Clients are waiting in the lobby when the receptionist arrives at 9:05. Assistants fail to share information that will help them be more efficient and effective. Attorneys fail to share contacts that will help colleagues bring in a new client. A bookkeeper resigns or is terminated. An associate leaves for another firm. Shareholders grumble. Is this a bad day? Or is this a bad year? If these events occur more than occasionally, they are signs of disengaged, dissatisfied workers for which Management by Coaching can be a powerful cure.
Though I'm a coach and I'm an advocate for external coaching, that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about you and your managers using the Coaching style of leadership as a management tool. If your department and firm are healthy and operating smoothly, 1) you're probably already coaching, whether you know it or not, and 2) you can further improve satisfaction, effectiveness and profitability by coaching more deliberately.
What is Management by Coaching? Fundamentally, it's management by aligning your employees' interests, strengths, skills, passions, desires and goals with the needs of your department and organization. Simply stated, it requires that you, as a manager, first know what your department and organization need and, second, you know what your employees want. It would be a mistake - one many employers make - to assume employees want a paycheck and leave it at that. Your opportunity to manage extraordinary performance lies in your ability to learn what each of your employees wants in that inner place that drives them to excel regardless of time clocks, performance reviews or year-end bonuses and align their desires with your firm's vision, culture and needs.
Daniel Goleman, bestselling author of Primal Leadership, rates only the Visionary style of leadership more highly than Coaching for overall positive impact. Together they are doubly potent. Coaching, says Goleman, "connects what a person wants with the organization's goals." More than seventy years ago, Dale Carnegie wrote in his still popular, How to Win Friends and Influence People, "There is only one way...to get anyone to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it." We understand now that we can't make anyone want to do anything. It remains true, however, that people do what they want (choose) to do and one of a manager's greatest opportunities for excellence is to help employees achieve what they want while simultaneously meeting the needs of the organization.
When you can match your employees' desires and capabilities with your firm's needs and opportunities, productivity, satisfaction, retention, and profitability will rise dramatically.
Do you want to learn how to incorporate Management by Coaching into your leadership? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.913.0499 for a phone or in-person conversation.