“A coach or mentor is anyone who, in the eyes of the employee, ensures she successfully navigates the course,” writes Rodd Wagner and James K. Harter in their book, 12: The Elements of Great Managing Gallup Press, 2006. As they continue, “The important aspect is not which of many terms this protector goes by - friend, coach, advisor, sponsor, counselor, support - but whether the employee feels she is not abandoned inside the business.”
With the above in mind, if we want people in leadership and management positions to coach and develop their employees on a routine and systematic basis, then they need to get coaching and development on a routine and systematic basis. As the aforementioned authors wrote, “A great manager needs a great manager in order to be a great manager…. Before a person can deliver what he should as a manager, he must first receive what he needs as an employee.”
So, how does one become a better manager? The quick answer is to get routine coaching yourself and to never let ego get in the way of making decisions. When we role model thoughtful decision-making and being open to feedback, particularly in the stage of preparing to make a decision, we send a signal to all involved that people are willing to do their best if they can have the “tools” they need to think through their challenges and solve their problems. If you or someone you know is struggling at work and in life, always check the “tools” they have.
This week, seek out more coaching from inside and outside the company, and continue to improve your decision-making abilities.