The authors note that individuals with high level of emotional
intelligence have a more clear sense of what is needed from them
as employees. The book also suggests that coaching managers need
to give more feedback to employees so as to develop a mirror
through which the latter can analyse themselves more clearly. A
good coaching manager is one who is able to inculcate a sense of
self-appraisal in an employee while running the organisation
qualities of a good coaching manager, authors opine that he
should not believe in the "swim or sink" theory of
employee development wherein individuals are given challenging
assignments: those who are successful advance, while failed ones
face a stalled career graph. Instead, in helping their employees
develop they should exercise less control and more autonomy.
Drawing an analogy, they must act like a gardener who plants the
right flowers (read employees): create a context, provide some
support and help out in distress.
managers and employees might feel threatened by the level of
openness needed in learning, yet this might not be an exercise
in futility. One should learn from mistakes. The book quotes an
example from the initial days of IBM. An executive whose project
had gone awry came down to submit his resignation. At this,
Thomas Watson Sr., the company’s founder, responded: "Why
would I want to lose you? I’ve just invested a lot of money in
you." Financial costs were important but Watson felt that
in the process the executive had learnt something more valuable.
Today, IBM needs no introduction.
To get a feel of
the problem firsthand, managers should actually step in the
shoes of their employees. By doing so, they may actually become
accessible to employees; thereby helping them bring up more
and every employee feedback needs to be analysed in perspective
and not in parts. Managers should avoid seeing a distorted image
and view the performance with a certain amount of tentativeness.
In one of the chapters, it’s been beautifully explained how
after four hours of hard toil in the morning, road construction
workers were given a well-deserved coffee break at a time that
coincided with the morning office rush hours. Commuters could
actually be seen cursing these workers for wasting time and
taxpayers’ dollars just because that’s what they saw. What
they failed to see was unadulterated toil that started well
modern ‘e’ (electronic) touch to the whole issue of coaching
managers, authors found out that some managers use e-mail,
telephone and videoconferencing to give advice and that
telephone is by far the most popular form of information
dissemination. Software packages that describe lists of
competencies, development tips and competency-specific coaching
advice are now readily available. Cisco has it on the corporate
Intranet. As an after-action review, e-mail interview asking
what went well, what went wrong and what was learnt should be
encouraged. However, authors are of the view that coaching
dialogue is likely to remain high-touch than hi-tech. Nothing
can beat face-to-face problem-solving conversation.
That is why this
fifth ‘e’ could not find a place in leadership qualities.