How Career Coaching can Make You a Better Manager

Can career coaching really make you a better manager? Surely coaching is only for sportsmen and women you say. Well, just as learning a new sport is about acquiring news skills, becoming a good manager is the same. Somehow we feel more comfortable receiving coaching on the sports field.

A good career coach is like a partner in business. The coach equips you to develop your capabilities and handle challenging situations effectively.

Areas career coaching can target

As a manager you are in the business of people. Threats or being authoritarian was never the best way of motivating employees. It is even less so these days. Millennials want to be heard and treated with respect.

So how can career coaching assist in developing and enhancing your managerial skills?

Managerial style

Career coaching enables you to identify your natural way of managing your team. Are you people orientated or more task driven?

As a manager you need a fine balance between achieving results and ensuring that your team is motivated too. Managers all dream of managing a team of competent and motivated employees. The reality is different though. Some team members are highly competent and self-driven. Others may be new to a position. So they lack knowledge and skills and may also feel a little insecure. Then we have those employees who are skilled but may lack motivation for some reason.

Therefore career coaching helps you understand your employees better. You identify their level of competence and motivation. And through coaching you learn how to adapt your style to each individual to bring the best out in them.


Today’s millennials want to be heard. So you need good listening skills. In this way you will hear and act upon what your employees share. Listening is an essential skill and goes a long way to retain staff and staff morale.

Tess works for a manager, Jill, who is young and lacks adequate listening skills. Whenever Tess raises issues, Jill is quick to downplay the situation or give her interpretation.  Tess feels misunderstood. As a result she no longer trusts Jill. She feels that Jill is insecure and inflexible and therefore unable to hear a different point of view. So Tess has begun to disengage psychologically from her work. She is even considering other options.

Increased self-insight

Career coaching acts as a mirror of how you come across to others. Through coaching you identify blind spots that diminish your effectiveness as a manager. Blind spots are aspects of yourself of which you are unaware or that you prefer to ignore!

With support the coach helps you develop greater self-insight. The coach also equips you to develop more constructive ways to deal with situations.

Improved communication

Communicating effectively is an important management skill. Your team requires clarity on what is expected of them. Your role is to ensure that they implement the plans set out for the year effectively and efficiently.

Some managers are clear in their communication whereas others are often more vague.  However, your role is to ensure that your employees are on the same page as you concerning goals, projects and performance standards.

Conflict and difficult conversations

Managers need to handle conflict and have difficult conversations. There will be cases of poor performance, misunderstandings, low morale, interpersonal conflict, etc.  Tough conversations will occur. Therefore you need to learn how to conduct these in a way that is a win-win situation for all parties. Or at least that everyone feels the discussion was fair and reasonable.

Better time management

A manager’s time is not their own. As a result you need to manage your time carefully to ensure that you focus on priorities.  Career coaching enables you to establish key focus areas and identify time wasters. You learn how to become more firm and effective in how you utilise your time. As a result this will cut down on working after hours to complete work.

A final word

Career coaching helps minimise career limiting moves (CLMs): those times when someone has crossed our path and we want to react. Instead in a safe space we can voice our true feelings and explore ways that keep relationships (and egos!) in tact.


Posted in Coaching, Personal development.