#Nextchat: Coaching for First-Time Leaders



“The ultimate test of a leader is how well he/she can build leadership in others.” ~ Dave Ulrich


Coaching in the workplace – it’s not just for executives anymore.

As more young professionals enter first-time management positions, a strategic opportunity exists for organizations to provide the professional development that will prepare these new leaders for success in their new roles. One of the best ways to do this is through coaching.

According to the International Coach Federation, “professional coaching results in many benefits: fresh perspectives on personal challenges, enhanced decision-making skills, greater interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence. Those who undertake coaching also can expect appreciable improvement in productivity, satisfaction with life and work, and the attainment of relevant goals.”

Coaching should not only be a part of new manager development programs, but it should also become a mindset that permeates organizational culture. This includes hiring new managers who have the ability and experience to coach and develop others as well as creating an environment of trust.

In many organizations, coaching programs are typically directed at senior-level executives. In his blog post “Using Coaching to Develop First-time Leaders,” Colmon Elridge of the International Coach Federation asks, “Why not expand this access to first-time people managers? After all, as the workforce ages, they will be assuming those executive roles in the future. Equipping leaders with the tools for a more coach-like leadership style early on will no doubt have a positive, long-term impact on your organization.”

Regardless of the management level, organizations should connect their coaching programs to business strategy. Managers need to understand why coaching is important to accomplishing goals and to supporting their organization’s vision and mission. HR plays an important role in creating a structure for a coaching program, including its goals and how it will be managed and measured.

How are you using coaching in your organization?

Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on October 18 for #Nextchat with special guest Colmon Elridge @colmonelridge. We’ll chat about how you can create or improve a program for coaching in your workplace.

Q1. What type(s) of training or coaching does your organization provide to first-time managers?

Q2. Should executive coaching look like first-time manager coaching? How should they mirror each other and in what aspects should they differ?

Q3. When interviewing prospective people managers, what qualities, skills or experience are indicators that the prospective candidate has a coaching mindset? What questions do you ask?

Q4. Listening and relationship building are important skills to develop in your coaches. What other qualities are necessary to be an effective coach in the workplace?

Q5. If you’ve ever been coached as a manager, what qualities in the coach – or aspects of the coaching – did you find most helpful to your personal and professional development?

Q6. Effective coaching is about driving results and achieving goals. How do you know if your organization’s coaching program is effective or where it may need tweaks?

Q7. What can organizations do, outside of providing coaches to managers, to help create a culture of coaching, learning and development for all employees?

Q8. What advice can you share with employers as they look to create or strengthen their management coaching programs?

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