.

Generally, studies have shown that Generation Z expects more from their managers than mere task-setting; they want support to achieve their maximum potential. And guess what? This requires much more emotional intelligence, time management, and communication skills than the archaic ‘command-and-control’ model.

So, how do you achieve this, you may be asking? One word: coaching.

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”  
Timothy Gallwey

 

What is Coaching? 

Coaching is an effective way of developing an individual’s skills and abilities, which overall boosts their performance. It can also help deal with issues and challenges before they become a major problem. 

Coaching inspires intrinsic motivation, in other words, self-directed willingness to try new things and make discoveries. McKinsey says when people find this, they’re 32% more committed to their work and experience 46% more job satisfaction.  

 

How does it work? 

Coaching is a versatile and dynamic process that can manifest in various forms, ranging from one-on-one dialogues to practical role-play scenarios and even through direct observation and feedback in real-time situations, each tailored to meet specific developmental needs and objectives.  

An example of this is a call centre team leader listening to an employee handle a customer call and supporting them through it, perhaps providing pointers on areas for improvement.  

Rather than telling them the best course of action, the focus is on helping the coachees discover solutions for themselves. After all, people are more likely to engage with solutions they have come up with themselves compared with those enforced on them. Questioning and reflection are used as a springboard for the individual to make decisions. 

In practice, a coach might ask any of the following open questions…
1) “How could you address that problem and stop it from happening?”
2) “How do you feel about delegating at work and home?”
3 “What usually stops you from leaving work at a regular time? 

 

Common Misconceptions about Coaching 

Coaching is Corrective. 

False. Many organisations incorrectly perceive coaching as a corrective tool, to be used only when things have gone wrong or when someone isn’t performing to the standard expected. This misconception means that often, when someone is told to attend a coaching session, they enter the discussion with pre-existing negative connotations as they are already anticipating that they’ve done something wrong. Instead, coaching should be seen as a regular occurrence that adopts a positive and transformative approach to help people grow, develop, and achieve their goals. 

 

Coaches are counsellors and psychotherapists. 

False. Neither do they have to be teachers, trainers, or consultants. They can be regular team leaders supporting their colleagues. Provided that they stay within the scope of their skill set and maintain a structured approach, any manager can add value and help develop their people’s skills and abilities. The key main challenge for managers is separating their management role from their coaching role. 

 

You must schedule coaching conversations. 

False. While this is valuable and recommended, coaching can occur anytime while performing the role. Learning as you go.  

 

Soft Skills Requirement 

However, before you can instruct your management team to start coaching, you’ve got to be sure that they have the right soft skills. Soft skills such as active listening and empathy are paramount in coaching, as are problem-solving and decision-making, as you must tailor the coaching to which path the individual requires. This is based on your discoveries and observations, meaning adaptability is key. Together, you can then determine the right path for them to achieve their goals, including future steps or actions to take. 

 

The Benefits of Coaching 

 For the Individual 

  • They develop strategies to become more effective in their role, managing their time and energy efficiently and learning to focus their energy on the most critical tasks.  
  • They become more self-reliant. 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence. 
  • They communicate more effectively. The Institute of Coaching research indicates that over 70% of individuals who receive coaching benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills.  
  • They contribute more effectively to the team and the organisation. 
  • They take greater responsibility and accountability for actions and commitments. 
  • They gain more job and life satisfaction. 
  • They can better deal with stress and difficult situations and plan how to deal with them productively and positively.  
  • They are more equipped to achieve their goals and progress in their career. 

 

For the Organisation  

  • It improves productivity and performanceHarvard Business Reviewresearch concludes that coaching boosts productivity by 44%. 
  • It helps identify high-potential employees. 
  • It highlights development opportunities. 
  • It demonstrates a commitment to employee development. 54% of immediate staff retention is associated with the employee’s belief that their company contributes to their development. 
  • It increases employee engagement.  
  • It fosters alignment and loyalty. 

 

For the Clients (both external and internal customers) 

  • A better-quality service/experience. 
  • Improved rapport, confidence, and trust in the company. 
  • Improved collaboration for internal clients in other departments. 
  • Statistical analysis by Monte Wyatt reported a 48% increase in quality, a 39% increase in customer service, and a reduction of 34% in customer complaints for companies using business and executive coaching. http://www.montewyatt.com 

 

Coaching Renaissance 

Gordon McAlpine, a Strathclyde University Business School fellow and technology entrepreneur, has coined the term ‘coaching renaissance’ to describe the renewed interest and surge in the popularity of coaching.  

The number of Google searches for ‘coach’ is up 70%. As mental health issues continue to rise, the demand for coaching increases. The soft skills included in coaching make people more resilient and adaptable to change, and in these post-COVID times, people appreciate this skill in their work and personal lives now more than ever.  

 

Predictions 

Forbes predicts the coaching industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.6% and will be worth an estimated $27.5 billion by 2026.  

This tells us that more people now value professional development, personal growth, and balance of well-being. 

 

The Big Question… 

Regardless of whether you’re a team leader, team member, or senior manager, ask yourself:

Does your management team have the right mix of soft skills to coach effectively?  

 

If the answer is yes and you would like more information on the benefits of coaching and what it can do for your organisation, please get in touch. 

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