The days of 1970s-style management should be over.  Sadly they are not.  Bad managers are still out there. Soul-crushing in the workplace still goes on and it’s causing businesses harm. Poor management wreaks havoc. It costs businesses money and it prevents growth.  Where these out-dated practices are still evident, then it’s clear managers need coaching skills to turn things around.

But while disempowering leadership still exists, It’s not all doom and gloom. Many businesses are getting to grips with a positive culture.  They are growing their understanding that employees are assets. As a result, they’ve adopted management styles to develop and coach staff to do their best, rather than lead by scaring them into action.

Coaching staff, not managing them works. Many businesses are hiring experts to help improve management. And for those businesses getting management right, it’s paying dividends. All managers need coaching skills. It’s simple. Get the best out of your people and your business has more chance of success.

Let’s take a look at the old-school style of management, what makes a good manager and why managers need coaching skills to succeed.

Old-school management sucks

The 1970s are renowned for poor management. Take CJ, the boss at Sunshine Desserts in 1970s sitcom Reginald Perrin as an example. CJ summed up everything a manager shouldn’t be. He was autocratic, ineffectual and made his employees’ lives difficult.

For younger readers, the film The Devil Wears Prada is perhaps a more poignant reference, where diabolical fashion editor Miranda Preistly (played by Meryl Streep) ruled with criticism, sarcasm and impossible expectations.

Old-school managers are terrible listeners. They often yell to get things done. In organisations where this style of leadership exists, employees either keep their head down and suffer or quickly jump ship.

People who are scared, belittled, bullied or ignored don’t perform at their best. It’s a fact. The result? Bad management affects productivity. It impacts staff turnover and ultimately it hurts a business’s bottom line.

Bad management won’t work anymore

We are moving into an age where Millennials (those born between 1983 and 1994) are in their prime spending years. They are reshaping the economy and the workplace. Millennials have a different set of priorities than the generations before them. They want to work for responsible employers. They want to buy products and services from responsible companies. Businesses with poor culture are being ousted (Uber, Weinstein).

Deloitte’s Millennial Survey found that Millennials and younger generations want business leaders to take a more ethical stance and move the focus from making a profit to balancing social concerns. They want businesses to be more diverse and flexible, and more nurturing of and generous with their employees. Those organisations that listen will be the ones most likely to do well.

What makes a good manager?

Quite simply, a good manager gets the best out of the workforce they are managing. They make organisations successful because they attract the best people. They create an environment where employees thrive and are prepared to ‘go the extra mile’. Good managers build relationships and grow talent. They are excellent communicators and facilitators.

Key themes

  • An environment of collaboration and coaching
  • The positioning of employee goals to meet business objectives
  • Recruiting and retaining the best staff and importantly not being afraid to hire people better than themselves

Why managers need coaching skills

Effective management is critical to the success of any business. When employees perform at their best, the company wins. How do businesses get the best out of their employees? Employee engagement begins with positive company culture and good managers.

Good managers need to inspire. Listening, empowering and coaching are management skills central to improving the performance of entire teams.

What are good coaching skills?

In a nutshell, coaching is all about helping someone else to learn. While there is no set blueprint for being a great coach, there are some personality traits and skills that are fundamental. The top 11 skills required to be a great coach and unlock potential are:

1. Listening
2. Questioning
3. The ability to build rapport and encourage input
4. Empathy
5. The ability to summarise and reflect clearly and concisely
6. Challenging limiting beliefs
7. Sustaining focus
8. Non-judgemental
9. Giving constructive feedback
10. Trustworthy and treats others with respect
11. Self-aware

Well-managed firms don’t get ahead by accident. They hire good managers. The effect of management on staff is huge. Get it wrong and your business will suffer. Train your managers to coach and the effect on your business could be exponential!

Mike James is a featured author and business writer, specialising in HR, Marketing and Cybersecurity. Published on numerous online authorities and print magazines, Mike is currently focusing on HR and management.