Exploring Different Manager Coaching Styles - gritty office

Exploring Different Manager Coaching Styles: What Works Best for You?

We explore the different types of manager coaching styles and how to determine which one is the best fit for your team's needs.

As a manager, you naturally want to make sure you are helping those you work with be as efficient and productive as possible. And the various manager coaching styles definitely come into play here.

Management can be tricky, and it might feel as though you’re trying to work with a brick wall on occasion.

Read on to learn more about what manager coaching styles are, as well as how to implement them effectively!

What are Manager Coaching Styles?

Coaching management is focused on collaboration with those you manage. It is also focused on continual improvement.  

As the name suggests, you are acting in part as a coach, helping those you manage realize their full potential and giving them the tools and knowledge to gain new skills.

The coaching style of management is also very feedback-focused, both for you as the manager and for those you manage.

This allows you to continually improve your processes and get even more out of your management time.

Sometimes, a different management approach can work wonders if you are not producing results with your current style.

Or maybe you’re just getting into the field of management, and you’re looking to develop an effective management style.

Using a coaching style as a manager can improve results with your team and lead to better rapport.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Manager Coaching Style?

It Encourages Learning And Initiative

Because you are working in cooperation with and as a mentor for those you manage, they are more likely to be comfortable talking to you about ideas they have.

Plus, because you’re actively involved in helping those you manage upskill, they’ll be much more receptive to further learning development.

You Get To Identify Strengths And Weaknesses

Working closely with your team means that you get a far better understanding of what strengths and weaknesses are present within it.

Rather than finding out about strengths or weaknesses after this knowledge would have been most useful, your closer interaction will allow you to identify these before you need them.

It Accelerates Self-Development

Having a mentor figure identify where you can improve and give you resources to do so hugely accelerates the process of developing your own skills semi-independently.

As that mentor figure, you’ll see large advances in the self-development of your team members that you’d be less likely to see otherwise.

It Drives Collaboration

A manager coaching style is based on collaboration and working as a team, and so it’s no surprise that one of its benefits is that it drives collaboration.

A team that works together is much more effective than several disjointed workers, so encouraging collaboration is something that will benefit your group hugely.

It Creates A Positive Organizational Culture

Often, managers can feel like imposing figures to those they manage.

This means people may avoid talking to managers around useful topics, such as looking for advice on a particular issue or offering expertise.

Because you’ll be working so closely with your team, you’ll be far easier to talk to, and people will be much more comfortable around you.

A positive organizational culture is far better for mental health and productivity, so it’s a huge advantage of a coaching managerial style.

Manager Coaching Style Vs Traditional Management Style

Traditional management is typically focused on instructing with little two-way communication.

This can sometimes be effective, but removes a lot of useful information from the interaction between the manager and those they manage.

For example, you’re less likely to hear about someone’s perceived weaknesses if you operate a one-way email chain with all your instructions than you are if you have regular two-way conversations.

Traditional management is also often focused on making sure the work gets done in a specific way.  

This might not always be the most efficient way, and manager coaching will allow you to receive better feedback on how well all your methods are working.

Manager coaching is also typically tied to a closer connection to those you manage, whereas traditional management methods often have a tendency to reduce individual contact and understanding.

The Different Manager Coaching Styles

Democratic Coaching

Rather than perform all the major decisions about how your team functions yourself, you can delegate some to the team!

Doing this allows your team to have a bigger say in how you work and will often lead to a more effective work style.

This doesn’t mean that you do nothing at all, though – you still need to work as a manager to facilitate discussions and step in when things aren’t working.

Authoritarian Coaching

In authoritarian coaching, you make most of the key decisions.

However, you’re still working with those you manage or coach. They buy into this style of coaching and work along the paths and goals you set.

This is a good style of coaching if you’re trying to promote discipline and goal-focus in your team.

Holistic Coaching

Holistic coaching focuses on examining all the choices and pathways as a whole.

It can lead to those you are managing having a better understanding of the big picture surrounding their work, which can in turn increase their sense of purpose.

Autocratic Coaching

Autocratic coaching is where the manager acts as an instructor, and is incredibly similar to traditional methods of management.

As an autocratic coach, you tell those you manage what to do and how to do it- and then work with them as a coach to ensure that they are on track with doing so.

Vision Coaching

Vision coaching is heavily focused on feedback, much more than the other styles are.

When you have a meeting with your team as a vision coach, you give them good feedback on how they have been going with their current goals, and also help them apply this to their next goals.

You still give direct instruction, but this style is much more focused on continual feedback and its implementation.

Tips For Coaching Successfully

Give Effective Feedback

Giving effective feedback is arguably the most important part of having a coaching management style.

It’s hard for people to improve if they don’t have good feedback on their progress!

Ensuring that your feedback is mostly constructive rather than purely positive or negative is a great way to ensure that you’re giving good feedback.

Promote Growth

Helping those you manage grow professionally is a huge part of the coaching management style.

If you don’t promote growth, you’re missing out on perhaps the most useful part of this style.  As a coach, you’re there to help those you work with improve their skills!

Promoting growth can look like rewarding good progress, providing additional opportunities for those you manage to improve their skills, or ensuring that those you manage are stepping out of their comfort zone on occasion.

Ask Good Questions

Remember, as a coaching manager, you’re not only coaching those you manage and giving them feedback – you’re also there to take on their knowledge.

Asking good questions of those you manage is a great way to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your relationship.

Whether it’s questions about how they think your management is benefiting them, or around specific areas that they are working with, asking good questions will give you useful information and also help build a better relationship with those you talk to.

Good questions are typically specific and (at least relatively) consequence-free: remember, you’re trying to build a positive and effective relationship.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Manager Coaching? 

Manager coaching is typically best suited to smaller teams.  

This is because you’re working more closely with the individual members of your team than you are in a traditional management style.

So, if you’re working with a larger team, you may want to stick with a traditional style.

Manager coaching also typically requires more buy-in from those you manage, due to the greater two-way interaction that is present.

If your team is used to traditional management, they might find the shift to a coaching style quite difficult, and so are less likely to work well with it.

In Conclusion

Manager coaching is a great way to improve the performance of your team.

By encouraging professional development, a positive relationship between you and your team, and increasing the amount of information passed through feedback, you ensure that you and your team understand each other as much as possible.

This in turn allows you to work as effectively as possible!

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