Informal Coaching for Managers for Effective Team Management

Informal coaching for managers


Coaching is one of the important activities in any organization and should be conducted on a regular basis. Usually, managers are supposed to conduct coaching sessions for their team members and other employees. This helps the managers understand how people think about the career and what importance they give to the organizational objectives. It can also help managers to improve the performance of their team members and deal with the issues in the organization. Managers often conduct formal coaching sessions to guide their employees. In some cases, they face situations, where they need to conduct informal coaching sessions.

In this article, we will discuss how the managers identify situations, where they need to adopt informal coaching approach. It makes a lot of difference to the effectiveness of the team. The below guide help managers identify informal coaching opportunities. With proper practice, the informal coaching approach becomes an instinctive skill.

Step-by-step Guide of Using Informal Coaching Approach

Managers often consider that the purpose of informal coaching is to increase their performance, but the purpose of coaching is not performance improvement, but is to help the managers identify different situations. Managers can use the below guide in your day-to-day approach –

Managers should change their perspective

Managers should take time to explore the present and upcoming workload on their team. This is one of the best ways to gain awareness of what the team members are doing. The most talented employees are those who don’t recognize their workload and work hard for the benefit of the organization.

Managers should make sure that they adjust their schedule as per the demand of their team. This helps you to stay ready, when someone needs coaching. It is beneficial to know that the team members are working constantly on some or the other task. Remember that the team members may need your help any time, and you should be ready to guide them in an appropriate manner.

Know the mood of team members

It is one of the essential qualities of managers. They should know the mood of their team members. This can be quite easy and one can become more sensitive to the emotions of other people with little practice. If you are a manager and want to initiate a coaching conversation, it is better you recognize the changes in body language and behavior of the team members.

The team members may find the feedback unhelpful or there may be sudden changes in the work pattern of your team members. Therefore, before you start the coaching session, it is better to know their level of enthusiasm and interest. You should make use of informal coaching opportunity for better team performance.

Ask for permission

Being a manager, you may feel that it is time for an informal caching. But, it could be the time when the team members least need it. For instance, the team member may prepare for a sales meeting, rather than attending informal coaching. So, it is better to ask the team members whether it is a good time to conduct a few coaching conversations. This is a professional way to approach informal coaching.

Make the best use of time with informal moments

Use informal moments such a – passing the person in hallway or sitting in the break to start a informal coaching conversation. If the meeting ends early, you can make use the time for informal coaching. The spirit of informal coaching should be professional and spontaneous. Remember that informal coaching works well in small doses. If the person likes to have a coaching conversation, you should keep it short and restricted to the issue.

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How Informal Coaching is Beneficial?

Informal coaching can happen as a part of regular conversation between the team members and the manager. In this case, neither of the parties considers the process as coaching, even if it is happening actually. This kind of coaching is used by managers to develop a particular aspect of developing a task. It helps the managers demonstrate that they want to promote the atmosphere of trust, willingness and new ideas.

Creating an informal coaching environment within the organization help you to face today’s challenges of managing organizations change. They can deliver attitudinal changes and improve confidence in team members. It leads to a great level of motivation and help the employees achieve job satisfaction. The coaching managers are located in organizational context with focus on the priorities.

Managers can help the team members to visualize their future and generate options for achieving individual goals. Solution-focused coaching is useful for coaching managers, as it is directive than other coaching approaches. The coach will help the employees align their intrinsic as well as extrinsic drivers with the goal of the organization. With this kind of alignment, the team members may complete the tasks mechanically without any argument.

Effective coaching conversations between employees and managers help people make progress towards individual development as well as organizational development. There are a number of web sites that provide a wide range coaching session templates. These templates will help managers to maintain focus of each coaching session and provide a record of progress. Depending on your preference, you can choose an appropriate template.


Informal coaching is a bit daunting, if approached implicitly. Some team members may not be comfortable with the word coaching, but respond well to the managers who take time to listen carefully. The managers who are familiar with the tactics of informal coaching may schedule appointments in everyday workplace conversations.

As the informal coaching is not restricted to formal coaching sessions, one should not use of exclusively but according to the requirements of the situation. It should not be considered as a part of different management styles. Sometimes, the manager may switch in and out of the coaching mode during the conversation. Some managers love the idea of having a particular time period dedicated to their own development. For a manager, coaching is a smooth process that neither begins nor ends. The leadership style is simply the way managers do things in their workplace.

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