Coaching and Mentoring to be a Good Boss or a Better Manager

Posted by Elizabeth Pearce on Sat, Dec 31, 2011 @ 10:08 PM

Many of us have New Years Resolutions around becoming a better manager or a "good boss." So here another book with coaching and mentoring advice from Robert Sutton, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Good Boss, Bad BossBe the Best … and Learn from the Worst. Sutton, Professor of Management and Engineering at Stanford University, delves into the latest management and psychological research with stories derived from reaction to his prior book, The No Asshole Rule (a NY Times bestseller).

At Mentor Resources, Sutton's ideas resonated because we believe in Strength-Based Learning.  Coaching and mentoring should build on what you do well in the workplace, as should leadership and talent development programs.

By contrasting examples of the best and worst bosses, Sutton builds a case for staying in attuned to how the people who work directly for you react to what you say and do.  The best bosses are self-aware and know that their success depends on accurately interpreting their impact on others, and having the self-control to make adjustments that spark effort, dignity, and drive among their people.

Most supervisors suffer from overestimating their intellectual and social skills, and most coporations could benefit from additional coaching and mentoring of managers.  The best bosses are keenly aware of their flaws and work to overcome them. 

Excellent managers constantly seek to change and improve the situation, sometimes calling in others to help. They often seek out coaching and mentoring to improve their skills. The best bosses devote significant effort to understanding how their moods and actions impact their followers’ performance.

A Summary of Useful Tricks for Taking Charge

Since the single most important thing bosses to is convince others that they are in charge, we will share with you Sutton’s seven steps for enhancing the perception of leadership:

  1. Talk more than others, but not the whole time.
  2. Interrupt occasionally—and don’t let others interrupt you too much.
  3. Cross your arms when you talk.
  4. Use positive self-talk
  5. Try a flash of anger occasionally.
  6. If you aren’t sure whether to sit or to stand, stand. Place yourself at the head of the table.
  7. Surrender some power or status, but make sure everyone knows that you did so freely

At Mentor Resources, we have a variety of tools to help corporations create coaching and mentoring programs for those who seek to become good bosses and outstanding managers. Our best known tool is WisdomShare®, a software package designed to make life much easier for the administators of formal mentoring programs, as well as the Mentors/Mentees.  While the software is merely a tool, it helps organizations use mentoring programs to maximize their existing training programs and to leverage their training dollars. 

We also have books for individuals seeking to maximize their mentoring experience, as Mentors or Protegees.  If you are an individual team leader, this book by Robert Sutton (as well as his previous No Assholes Rule) are worth your time to read.  We encourage you to ask your Human Resource department for coaching and mentoring programs to help you become the best manager possible.

If you are a diversity manager, or talent development professional, we will be hosting a number of webinars in 2012 which you may find of interest.  Early in the year, we plan to have a webinar on Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and how coaching and mentoring programs can help migrate them into greater alignment with the business goals and strategic objectives.  Such groups are usually referred to as a Business Resource Group (BRG). 

We encourage you to sign up for updates on corporate coaching and mentoring, using the form on the right.  

Topics: talent management, Leadership Training, workforce development, Employee Engagement, Employee Resource Groups, Good Boss, Coaching, Robert Sutton