Imagine this. You are at work and your manager comes up to you and says “You’re not working hard enough. You’re on my hit list”. How would you feel – confused, angry, outraged? And probably with good reason if nothing has been said to you before about your performance. If you were dismissed you would have good grounds on which to fight your dismissal … but we don’t want to go there. Instead we want to look at the positive side of this scenario, which wouldn’t happen if your manager was really a leader … especially if s/he was a leader who could coach.

Let’s face it. Everyone who goes to work wants to do a good job. They don’t go to work to slacken off. They expect to do a good job for a good day’s pay, plus to work in a friendly environment that values and respects them. They remain motivated and committed to the job and the company for as long as they are socially connected, their strengths are recognised and they feel they are contributing to the bigger picture. On the reverse side, they become dissatisfied when they are overworked, under-valued, don’t have access to the right information and training, and are not included in decision making at the local level.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! Leaders who coach their direct reports give them immediate feedback on their performance so they can improve. They don’t wait until the annual performance review to tell them what they are doing right, and where they can improve. They have coaching conversations with their employees to discover what motivates them to engage in the workplace and do their best. They make development plans with goals that include career objectives and challenge opportunities. They review their performance in a positive, constructive way that generates a committed relationship with the leader, the team and the organisation. In return, direct reports demonstrate their appreciation of the coaching approach by their dedication to doing their very best (and more) at all times. Here’s the bottom line:

  1. Employees who are motivated and engaged feel totally connected with the organisation. They perform their job well and manage their work, family and social obligations with apparent ease.


  1. Leaders who coach provide daily feedback to their direct reports on their performance and ways to improve. They strive to motive and inspire their team to do and be the very best they can be. They model an inspirational leadership style that transforms and influences others in the workplace to achieve individual, team and organisational goals.


  1. Organisations which respect their employees, honour their commitment to them and include them as valued members of the work community, know and appreciate the value of coaching and train their leaders as coaches so that they can have the coaching conversations which transform individuals, workgroups and eventually, the entire organisation.

Coaching Work Situations