The Manager Hack - Use This One Coaching Technique to be 10X More Effective

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What if you could build better rapport with your staff?

What if you could increase productivity AND reduce stress?

What if you could develop team loyalty and be recognized as an effective boss?

To understand why some managers are effective and some fail miserably, we have to look at the differences between the two.

You see, once a manager gets promoted he understands he is now the boss of his subordinates.  This is a form of positional power and the least effective power there is in business. The connection most new managers make is:

“I’m the boss, so I have to tell people what to do – and if they don’t I have to discipline them”


“I’m the boss and I have to SHOW people I mean business”


“I’m not comfortable being the boss, so I’ll just try to be everyone’s friend and hope they do their job.”

NO!   NO!   NO!

You see, the most effective power in a managerial or leadership role to have is referent power.  Referent power comes from the ability to influence others effectively because of your skills and personal qualities that others admire and respect.  There is a form of trust that is formed which translates to loyalty, respect and support.

In fact, individual referent power can be more effective than higher management has on a team.

And that’s where coaching comes in.  You see, coaching is about creating results together through the development of trust and respect.  It uses techniques that provide deeper levels of commitment and connection to the manager’s objectives by shifting the ownership to the individual team member.

And while there are many available coaching techniques, I wanted to share ONE key technique and explain how to put it in action now to get immediate impact on productivity.

I’m going to DIVE right in to talk about the number ONE technique and it is:


That’s right.  Coaching is primarily about asking powerful questions to get the client to have insights or “aha” moments about their beliefs, approach or obstacles – and dealing with your team should be no different!

Let me explain.

If I’m John’s manager and John needs to prepare a presentation for me by the end of the week, I have several different ways of getting that across.  For example, if I tell John, “You need to talk to Bill this morning, gather research from Mary this afternoon and get me a sample outline by tomorrow night,” I am telling you exactly what I want done by when and how to go about it. 

You see, I OWN THE APPROACH – John is just following the steps I lay out.

Now, let’s use our coaching approach.  Instead of telling John how to go about, we ASK him.

“John, I know you’re working on the presentation for this Friday, what approach do you think would work best?” 

Do you see how that changes the dynamic?  Now John is going to come up with a plan and you’re there for support.  JOHN NOW OWNS THE APPROACH.

What’s the difference?  If the presentation doesn’t get done, it’s John’s approach that didn’t work, so John has a strong interest in making it happen.  It also helps John to start to thinking like a manager and develop his problem solving skills.  Just as important, John’s plan will work best for how he works (not the way you would do it) so he’s going to be more effective.

Try it!

Action-Step: Use your next 1-on-1 meeting and trying asking only questions and probe around the answers given.

Here are some sample questions to get you started:

·       What challenges are you facing right now?

·       Which issue, if resolved, would have the most impact for you?

·       Tell me about the situation.

·       How did you react?

·       What obstacles might come up?

·       What is the first step you need to take?

·       What is the action plan going forward?

Add Your Own Questions!

These are only a small sample of questions you might ask.  The key is to develop questions that are really powerful and get your team or an individual team member really thinking about what’s the most effective approach.


By asking questions and co-creating the actions going forward, you’re fostering a supportive and collaborative environment.  This environment will begin to spread through the team and the culture will become one of working together and supporting each other – in time a true transformation of the team will occur and you as the manager will have been responsible!

Ready to Adopt More Coaching in Your Management Style?

Take a look at our free Coaching Techniques For Managers Guide to get a better understanding of coaching and how it can really help.  Click Here to Get Started.