“The role of the manager, in short, is becoming that of a coach.”
Harvard Business Review (HBR) highlights that, even before the pandemic and Great Resignation, a shift to workplace coaching had begun.
“In the face of rapid, disruptive change, companies are realizing that managers can’t be expected to have all the answers and that command-and-control leadership is no longer viable,” HBR authors Herminia Ibarra and Anne Scoular wrote in 2019. “As a result, many firms are moving toward a coaching model in which managers facilitate problem solving and encourage employees’ development by asking questions and offering support and guidance rather than giving orders and making judgments.”
Recent workplace trends have pushed managers and teams to evolve and reshape:
“Traditional workplace development focuses on finding and fixing people's weaknesses,” said Marlo Foltz, director of blended learning for CUNA. “The result often becomes a negative experience for employees, with mediocre performance improvements and employees who are less engaged. Instead, developing people's strengths helps them become more confident, productive and self-aware.”
Strengths development sets the groundwork for a positive company culture that focuses on the continual growth, improvement and understanding of everyone in the organization. The benefits of this approach are magnified when both coach and employee clearly know their own strengths.
This can be achieved with great clarity via the CliftonStrengths Assessment, offered through the Gallup organization. It helps people who take it to:
“These assessments help explain an individual’s talent DNA. They explain the natural attributes people have, instead of what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’,” Foltz said. “We are excited to utilize these assessments in the upcoming CUNA Coaching Leadership Virtual School. People leaders of all levels can practice, refresh and reinforce their skills to build better teams. They can also advance their careers and support the credit union movement that is focused on people helping people – including adapting management practices that help their own teams.”
“We live in a world of flux,” the HBR authors wrote. “Successful executives must increasingly supplement their industry and functional expertise with a general capacity for learning – and they must develop that capacity in the people they supervise.
“No longer can managers simply command and control,” the article continued. “Nor will they succeed by rewarding team members mainly for executing flawlessly on things they already know how to do. Instead, with full institutional support, they need to reinvent themselves as coaches whose job it is to draw energy, creativity and learning out of the people with whom they work.”