You are the manager and you want to insure that your team members are strong performers. You know your primary focus is to set standards and guide your employees to higher performance levels. Though…how do you do it?

Does a strong manager demand or coach their employees to meet the expectations of their roles? I believe that developing coaching skills will make your job much easier.

What is coaching? Coaching is a more enjoyable way to interact with your employees. Like a coach of a sport’s team, you want to encourage your team, ensure they know how to play, know the rules of the role, clarify any misconceptions, and be there to listen and support them as they grow in their job knowledge.

Coaching an employee includes knowing their skills, depth of job knowledge and the gifts or talents they bring to the table. This way you know how to best motivate them.

How do you do all of the above while under pressure to meet the demands of the business? Maybe you feel that you are hand holding them and you can’t afford to do that. Coaching is not hand holding. Rather it is setting clear standards and making sure each team member is doing their best work. You have to spend time with your team in order to maximize the potential of your employees.

If you are a new manager, you are developing your management style and skills…and this can be a bit intimidating in the beginning. Start slowly and make small changes to how you interact with your team.

Here are some ideas that can help you coach your employees:

-Always take time to recognize or praise an employee for doing good work. If you see someone doing something that warrants recognition, do you stop and let him or her how you appreciate his or her work?

-Since people are different, take the time to find out how you can best help them perform better….by asking them.

-Have regular meetings with each member of your team.

-Take one employee each week and watch their performance… do they do their job, where do they need some help, how do they interact with other members. It can be overwhelming to watch everyone at the same time. One person at a time can be interesting… putting together the puzzle pieces.

-Watch how your manager handles you…..are you getting what you need to develop your management skills. If not, read or take classes to become better at this role.

Coaching skills are fundamental to your development as a stronger manager, as well as your team’s success in meeting the department’s deliverables.

Author's Bio: 

Pat Brill is the author of “The Secrets of a Successful Time Manager” ( and “Manager’s Guide to Performance Improvement.” ( Check out her blog: You can reach Pat at