Management development is any developmental activity that helps managers enhance and develop their skills, knowledge and competencies. This can be formal or informal and can be for the benefit of the individual, the people they manage, or their organisation.
Effective management is critical to the success of any organisation, and management development helps to create better, more reflective and effective leaders. Management involves a range of different skills, from planning, organising and implementing strategies, people and resources management, and ensuring that their teams are able to deliver on organisational goals.
Management development activities can therefore cover any of these roles depending on the particular needs of the individual in question. Management coaching increasingly plays an important part in management development programmes, and with good reason.
What is coaching?
It’s the aim of management coaching to produce the optimum performance and improvement in how the individual functions as a workplace leader. It focuses on specific skills and goals, as well as an individual’s personal attributes like self-confidence, and social interactions.
The process can last for a defined period of time or might form the basis of an ongoing management style. Coaching activities have both individual and organisational goals, giving people the opportunity to better assess their strengths as well as areas which they need to develop.
What is coaching in management development?
Coaching in management development is a training method in which a more experienced and skilled professional provides someone in a management or leadership role with structured advice and guidance. This is intended to help the manager develop their overall skills, performance and career.
Coaching is distinct from other types of training, mentoring and counselling, as it takes a much more tailored and personalised approach while keeping a key set of goals and objectives in mind. It aims to equip the individual with the skills they need to implement a coaching style of leadership within their own organisation.
Coaching is always a highly individualised process, the details and form of which are dependent on the nature of the client as well as the particular skills and expertise of the coach. Coaches will use a variety of techniques and tools to help the individual grow and develop. They will work intensively with the client to help them achieve specific goals, building up their confidence to apply new techniques and approaches within their leadership role.
Management coaching develops the potential of individuals, through personal growth and learning, better goal setting, reaching objectives faster, making better decisions and improving relationships.
At the heart of a coaching approach to leadership is robust and open communication, and management coaching aims to equip the individual with the skills they need to transform how they communicate with their team.
Why might someone use management coaching?
Management coaching provides tailored professional development that can help an individual unlock their potential and fast-track their talents. The rewards both professionally and personally can be substantial, with individuals having a positive impact on their workplace. They can be initiators of change, inspiring people to better their performance in the workplace.
It can help make managers become more resilient and flexible, helping them to navigate conflict and crisis while minimising stress. They will also have the tools they need to share these skills with their colleagues. Management coaching can help the entire organisation become more resilient.
It can be used to support someone transitioning into a new role, equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to take a step up in terms of responsibility, or it can be a way to change the way in which someone approaches their existing role.
How coaching can shape management development
The use of coaching in management development has grown considerably over recent decades. What was once reserved for senior executives is now offered at various levels as organisations move towards a coaching style of management across their workplace.
In order to coach, you need to have been coached or to be receiving ongoing coaching. Better managers build better teams and coaching helps managers become more effective.
How can management coaching change the skills and perspective of the individual being coached and what changes does this bring to the organisation within which they work?
It begins with a range of beneficial personal changes. Leaders who have gone through a programme of management coaching report experiencing greater levels of self-awareness. They better understand themselves and their self-concept and how this impacts others. They are likely to act with greater self-reflection and overall self-awareness.
This makes them more considered in the workplace.
Alongside this enhanced self-awareness comes greater self-confidence, with a reduction in the kind of limiting beliefs that can hold people back professionally and from achieving their potential.
This improvement in self-awareness and confidence inspires a greater awareness of their own self-leadership. This refers to the expectations and goals that they set for themselves, and these will be explored and highlighted through the coaching work.
Coaching can identify unrealistic or unhelpful expectations which might have been leading to frustration and wasted energy. By understanding and eliminating these goals through management coaching, the individual can then free up energy to focus on realistic and achievable targets.
Coaching also facilitates a change in how leaders interact with others. Most profoundly, it impacts their overall leadership style by making them fully consider their leadership behaviours and approach. Developing greater self-awareness about their leadership style gives leaders an opportunity to reflect on their approach. It also makes them more thoughtful going forward in relation to their overall personal, professional and team goals.
Management coaching helps individuals explore their existing relationships with their own managers within the workplace. They may identify aspects of their relationship that they’re not satisfied with and then look at how they can make positive changes. Alternatively, it can help them better understand and value aspects of their relationship with their manager which is helpful and constructive.
Coaching enables leaders to reflect on how they manage conflict. They may have an avoidant strategy where conflict is concerned, or might handle disputes and disagreements in a way that exacerbates the problem. Through management coaching, leaders are able to develop strategies to diffuse conflict and to use it creatively to find innovative solutions. Conflict can be seen as an opportunity to grow and develop.
Through coaching, leaders are able to explore their work-life balance, and how they manage a diverse set of responsibilities. Coaching can support leaders in making links between work and outside of work, helping them develop a holistic approach to work and personal life. Coaching helps clients develop insight into how different aspects of their lives connect together.
How does management coaching benefit organisations?
Management coaching helps to create leaders who can implement positive change in their organisations. By equipping leaders with coaching skills they are then able to help their team become more effective, strategic and self-aware.
Management coaching enables leaders to develop constructive and mutually beneficial relationships across their team, helping team members to identify their own hidden strengths and weaknesses. It enables them to identify realistic and achievable goals while encouraging them to make their own decisions.
Leaders who are able the apply skills they have to learn during management coaching are able to help their team members gain new insights that can help them improve their overall performance. They can create the space for reflection, finding the roots of problems that have been a barrier to progress.
Management coaching looks to develop creativity, and leaders can then use these skills to encourage their team to adopt a more creative approach to problem-solving. By asking questions, they can encourage new insights helping team members develop greater flexibility to break through any logjams.
Creative and adaptable thinking underpins flexible leadership, and coaching leaders are able to encourage these qualities within their team. Flexible teams are better able to adapt quickly to any sudden challenges.
Communication underpins an effective coaching management approach. Management coaching helps leaders to hone their communication skills, helping them to better understand different team members, personality types, cultures, ages and backgrounds.
Better communication helps leaders establish their credibility within their team, and by fostering an open communication style they can encourage new ideas. Barriers to understanding can be removed, and scope is given for better and more honest feedback. Team members who in the past might not have been forthcoming feel more comfortable talking frankly about any issues.
Overall, leaders who have been through a programme of management coaching perform better in the workplace and give their team members the tools they need to improve their own performance. They’re better able to identify and target potential problem areas, and can then implement new leadership techniques tailored to address the collective and individual weaknesses of their team.
Transformative Management Coaching
At Leadership Success, we’ve seen the benefits that management coaching can give individuals, teams and organisations. Our leadership training programmes helps leaders develop a proactive and engaged approach to management, helping them identify goals and overcome challenges.
An expert coach leads a focused programme of management coaching that goes beyond what might be expected on a standard leadership course. They work intensively with leaders to help them reach their goals, develop their skills and ultimately become more effective in the workplace. Over the years we’ve coached over 25,000 leaders and our results speak for themselves. On average participants have seen a 40% increase in their performance and 97% of our participants said they were either satisfied or very satisfied.
Bespoke leadership development from Leadership Success
At Leadership Success, we provide, fast, effective and easy leadership development training for leaders across all kinds of organisations.
Contact us today to find out more about our bespoke leadership development training.
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