HR Magazine – Eight coaching skills every HR manager should master

Good leaders are good coaches. HR leaders are on the front line to guide, inspire and encourage people to perform and change. By effectively coaching those around them, they are changing the game. So what are the coaching skills every HR manager should master?

1. Big goals are only achieved through daily actions

Big goals, big visions, and bulky strategy documents can show us where we’re headed, but most people are intimidated when faced with them. They must translate into the daily actions necessary to achieve them. This is the role of the HR manager as a coach.

You only progress towards the big goal by many small steps.

Focus your coaching on encouraging others to identify and create the new habits they need to make a difference. By consistently taking these steps, individuals will move themselves and the company toward the big goal.


Learn more about setting effective goals:

What is the evidence of…goal setting?

Listen now: How to create a results-driven culture

What are OKRs? And how to use them well?


2. The coach doesn’t say

Coaching is about helping people discover for themselves what they need to do to move towards the big goal. It’s much more efficient and more durable than ordering someone to do something.

Encouraging self-discovery makes coaching powerful and differentiates it from mentoring. Remember that if you give someone a fish, you are feeding them for a day. If you train someone to fish, you feed them for life!

3. The real meaning is in the subconscious

Most people are unaware of what they are doing, no matter why they are doing it. So many people live their professional and personal lives within 10% of their consciousness. They are blissfully oblivious to many things, including their impact on others.

Qualified coaching means diving under the tip of the iceberg to help colleagues understand what is really going on. This is the key to unlocking improved performance and uncovering behaviors that block advancement. Asking the critical questions and probing the answers is at the heart of an effective coach.

4. We are all products of our past.

The way people behave in working life, especially in stressful situations, is strongly conditioned by our past. Our life experience, especially in our youth, holds the key to where we are today and how we respond when challenged when the heat is turned on. It is a rich and effective field for the HR leader as a coach. We must discover the past to discover how people can progress in the present.

5. There is a purpose in every human act

But that’s often not what we see immediately on the surface. As a coach, stop to reflect on what is really going on. Don’t be deceived by what you see at first glance. Deploy gripes of fair skepticism.

6. Recognize the difference

Don’t coach people by comparing them to what you would have done in the same situation. Coaching is not about you. Recognize the difference in your coaching. Understand that others may have different but equally powerful values. It is these differences that prevent groupthink and often provide groundbreaking innovations and clever solutions to intractable problems.

7. All data is evidence

Some of the smallest things our colleagues do are powerful evidence and data that can pave the way for self-development. Watch the little things carefully. Sometimes it’s body language or observing the details of social interactions that provide the best insight.

8. Be nice

See the whole person in front of you. Our private lives and our professional lives are one and the same. The pandemic has taught us that. We are not two people. We are the only person between home and work.

The HR manager as a coach is well placed to help colleagues deal with well-being, mental and physical health, work/life balance and many other things that help us live a balanced and fulfilling existence. . The HR manager as a coach is a critical and supportive Sherpa in life.

Jeremy Campbell is a people and business transformation expert and CEO of Black Isle Group