The Importance of Supporting Your Middle Managers through Leadership Coaching

A One-On-One Story from Coaching Right Now

John is a mid-level manager. While overall he likes the fact that he’s recognized by his company and continues to get more responsibility, he spends a significant amount of time feeling uncertain at work, never truly knowing if he’s getting things right.

John was very successful at the process-oriented work he did before being asked to become a manager, and he was happy to step up and fill a leadership role for his company. But it wasn’t long before he realized that his management role called for different skills than the ones he used so effectively in the past. This shift has made him feel less certain about his abilities, and sometimes he feels overwhelmed at all that his role entails. He now spends a lot of time managing a team with different personalities, cultural backgrounds, and generational differences, and is never quite sure how to get the best out each of them to produce the outcomes desired by his upper management.

Despite being a manager for several years, John often wonders if he could do any of it any better.

John is just one example of countless middle managers in the U.S. who are feeling overburdened, as companies continually try to do more with less resources.

“These are the managers who are at risk of burning out and leaving your organization – unless you provide the proper support and development to perform their new responsibilities,” said Peter Walsh, Head of Global Marketing at Harvard Business Publishing.

And as many companies have seen, burnout usually follows a common path, leading first to an increasing lack of initiative, and ending with employees moving on to other, less stressful, opportunities.

Providing the Right Kind of Training through Coaching

While providing your middle managers with leadership training is the obvious answer to the problem, it’s important to note that not all training is created equal. In order for development training to be truly effective, it’s critical to invest in training that develops with your middle manager over a sustained period of time. One great way to do this is through coaching.

Leadership coaching, especially with a one-on-one focus, allows your managers to speak with a trusted partner about their specific leadership issues. This allows your managers to go much deeper than any one-size-fits-all workshop could take them. It also creates a greater potential that they’ll more impactful and lasting results.

Likewise, working with a coach who is outside of your organization will provide your managers with a feeling of safety, allowing them the freedom to be open about their struggles, without fear of creating conflict with anyone inside the office.

And if you incorporate coaching that’s virtual (and live!), you’re able to develop all of the middle managers within your organization, no matter where they’re located around the world.

Providing developmental support to your middle managers is critically important to the ultimate success of your organization. By helping them develop solid management skills and strategies, you can replace the uncertainty they’re most likely feeling with confidence and a renewed motivation for their work.

The return on investment for you company? Greatly improved productivity and results, as well as an increase to your bottom line.

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