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From Boss to Coach: Transforming Your Management Style

Modern managers face many challenges compared to business leadership from earlier generations. For example, the move to remote or hybrid working requires management to be more proactive in keeping teams engaged. Additionally, today’s worker has different needs and demands, especially the desire to balance their personal and professional lives.

Because of this evolution, managers need to serve more as a coach than a boss. So, let’s look more closely at a few insights on transforming your management style for the current business world. Use this advice to make your teams more inspired, productive, and professionally satisfied.

Employees Need a Coach Focused on Their Professional Development

The modern employee wants to work for companies with a culture focused on professional development. This approach helps them learn the skills and gain the experience they need to advance their careers. However, many current companies fail to provide a meaningful training program or managers focused on this area. Notably, a recent survey from Gallup reported only 30 percent of employees strongly agree that management supports this need.

Because of this growing demand for professional development opportunities, managers need to add “coach” to their list of duties. Working closely with their direct reports on what training they need and checking on their progress is also important. In this regard, managers now need to serve as a mentor to their team members. This ensures they play an active role in helping their employees grow professionally.

Modern Managers Need to be Listeners With Empathy

When meeting with your direct reports individually, resist the urge to make demands or even dominate the conversation. Today’s employee increasingly values a boss who listens to their concerns or intriguing ideas for improvements. Simply listening with interest makes each employee truly feel like a valuable part of the team.

Of course, you still need to offer advice and set actionable goals, but focus more on listening. Showing an empathic nature makes any advice more meaningful while increasing the chance employees act on it.

Always Provide Timely and Constructive Feedback

When it comes time to provide feedback to an employee, ensure it is timely and constructive. This is the case whether the feedback is positive or negative. Adopting this simple act also plays a critical role in developing your direct reports. In the end, it’s also another attribute typical of the best coaches in sports.

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