Are your managers Coaches?

It is said that employees don’t leave companies, they leave mangers and I believe that.  We have all known this for a while.

Lately I have been asking people how they were first trained to be a manager.  The most common answer is “I wasn’t”.

Most of us began managing people the way we wanted to be managed or copied the practices of someone that we thought managed us well or we avoided the practices of people that we thought managed poorly.

The truth is most us were never taught how to manage people.  Let’s not teach them now either, instead let’s each them how to coach people.

Review the steps below, bring your “coaches” together to discuss how your team might modify and implement a coaching system for your organization.

Focus on “what’ not “how”

  • Set clear goals and directions
  • Set KPIs
  • Hold people accountable for results
  • Provide support
  • Step back and let your team figure out how to do it

Institute a Simple 1-on-1 Meeting

  • Help your people develop faster and get more done
  • Allow your employees to be the best that they can be
  • This should be scheduled with a specific agenda for each individual


  • Maximum 30 minutes
  • Block off the afternoon to meet with each member of your team
  • KEEP the appointments
  • Support your people

Action Steps

Come Prepared

  • Get status updates on tasks and projects
  • If not on schedule – ask why not?
  • KPI status update, if not on track – ask why not?
  • This is not a blame session, it ensures mutual awareness

Tangible Actions for the Week

  • Agree on actions they will complete this week
  • What’s the “one thing” they’ll focus on this week to move their top priority forward
  • Address identified issues
  • Be specific about tasks and due dates
  • WRITE down what matters…it is a clear signal and focuses effort

Follow Up

  • Inspect what you expect
  • Hold people firmly accountable
  • This is not micromanagement, give freedom and autonomy as to “how”

Clear the Obstacles

  • Ask what support or resources they need from you
  • Stay out of the way
  • Minimize demands, eliminate conflicting priorities
  • Shield them from distractions

Ask if they have any Issues

  • How are they feeling?
  • What’s going on in their life right now?
  • Take a sincere interest in them, business and personal

Share Issues / Feelings you would like to Raise

  • Performance reviews are not an annual event
  • Communicate every week, with data and observations
  • Let them know you are on their side
  • Demonstrate your commitment to helping them succeed

Finish on a High Note

  • Acknowledge what is being done well
  • Praise specific behaviors you want to reinforce: “I was impressed with the creative approach you took on this project to get the report done on time.”

Final Thoughts…

  • This takes discipline – it is important and should not be thought of as urgent
  • The payoffs are big for you and the employee
  • Schedule it in both of your calendars and make it happen

Try it for 13 weeks and see how much more you and your team actually get done.


Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC.  We work with successful top executives with a driving ambition to crush their competition. We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication and accountability throughout their organization.

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