Leading Blog


Coaching Your Employees for Influence and Impact

Berman Coaching

WHETHER you are a leader of a small team or the leader of a whole business, one of the key roles for any manager is the same. For you to be successful, your people—one, ten, or ten thousand—need to be successful. Our guidance in Influence and Impact: Discover and Excel at What Your Organization Needs from You the Most is intended to help you with your direct reports or your skip-level reports (one layer down). As Elizabeth Ling Decitre said to me, “After 23 years of work…when I look back…what I remember and get the most joy from [is] the team members I have helped finding the right career track or helped to get more pay for their great work, or conversely, those fewer I have pushed gently to find a more suitable career. Each time, it was a lot of time and intense discussions, but it was always worth it.”

The same guidance applies even if you are focused on someone deep in your organization. Help them to understand what the job entails and what the culture expects so that they can do the work you need from them the most.

Our fundamental premise is consistent throughout the book: Many people who are struggling in their job are not focused on the most essential, mission-critical business and cultural priorities that give them the most influence and impact. They may not even be aware of what those are! This drives how they spend their time, how they think about their job, and how they do that job. And just as important, the way they do their job is inconsistent with the culture and mores of your organization.

How managers can help their people is a book in itself. What follows are a few points from our chapter for leaders: Some bullet points on how you can help your people excel and shine, to your benefit, and your organization’s benefit. Most of what we are describing in this chapter can be summed up as “Coach more than supervise.” Managers acting as coaches to their team members is first and foremost an act of respect, which engenders respect. It is a core behavior of a high-performing executive. It is how you help others evolve, using your confidence in them to bring out their best:

  1. Help them know themselves better. For senior leaders, make sure they go through some type of formal development program. At a minimum, give them a 360° survey so they understand how they are perceived by their team, their peers, and you.
  2. Help them know you. Think through your own role, review your mission, vision, and remit. Look hard at your own strengths and preferences for how you work with others. Give them a chance to probe you and observe you—accept the possibility that what you do may not always match what you say.
  3. Clarify what success looks like. What will the outcome be when they achieve their mission? Imagine yourself taking them out for a celebratory dinner two years in and saying, “I am so proud of the way you have delivered on your work. You have influenced others throughout the organization, and several people have commented to me on your impact.” What did they do?
  4. Create psychological safety in your organization. It is essential that your people be able to influence you and have an impact on what you do and think. If they cannot question you or give you feedback, how could they possibly influence anyone else? This doesn’t mean lowering your standards. Quite the opposite – you will only reach your standards if you allow people to speak up about problems and concerns.
  5. Don’t micromanage. When you micromanage, you are reneging on your commitment to grant people authority. Your people, and hence you, will never be able to have the impact you want them to have if you are always fixing what they do. Consider the possibility that their way of doing something might just work as well as yours.

Remember that leaders and managers succeed when their people are engaged, empowered, and focused. Helping your team members develop their influence and impact is the best way for you to expand your own influence and impact. The time devoted to helping them will return your investment multiple times over.

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Leading Forum
Bill Berman Is the founder and CEO of Berman Leadership Development, a bespoke leadership coaching and assessment firm with offices across the United States and Europe. He is also the primary author of Influence and Impact: Discover and Excel at What Your Organization Needs from You the Most, published Summer 2021 by Wiley. In addition to growing one of the leading executive coaching firms in the New York region, Bill founded a software firm, taught at Cornell Medical College, and received tenure at Fordham University before leaving to start a software company. Bill began his career with a B.A. from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Yale. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and Board Certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology. For more information, please visit bermanleadership.com

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:59 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Management



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