The Project Manager as a Super Coach

The Project Manager as a Super Coach

Every project manager, in fact, every manager who is responsible for people is, and should be, a coach. Coaching in an organization is not a fad, it is not a ‘program’ nor is it something new. It is one of the basic responsibilities of a manager.

Here are some things that you can do to be a ‘super coach’ and help your people to help themselves:

Making it ‘easy’

  • Initiate conversations with coachees or co-workers to help them resolve their concerns
  • Make yourself easily accessible to coachees or co-workers
  • Make it easy for others to be candid with you
  • Make it easy for others to acknowledge that they lack knowledge
  • Make it easy for others to inform you about problems

In conversations with coachees or co-workers

  • Do not put them down with behaviours such as sarcasm or ridicule
  • Give full attention to them when they are speaking
  • Show sensitivity to their feelings
  • Emphasise solving problems rather than blaming people
  • Encourage mutual, two way, communication

While discussing problems of the coachees or co-workers

  • Develop a full understanding of the problems before helping to solve them
  • Request their opinions before expressing your own
  • Help them to identify problems accurately for themselves
  • Help them to find their own solutions to their problems
  • Help them to gain a deeper understanding of their own feelings about the problem
  • Help them to gain a new insights into the problems
  • Stimulate them to explore alternative solutions to the problems
  • Help them to take responsibility for solving their own problems
  • Help structure the conversation so that it develops in a logical way
  • Serve as a resource for new ideas

Initiate conversations with coachees or co-workers in order to…

  • Help them understand the political issues that must be taken into account when making decisions
  • Help them understand the organisational history behind issues and problems
  • Help them identify key players to consider in gaining acceptance of new ideas
  • Help them become sensitive to the aspects of the organisation’s culture that affect their successCoaching for performance improvement

In conversation with coachees or co-workers

  • Help them develop their own personal networks for accomplishing their jobs
  • Help them take personal responsibility in managing their own careers
  • Help them gain commitment to the organisation’s goals and values
  • Make them aware of senior managers’ likes and dislikes
  • Provide them with practical career advice
  • Encourage them to apply for positions that would enhance their careers, even if such encouragement might mean losing competent subordinates or co-workers
  • Help them identify what new knowledge or skills they need to acquire
  • Serve as a resource to them on technical matters
  • Serve as a resource to them on administrative matters
  • Help them gain expert status in their areas of responsibility
  • Encourage them to test new knowledge and skills that they acquire
  • Check with them to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to do their jobs
  • Follow up with them when they have acquired knowledge and skills to ensure they are able to use them
  • Encourage them to look for new learning opportunities
  • Praise them when they have acquired knowledge and skills
  • Gain commitment from them to learn continually

In discussing performance with coachees or co-workers

  • Mutually clarify expectations about performance with them
  • Promptly identify performance problems with them as these problems occur
  • Challenge them to take on more and more difficult tasks
  • Develop strategies with them to improve their performance
  • Gain commitment from them for continuous improvement in performance
  • Confront performance problems in a way that maintains a positive relationship between them and yourself
  • Be specific when talking about performance
  • Emphasise improvements in the future rather than failure in the past
  • Help them find their own best ways to improve their performance
  • Develop concrete strategies for solving performance problems