The Progress Coaching Blog

    3 Step Strategy to Coach Managers to Coach

    January 17, 2017 Posted by : Tim Hagen
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    As often providers think, our solutions are magical, and if people would just take training from us, everything would be okay. While this sounds nice, it couldn't be farther from the truth. While I think my company provides great training, other companies do as well, it begs the question, why do managers still struggle to coach? It comes down to one small detail:

    People struggle with coaching because it's a different form of a conversation.

    So, to combat this problem, what is the solution? The following three-step process will serve your organization well in terms of its ability to not only train, but support and position your managers to successfully coach.

    1. Step One: Training- We would strongly encourage your program to be beyond the typical one to two-day workshop. Reinforcement is key to perfecting the practice of coaching. In addition, the training cannot simply be about coaching, but needs to focus on the situational implications that accompany coaching. For example, a manager operationally might need to coach to attitudes or an aging veteran who's slow with the times, but does not take feedback well. On the other hand, a sales manager might need to coach his or her sales team to prospect more as the pipeline gets too low. The training can certainly serve as a foundation, but training ultimately needs to be driven down into situations that resonate with people. Adults learn best when the material directly applies to them.
    2. Step Two: Real World Support- We have to provide support mechanisms and services to position our managers to continually receive support. Whether the support comes from continuous education, or feedback in terms of requests they have for additional support based on their real world challenges, providing a system that holds people accountable for completing coaching on a continuous basis is necessary for a coaching culture to flourish.
    3. Step Three: Situational Coaching- One of the most common question that comes up is, "What do I do in this situation," implying there is a scientific formula specific to coaching that is fool-proof. Coaching is an art, not a science. Coaching is about providing people choices to change, and you only control one half of the conversation. Situational coaching is about applying coaching strategies to situations that people are actually experiencing. For example, what if a manager has two employees who are top talents who don't work well together? That's typically not covered in many training programs. Therefore, what is a manager to do? We, as leaders of coaching, must be proficient in application of what we teach to real world solutions. When you provide specific solutions to the one I just mentioned, managers become more engaged or more willing to attend training, receive support, and seek help for situational challenges.

    Last, this is not a fourth step, but rather something that needs to be woven into the fiber of your training, real world support, and situational coaching- practice.

    If people are not practicing, the language of coaching will continue to feel like a foreign subject.

    How does a manager get better at navigating the conversation when someone is resistant versus somebody who is honest, but not willing to perform better? Maybe it's someone who has a genuine fear, but has a high degree of loyalty to the organization. All of these conjure up different paths to navigate and frame out the conversation to get the employee to become a willing participant to improve and/or change. If you do not weave practice into all three steps of your delivery, your success will be fractional at best.


    If Interested in Becoming a More Conversational Coach: Check Out our Progress Coaching Academy That Provides "Situational Coaching" Courses - keep in mind we are just adding all of our content so there will be more courses added monthly:

    Note: Take Our Coaching Attitudes Course and receive 75 % Off (use discount code: attitude75) to try Us Out:

    How to Expand Your Coaching Time!
    Build Your "Talent Bench"​ Through Coaching

    About Author

    Tim Hagen
    Tim Hagen

    Tim Hagen founded Progress Coaching, a Training Reinforcement Partner Company, in 1997. His entrepreneurial career began in college leading to positions in sales, sales management, and sales training for small and large corporations, and eventually ownership of several training companies. Tim is often a keynote speaker at companies teaching the value of coaching and conversations in the workplace. He possesses a unique combination of hands-on experience, academics, and innovative insight to solve the industry’s most common challenges specific to workplace performance. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and Training from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

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