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We were discussing why it is important for the manager of today to be a high performance coach. Merely being a high performer himself or being a subject-expert, I am afraid, is no longer adequate.

The next logical question was: Are there some specific abilities that managers must have to be effective performance coaches?

Here are a few that I believe are crucial for success and the reasons why. The manager must be/must have:

  • A role model who embodies the beliefs, values and behaviours that your organization stands for. They demonstrate leadership by leading from the front.
  • An expert in his/her area of operations. This gives them the confidence to solve problems and guide others.
  • Honest enough to give feedback which is objective and timely. This helps the team stay on track and avoid last minute surprises.
  • Interpersonal skills to deal with different stake holders including superiors, peers, team members and business associates. This ability builds relationships which are based on mutual respect.
  • Confidence and credibility to face issues without escalting them needlessly or avoiding them through inaction. Decisive managers energize their teams by their own actions.
  • Analytical skills . To understand issues and the impact they have on team performance and business objectives.
  • Creativity. To look beyond the obvious. To encourage new ideas however radical. This emboldens the team to think through issues and come out with their own solutions.
  • Perseverance to see things through to a logical close. Being a starter is not enough. Payments are made for completions, not for starts.

By developing these abilities in ourselves, we become more effective in coaching others for high performance.

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