The Manager as Leader-Coach

How to better engage your team and lead performance through coaching

The Manager as Leader-Coach


Amongst the many demands of modern managers is their responsibility to set the tone; build employee capability, develop people, deliver performance feedback, engage in meaningful performance management as well as promoting behavioural and cultural change

This is in addition to being required to communicate the organisation’s strategic plan, ensure the delivery of the plan, respond to technological demands and systems innovation and to drive results.

There are a range of leadership styles a manager will need to engage, lead and manage teams.

According to Goleman (Leadership that Gets Results, Harvard Business Review) those leaders who have mastered the democratic, affiliative and coaching styles have the best climate and business performance.

Modern managers also require the ability to deal with diverse employees, many of whom no longer respond to the traditional, “top-down” decision making style. Often the best employees seek self- development, self-responsibility and accountability, rather than direction and control. They want to be ‘coached’ rather than ‘managed’.

Yet not all managers have well developed interpersonal and leadership skills. They are rarely given any formal training in these critical areas.

However, the skills of coaching can be learned.

Managers can learn a new supportive, collaborative leadership style that builds trust and facilitates improved performance in the workplace. They can acquire the skills to empower and develop other people through a coaching approach.

The focus of this workshop, training and mentoring program is to develop and equip managers with the skills and competencies of coaching.

This will build on to their own leadership capacity and effectively use coaching as one of their most important leadership styles to engage teams and enhance productivity and performance.

There are many benefits in developing the coaching skills of managers and leaders

Examples certainly include:

  • Financial ROI
  • Productivity improvements through individual motivation and people development,
  • Improved individual and team performance through focus, goal setting and goal keeping
  • The increased capacity to make effective decisions in alignment with the organisation’s growth strategies
  • Build employee capacity and capability that improves performance as well as job satisfaction
  • Engage in meaningful performance management that ensures employee personal responsibility and ownership
  • Promote behavioural and cultural change through ongoing and sustainable people development
  • Proactively and systematically tackle and improve work-place and business issues and non-productive habits and patterns
  • Freely exceed performance targets through focussing on growth rather than change

Perhaps most importantly, coaching heightens an individual’s deep awareness of their style and preferences and how that might impact on others. This is a key to unlocking the potential to significantly improve relationships up, across and down the reporting framework.

With the economy putting significant strain on companies through the need to cope with changing economic circumstances, there is an increasing demand from clients in both developing managers to effectively leverage coaching approaches in their management repertoire, as well as directly supporting executives and managers through formal coaching arrangements.

Coaching is fast becoming one of the most popular leadership development approaches. Harvard’s Business Review Survey (2009) found that the popularity and acceptance of leadership coaching continues to rise even in the current tight business environment. The survey found that over 48% of companies now use coaching to develop the leadership capabilities of high-potential performers. The Australian Institute of Management says that 70% of its member companies hire coaches, indicating that this trend is also well and truly evident in the Australian business environment.

Over the past decade in the corporate sector, there has been a shift from command and control to a “coach approach” in leading teams. This has come about for many reasons including the call and need for organisations wanting more leaders and fewer managers.

Smart managers lead through Coaching as well as through Supporting, Delegation and Direction.

How the Program Works

There is flexibility around the delivery of this program and it can be tailored to the needs of the individual organisations.

  • Typically, it involves a one or two day workshop.
  • This is followed by a combination of one on one mentoring or group coaching and mentoring of participants on a monthly basis for 3-6 months. This ensures that the learning from the training is applied in real life situations within the workplace.
  • Delivered ‘in house’ (or public workshops). Groups from 5- 10 are ideal.
  • Focus is on action learning with an emphasis on group interaction, coaching practice, and experiential learning with the coaching methodology and tools.
  • Each Manager-Coach will receive a Coaching Manual and a range of coaching tools to facilitate leadership and change.


Throughout the workshops, Manager-Coaches will learn how to coach through:

  • Coaching Practice
  • Group Interaction
  • Facilitating
  • Individual Learning
  • Teaching
  • Break Outs
  • Reflection and Evaluation

There is flexibility around the delivery of this program and it can be tailored to the needs of the individual organisations.

In The Manager as Leader-Coach Program participants will learn:

  • Why and how to use a “coach approach” to management and leadership to build employee capability, improve performance and engage teams
  • How and why to implement the International Coaching Federation (ICF) coaching competencies in leadership and management to ensure workplace coaching reflects and keeps pace with current coaching practice
  • Skills in facilitating and developing employee learning and engagement to improve performance
  • How coaching differs from and supports other leadership styles and why it is such an important component in enhancing organisational climate and performance
  • How coaching embracing and leverages ‘Brain-wise’ Leadership principles
  • How coaching differs from mentoring, training, facilitating and counselling and why it is essential to understand these different learning and development strategies
  • How to manage the coaching relationship and process to ensure agreed outcomes and mutual benefits are achieved
  • The secrets of how to get ‘right behaviour’ with ‘right motives’ from individual team members
  • The key personal characteristics of a successful manager-coach
  • The ethical principles and standards for coaching and how these are essential to building and sustaining trust relationships
  • How to develop an “in house” coaching agreement to ensure accountability and mutual trust
  • The essential coaching communication skills of active listening and powerful questioning which underpin the managers capacity to lead effectively
  • Strategies, tools and processes to facilitate learning, results and change
  • How to use appropriate learning experiences, coaching tools and resources to facilitate employee transformation
  • How why to use coaching as an essential partner to performance appraisals and performance management



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