+44(0) 113 322 9234

Xenonex looks at why Manager’s Needs to Practice Two Types of Coaching

Organisations that embrace a coaching culture will already be aware of the benefits of frequent coaching.  A combination of a formal and informal coaching approach can often be the best way to support all employees in improving their performance.


It’s interesting to read in this edited article by US Management Consultant Dick Grote that being a good coach is what stands a great manager out from a good one.


At Xenonex we are well placed to train internal and external coaches and have extensive experience of developing and embedding coaching within the public and private sector.


Frequent coaching makes sense for many reasons. The annual appraisal discussion is accompanied by high anxiety levels when it’s the only time the boss talks about performance. Goals and priorities change more often than a once-a-year appraisal can accommodate. Coaching can redirect effort toward revised priorities. Employees can better learn from experience when the analysis follows quickly on the event. People are more likely to ask for help if guidance is offered in informal reviews. And coaching that is focused on reinforcing effective performance is particularly valuable.


Confirmation that companies are on the right track in demanding frequent coaching sessions comes from Google’s “Project Oxygen,” the company’s rigorous, data-based analysis of what makes great managers. Technical expertise made a difference, but only a small one. The single most important differentiator between good and great managers? “Be a good coach.”




As you’re looking to increase the quality and frequency of the feedback you give your employees, recognize that there are two quite different types of coaching.


Calendar-Driven Coaching

Increasing the number of scheduled discussions will positively impact both employee performance and the perception of your effectiveness as a manager. But to have a high payoff, these scheduled sessions need to be more than a quick “How’s it going?” chat.


Calendar-driven, scheduled sessions should:

· occur in formal, structured, sit-down meetings
· be initiated, led, and controlled by the manager
· cover work conducted over time, not a singular event or project
· provide a forum for discussion and review of multiple events and competencies


Finally, both parties should clearly recognize these sessions as a feedback event.


Event-Driven Coaching

Another kind of coaching session is not sparked by a date on the calendar; it arises spontaneously after some specific incident or activity.


Incident-driven feedback should:
· occur whenever discussion is needed
· focus on a discrete incident
· be triggered by a “teachable moment”
· be a routine part of day-to-day work
· rely on two-way accountability and interaction


This type of coaching may not even be recognized as a feedback session.


Whether the coaching session is one that’s been on the calendar for months or one that arises spontaneously on a chance encounter, remember that people want feedback, more-frequent is better than less, effectiveness is contingent on a strong manager-employee relationship, and — most of all — trust determines success.


If you are looking to develop your skills in coaching and mentoring we are currently recruiting for our open programme in Executive Coaching and Mentoring starting in Leeds in January 2017. It is aimed at senior managers, HR professionals and professional coaches keen to enhance and accredit their experience.  It is also the ideal qualification for those looking to lead a coach practice or work as an executive coach.


For more information call 0113 322 9234 or email jo.watson@xenonex.co.uk.

Suzanna Prout