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The Best Managers Are Coaches (Learn Why & How)

Written by: Sophia Casey, MCC, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


In order to be an effective manager, it is also important to be a good coach. A coaching manager can help guide and motivate employees to reach their full potential. There are a number of techniques that a coaching manager can use to cultivate an effective working relationship with employees. Using these techniques, a manager can help employees feel appreciated and motivated, leading to a more productive work environment.​

Manager as Coach

The role of a manager has changed dramatically in recent years. In the past, managers were seen as people who simply assigned tasks and told employees what to do. But today, the best managers are seen as coaches – people who help their team members grow and develop into their full potential. If you're a manager, you may be wondering how you can become a more effective coach for your team. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Create a coaching mindset.

The first step to becoming an effective manager-coach is to develop a coaching mindset. That means having the right attitude and approach when working with your team members. Remember that as a coach, your job is to help your team members grow and develop. Which means being supportive, positive, and helpful – not critical or judgmental.

2. Build relationships of trust.

In order to be an effective coach, you need to build strong relationships of trust with your team members. That means being open and honest with them and really getting to know them as people. It's also important to be approachable and easy to talk to.

3. Listen more than you talk.

As a manager-coach, it's important to listen more than you talk. That means really hearing what your team members are saying and trying to understand their perspectives. It's also important to give them the space to share their ideas and thoughts.

4. Ask questions.

Asking questions is a great way to get to know your team members and understand their needs. It also shows that you're interested in their development and are willing to help them grow.

5. Provide feedback.

Feedback is an important part of coaching, and it's something that you should be doing on a regular basis. Be sure to give positive and constructive feedback and always aim to help your team members improve.

6. Partner for goal attainment.

As a manager-coach, partnering with your team members to support them with setting the annual goals can have profound positive impacts on employee engagement, enhance clear communication, and strengthen company culture. Help your team identify their professional development goals and create a plan for reaching those goals.

7. Keep open lines of communication.

Being accessible to your team can increase effective communication. Be available to answer questions, offer advice, and provide support throughout the year outside performance evaluation timelines.

Why is a coaching perspective important?

If you want your company managers to act more as coaches, it is necessary to initiate a change in the overall company culture. The transformation would look something like this: Managers would become more like mentors or facilitators and would no longer be the primary source of knowledge.

There are several reasons why this is important:

  1. It leads to increased engagement from employees.

  2. Managers would spend less time supervising. When you ask your managers to act as coaches, you initiate a cultural transformation throughout your entire organization.

When you think of coaching, what comes to mind?

Like most people, you probably think of coaching as something that only happens in sports. After all, that's where the word "coach" originates!

But coaching isn't just for athletes anymore. In recent years, more and more businesses have started to adopt a coaching style of management. Studies have shown that a manager-coach can have a big impact on employee productivity and engagement.

So, what exactly is the manager-coach? It's a style of management that focuses on helping employees reach their full potential.

Managers-coaches work with their employees to identify strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and create action plans for reaching those goals. They provide support and guidance along the way and give the employees the space to figure things out for themselves.

This style of management can be beneficial for both managers and employees. Managers who coach their employees often find that they have more engaged and productive teams. And employees whom their managers coach tend to be more satisfied with their jobs and more likely to stay with the company long-term.

The benefits of coaching for both the employee and the organization

Coaching is a process that helps employees identify and develop their strengths, improve their performance and reach their full potential. Coaching can be an invaluable tool for managers to help their employees grow and succeed.

There are many benefits of coaching for both the employee and the organization. Coaching can help employees:

  • Develop their skills and abilities

  • Improve their performance

  • Increase their job satisfaction

  • Achieve their goals

Organizations can also benefit from coaching, as it can:

  • Improve employee retention

  • Increase productivity

  • Boost morale

  • Enhance communication

Being a coach as a manager is important because it provides an opportunity for the manager to help the employees in their career development. It also helps manager know more about their employees, their work, and how they can improve their performance. From a coaching perspective, the manager acts as the employee's guide and mentor, which can lead to a better working relationship between the manager and the employee. The manager can also provide feedback and support to the employee to help them grow and develop in their career.


Should a manager be a coach?

Managers should be coaches because through coaching they can help employees develop their skills and abilities, improve their performance, increase their job satisfaction, and achieve their goals. Additionally, coaching can help organizations improve employee retention, increase productivity, boost morale, and enhance communication.

Why should a manager become a coach?

Coaching provides plenty of advantages for managers personally. By coaching employees, they can develop professionally, leading to improved performance at their job, which overall will lead to higher satisfaction with their position.

What does it mean for a manager to be a coach?

A manager-coach is someone who provides guidance and support to employees to help them grow and succeed in their careers. Being a coach as a manager is important because it provides an opportunity for the manager to help employees in their career development. It also helps managers know more about their employees, their work, and how they can improve their performance.

How can we train and inspire managers to be coaches?

The answer may lie in understanding what motivates managers themselves. Managers are often motivated by the prospect of making a difference in the lives of their employees. When they see their employees succeed, they feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Coaching is a great tool for achieving that.

What are the duties of managers-coaches?

The duties of managers-coaches include providing guidance and support to employees to help them grow and succeed in their careers. Managers-coaches are also responsible for helping employees identify their goals and develop plans to achieve them. Additionally, managers-coaches provide feedback and support to employees to help them improve their performance.


I hope this article has helped you understand the importance of coaching and the benefits it can have for both employees and organizations. If you're a manager, I encourage you to give coaching a try. It could be just the thing you need to take your team to the next level!

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Sophia Casey, MCC, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Sophia Casey is a Master Certified Coach (MCC) credentialed by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She is the Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer at the global coach certification organization, the International Coaching & Leadership Institute (ICLI). Additionally, she is the Founder and CEO at Sophia Casey Enterprises, a leadership development, executive coaching, and consulting firm. Some of her proudest moments are being named Director of First impressions for a former Vice President of the United States and serving as the Executive Life Coach and co-facilitator for a series of TJ Maxx’ Maxx You Project workshops. Sophia relentlessly supports ICLI’s commitment to coaching for everyone, everywhere.



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