Online Coaching for Managers
Recently, online coaching has become a leading form of individual personal development, both in the area of personal life (personal coaching, life coaching) and professional life (business coaching, managerial coaching).
You may wonder if this form of coaching has negatively affected the effectiveness of this method of personal development and its benefits. Well, it turns out NO!
What's more, the development of modern technologies makes online coaching begin to revolutionize the approach to leadership development in companies, and managerial coaching in this form becomes a permanent part of modern development programs.
Managerial Coaching - Definition
Managerial coaching is working with directors, managers, and middle and senior managers. The purpose of this support is to maximize leadership potential. In each case, it is a very individual approach and depends on what a given manager needs most at the moment.
And this is done by jointly defining clear goals that a given coaching contract is to achieve, and then consistently striving to achieve the goals set for managerial coaching.
The main area of managerial coaching, on which the Coach and Coachee work together, are all business topics and all matters related to the Coachee's managerial role in a given organization
What specific topics can coaching for managers cover?
Cooperation with a coach is a very good idea to develop all the soft skills of managers. After all, the most important role of managers is to achieve results not individually, but through their teams. Thus, each sphere of interpersonal relations has an impact on the effectiveness and personal satisfaction of the team leader, the entire department, or the entire function.
In addition, the effectiveness of a manager is not only related to the ability to manage his team. It also concerns the ability to influence customers (both internal and external), cooperation with colleagues from the company working at the same level of the organizational structure, the ability to manage one's boss, and the ability to flexibly communicate with other stakeholders within the company - in particular with the top management.
Therefore, among the topics covered by managerial coaching, we can mention the following items:
effective leadership, in particular developing your own authentic leadership style,
all competencies related to team management, planning and implementation of business goals,
internal communication and building relationships with other people,
building employee engagement,
change or transformation management,
project management or project portfolio,
making difficult decisions,
managing your boss
planning and development of your career path,
smart self-care and prevention of professional burnout.
Benefits of Managerial Coaching for the Entire Organization
It is difficult to achieve positive changes in the company if there is no development of competencies, a change in attitudes, and a change in the behavior of managers. They are the drivers of change and are supposed to be role models for their teams. In fact, employees don't so much listen to what managers say they should do but mainly watch what managers DO. The daily behavior of managers is the main source of inspiration for employees and has a huge impact on increasing their commitment to work.
Therefore, conducting managerial coaching in an organization brings not only individual benefits for each of the leaders involved in this development process but also has a positive effect on the entire company.
Among the benefits that coaching for managers and directors brings to the entire organization, we can mention the following items:
increasing work efficiency,
more effective achievement of set business goals,
a positive change in the entire organizational culture,
increased employee engagement and greater job satisfaction,
better internal communication,
better cooperation between teams and departments, fewer conflicts,
preventing professional burnout - both managers and employees,
increased creativity and innovation of products and services,
faster development of employees and a better succession plan in the company
How does online coaching work?
Can online coaching achieve the same results as face-to-face coaching? Definitely yes! Provided that certain criteria are met.
First, this form of coaching poses a greater challenge to the Coach than to Coachee.
It is the Coach who has to try in a special way to first build trust and convince the client. It is the Coach who has to deal with the limitations of the video conversation, especially when it comes to listening "with all of himself" and observing the Coachee's body language, facial expressions and eyes, and tone of his voice. It is the Coach who must wisely and cleverly influence the Coachee to make his face fully visible on the screen during the session. It is the Coach who has to be an example of how this should be done.
It is often the Coach who has to convince the Coachee that talking via a smartphone has a negative impact on the quality of the conversation and it is much better to talk on the computer in a stable, comfortable environment.
It is the Coach who usually adapts to Coachee's technical preferences and should be equally skilled with various communicators and video chat tools (eg Zoom, MS Teams, Skype, Google Meet, WhatsApp).
Online coaching for Managers - what does the client need? How to prepare?
So what does Coachee need for online coaching to be effective? First, secure peace, silence, privacy, and even intimacy. It is essential that the conversation on the Coachee side takes place in a room that allows you to feel 100% comfortable and safe. In a room where annoying sounds from outside will not reach you and one where you can talk openly and safely about your secrets - without lowering your voice.
Guaranteeing the same conditions on the side of the Coach is simply part of what we call "being professional".
Without going into too many technical details (e.g. light in a room, proper positioning of the desk and camera, using or not using a virtual background) I would just like to mention the headphones here. Better to use them, especially compared to a laptop's hands-free system. The headphones effectively eliminate sounds coming from the surroundings and provide much greater comfort for conversation.
And if the Coach is talking on headphones, Coachee is sure that what he is talking about will not be heard by anyone other than the Coach (I mean, for example, the Coach's household or colleagues in another room). This is part of the confidentiality guarantee.
At the end of this section, an essential digression. As we have already mentioned in many places on this website (e.g. in the section How to choose a coach?), coaching is a highly individual relationship. And the preferences associated with it are also very individual. So if you feel that online coaching does not suit you - look for a coach who works in the office. But before you make that decision - I suggest using a free online session first to form your own opinion.
Online Management Coaching - is it effective?
There is already a lot of reliable information available confirming the effectiveness of online coaching - both in personal and business coaching. Moreover, a recent study by the leading organization International Coaching Federation shows that online coaching will remain the leading form of coaching in the near future (report published by ICF in January 2022).
For HR teams and company leaders, online coaching has become a proven, high-value investment. And, moreover, at present (January 2022) companies such as BetterUp, Torch, CoachHub, Bravely, SoundingBoard, Pluma, and Ezra are becoming one of the fastest-growing providers in the corporate training market and revolutionizing the approach to designing and implementing leadership development programs in companies.
Career Coaching as part of Managerial Coaching
As part of managerial coaching, you can specify very different goals. It depends on the current needs of a given manager, as well as their level of self-awareness. One of the essential threads in managerial coaching may be Career Coaching.
Career coaching usually starts with getting to know yourself well. In particular your personal values, natural talents, interests, and strengths and weaknesses.
At this point, it is also worth emphasizing that there is a difference between a person's strengths and natural talents.
Strength can be developed through regular, consistent work. Talent is something we are born with, and our activity in this field comes naturally to us. Example? Take, for example, motor intelligence (visible, for example, in dancing). Among men, only a small percentage can boast of it.
In our opinion, the best test available on the market showing our natural talents is the Gallup Test, also called StrengthsFinder.
You can read more about available personality tests and other psychometric tests in a dedicated post that we have prepared on our blog:
Career coaching helps clearly summarize and describe where you are starting from and precisely define where you want to get to. The difference between these two points will show you what and in which areas you need to do to get where you want to be.
More information on Career Coaching can be found on our dedicated subpage;
Leadership Coaching as part of Managerial Coaching
Apart from career coaching another element of managerial coaching, may be Leadership Coaching.
Becoming aware of or recognizing your leadership style and the resulting consequences can be a lifelong discovery. In particular, this may relate to preferences related to obtaining information, learning, making decisions, and communicating with others.
For many managers, it may come as a shock to discover that a manager focused on solving problems is not the best style - especially in today's times.
We write more about it on the dedicated subpage "Manager as a Coach" which is part of our Coaching Knowledge Library:
In order for a leader to be able to effectively and authentically lead others, he or she must first be able to manage themselves wisely. And this requires self-awareness and the willingness and ability to learn, as well as consistency in working on yourself. More information about the benefits you can get from leadership coaching can be found on the next dedicated subpage: