Coaching skills for managers are essential in today’s workplace. Coaching skills help managers to engage and motivate their staff and make it easier for everyone within the team to be successful.


Coaching is all about asking the right questions, to encourage your team members to explore and take responsibility for a specific topic. As a result, knowing the right coaching questions for managers is a core coaching skill.


For example, if you’re starting a new project, and in the project kick-off meeting, you have two options. If you’re a ‘directive’ manager you can do most of the talking: tell your team the objectives of the project, the tasks and timeline, and allocate tasks to be completed.


However, if you want to engage and motivate your team you need these coaching questions for managers:


  1. What do you think might be appropriate goals for this project?
  2. Where are we now, what’s our current reality?
  3. What are our options?
  4. What’s our way forward, our immediate next steps?


Asking questions helps your team to engage with the work, to feel valued, to feel motivated to contribute to the project and give their discretionary effort to make the project successful.


Coaching is often confused with mentoring, and it’s very important to understand the pros and cons of coaching vs mentoring.


Both coaching and mentoring can be used to support the development of your team. However, they’re very different in how they do this.


Coaching is about asking questions and helping the coachee to find the answer for themselves. Mentoring is about sharing experience, information, resources and network. As you can see coaching vs mentoring is very different.


Both involve a working relationship. Both involve meetings over a period of time, often 6-9 months. But because of the differences of coaching vs mentoring they’re used to address different development needs.


Coaching is often used to help team members with specific tasks, especially if the tasks are core to their role, where you’d expect the team member to have the answers and be able to take responsibility.


Mentoring is more often used to help prepare your team members for future roles, or when they’re taking on projects or work that is new to them and where they need guidance.


Use these coaching skills for managers and clearly understand coaching vs mentoring and you’ll soon be finding success, for both yourself and your team!

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