What Is Coaching in Management Development? (With Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 20, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

To develop effective leadership at work, managers can provide feedback and guidance to their team members based on their career goals, personal life aspirations, and skill set. They may use coaching techniques to provide employees with more personalized advice on how to improve their performance and productivity levels and improve their job satisfaction. Learning more about the relationship between coaching and managing might enable you to develop a successful management style, create a positive work environment, and build rapport with your coworkers.

In this article, we discuss what coaching in management development is and explain the differences between managing and using a coaching approach to manage your team effectively.

Related: What Are the Types of Career Coaching? (How to Become One)

What is coaching in management development?

Coaching in management development refers to the process of receiving guidance and support from a coach to help you develop your management skills. This coach is usually a highly experienced senior manager who can apply different coaching techniques, such as mentoring and counselling, to help you build your own leadership style and approach to coaching. They can also tailor their advice to suit your needs and work toward your professional goals.

For instance, suppose that you work for a car manufacturer and you're responsible for leading a team of engineers. Your coach might be a company executive who can help you better understand your team's needs and teach you how you can help them develop and advance their careers. To do this, they can share some coaching techniques you can use to determine what motivates your team members and what their career goals are. You can use this information to offer them constructive feedback, encourage them to continue their education, and mentor them to learn management skills.

Related: Coach vs. Mentor (With Tips on Selecting the Best Fit)

What is the difference between coaching and managing?

Managing a team involves overseeing activities and making decisions to guarantee the correct execution of a project and the achievement of its goals. It also requires the ability to communicate clear instructions and to encourage others to work together toward a common goal.

Coaching involves helping your team members improve their abilities, as this might assist them in increasing their productivity at work. To do this, it's necessary for coaches to know the strengths and weaknesses of their team members, understand their personal aspirations, and even evaluate their personalities. Here are some other differences between coaching and managing:

Employee engagement

To ensure their employees remain engaged with their work and responsibilities, managers can supervise them, assign them more tasks, and provide them with deadlines and incentives. They can also offer them a new position or a promotion as a reward for their accomplishments. The idea is to make each employee feel valued and appreciated by giving them a sense of satisfaction and a material reward for their work. Managers tend to weigh and consider each employee's skills, education, and experience when considering promotions and raises.

Conversely, managers who use a coaching style to increase employee engagement focus on the development of each employee's potential. They create tailored plans based on each employee's personal and professional needs, as this can demonstrate their commitment to their team. These managers can monitor each employee's performance and meet with them to discuss drawbacks and accomplishments. This can reinforce the idea that the manager wants to help each employee advance their career and can help each employee better understand their responsibilities and projects. By fully understanding their roles, each employee can feel more engaged and motivated to perform their best.

Related: How to Increase Employee Engagement (Short Term and Long Term)

Long-term decisions

Managers tend to make long-term decisions based on facts, figures, and data. They can compare this information to previous data collected from early and similar situations and make their choices according to past results. Here, the idea is to improve the last outcome and avoid repeating previous mistakes that can affect the company. To do this, managers ask for reports and forecasts that can assist them in supporting their decisions. For instance, if a chief financial officer (CFO) wants to approve a loan the company requested from a chartered bank, they can first review the company's cash flow.

Managers who use a coaching approach are more likely to involve their employees in the decision-making process. They can create a more collaborative environment by encouraging employees to share their ideas and opinions about long-term decisions. Also, they can consider each employee's skills and area of expertise and even ask for advice. They can celebrate meetings and ask for feedback or ask each employee to prepare a presentation about the pros and cons of a specific choice. This can make them feel involved and valued and increase the chances of considering all the potential scenarios in a final decision.

Related: How to Make a Difficult Decision in 8 Simple Steps

Training programs

Managers can create training programs to help their employees better understand their new responsibilities and ensure they perform based on the company's policies and procedures. For instance, a financial advisor working in a bank can undertake a training program to learn about the mutual funds the bank is offering to its clients and improve their knowledge of anti-money laundering laws. Managers can also use these programs to show employees the company's values, code of conduct, and culture. If the company is planning to use new technology, managers can create a training program to teach employees how to use it.

Managers who use coaching techniques can use training programs to help employees develop a sense of identity with the company. For instance, they can use them to assist new hires in meeting and creating rapport with their coworkers. These managers can also use these courses as mentoring programs to help employees develop their careers, explore new in-company opportunities, and help the employer improve their work environment. They might encourage employees to provide feedback about training programs and meet with them to discuss what the company can include in future courses.

Related: How to Train Employees More Effectively (With Tips)

Professional development

Managers can choose employees with certain skills and education to take on a project or perform a new role. If they do this, they can also talk with the employee about the credentials they might need in the future and ways to earn them. They can also explain to them how these accreditations and degrees can help them advance their careers and what the company expects from them. Managers might assume employees' professional development is an opportunity the company provides to each one to help them grow.

Managers with a coaching approach see an employee's professional development as an opportunity for the company to benefit from the employee's skills and knowledge. They can see the potential of each employee and help them develop their abilities, and advise them on how to make the best decision for their careers. As they understand that a well-prepared employee is a valuable asset to any company, they can offer financial help to cover accreditation costs and university degree programs. These managers can even work with employees to manage their work schedules and accommodate university classes.

Related: How to Develop a Career Plan (With 6 Steps to Follow)

Daily workflows and best practices

Managers delegate tasks often, as they manage all the workflow of the team. They can assign these responsibilities based on workloads, qualifications, and work experience. For instance, senior employees might undertake fewer activities but the most important ones. Conversely, junior employees might receive more work but with less responsibility, as the idea is to encourage them to learn new skills and gain experience to assume a higher role. Usually, this creates some differences between employees of the same level, as some might have the needed experience but not the technical knowledge.

Managers who employ coaching techniques can distribute assignments based on employees' professional development. For instance, if an accountant wants to get an auditor role, the manager might assign an auditor to be their mentor and instruct them to help the auditor perform their daily duties. They can also encourage employees to understand industry best practices, as this can further their careers and company growth. For instance, managers at a law firm can create a program for office clerks to teach them industry best practices. This can help them understand their importance and evaluate a potential career as a lawyer.

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