Do leaders need to coach?

Do leaders need to coach? How important is it for you as a manager or supervisor to spend focused, uninterrupted time with each of your team members? How much time should you spend with each team member? What should you talk about, and what is the purpose?

Coaching and development is an important aspect of business that should be addressed by everyone who leads others. Why? Because people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Richard Branson famously said, “Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your customers,” … and he ought to know! While this approach seems to defy everything we’ve been taught about the importance of the customer, the logic behind it is sound. 

All companies strive to achieve profitability and positive cash flow. To achieve this, they must deliver products and services that meet customers’ needs and keep them satisfied. Those responsible for delivering these products and services at a level that reflects the standards and passion of the owner are the employees. Therefore, a thriving, profitable company starts with happy, well trained staff who are valued and listened to; coached and developed.

How to begin the conversation.

How aligned are your team members with the vision and goals of the overall business? Do they know how they fit in and contribute to the big picture? If not, there is agenda item number one for discussion.

What soft and hard skills do they currently have, both for their current role and for other roles that they may aspire to? Are they aware of the opportunities available to them across the whole organisation? Are plans in place to work towards developing skills with specific target dates and action steps? These are important factors in retaining good staff.

What’s holding you back?

What prevents managers and team leaders from undertaking a consistent ongoing coaching program with each of their team members?

Time: If coaching is not given the priority it deserves, the daily pressures of workload can override the task of coaching and developing team members. It is always pushed aside as something less important than the day-to-day tasks of running a business.

Willingness: Sometimes, coaching and development are not seen as management’s responsibility. 

Lack of knowledge or coaching skills: Many managers simply aren’t equipped with the skills needed to coach and develop staff. Like any new task or responsibility, unless proper support is provided, fear of failure kicks in, resulting in avoidance. Or, the leader may try to coach, but due to inexperience and/or lack of adequate support, the process doesn’t work as it should.

Your next move.

It has been proven that coaching and developing team members at all levels improves efficiency and effectiveness, and significantly impacts the bottom line of the business. So, ask yourself the following:

  1. Do I and my organisation want to take coaching seriously? 
  2. Do we know how to go about it?
  3. Do we have the time and tools to support it? 

If you answered yes to question 1, but no to question 2 or 3, we may be able to help. You can view and download a sample corporate coaching report and contact us today for an obligation-free discussion about how we can tailor a solution to fit your business.