Managers want to know how to take on a more of a “coaching approach” in their leadership style. They want to be more “ask” and less “tell”, moving away from the old “command and control” model of management towards a collaborative and empowering style that, frankly, most employees expect (or often demand, if they are Gen Y).
So, how do we facilitate this shift? It is suggested that Managers start with listening (yes!) and restraining from the impulse to provide the answers. This is probably the most important and the hardest element of the “coaching manager approach”, how to tread the fine line between managing (where you do tend to give firm advice, answers and even directives) and coaching (where ideally you are asking your employee “What do you think should happen now?”). For the manager it can involve some (possibly quite scary) letting go of their perceived “control” of their employees, and a willingness to open up to a more trusting relationship. Ultimately the employee becomes more engaged and satisfied at work because they feel “I did it myself”.
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”