Challenge With Your Manager? How to Coach Them to Coach You

No Jedi Mind-trick here. The magic happens in changing your mindset and communication. Discover what you can do to Coach Up and create the relationship you want with your manager and how you like to be managed.

During my trip to Moscow, while delivering my management coach training program, a manager, frustrated by the fact that she wasn’t getting the recognition, training and support she needed, asked, “Is it acceptable to tell your boss what you really want from them? I mean, shouldn’t they already know what I need and if they don’t know, shouldn’t they be the one to find out?”

COACH UP! If you don’t take a stand for yourself, who will.

In a perfect scenario, yes. However, your manager may not have a high sense of self-awareness. Or, maybe they’ve never been supported that way, so that’s how they learned to manage. And, shockingly, they may have never been trained how to manage and coach.

Instead, managers make costly assumptions about you and how you want to be managed. “Well, this is how I like to be managed, so I’ll assume that’s how my team wants to be managed.” Consequently, they will now manage you in their image.

Sometimes, you have to tell people what you want, how you like to be acknowledged, coached, held accountable and motivated. Why? Because it’s hard to recognize the needs of others, if it’s something that you don’t get yourself.

Enrolling Your Manager How You Like To Be Managed and Motivated

Your manager isn’t clairvoyant. If you find your manager’s style isn’t aligned with the style you respond best to or get the most value from to fuel your momentum and productivity, it’s time to take the initiative around having this conversation. Here is an example of a coaching talk track to coach up and position a conversation that your manager would be open to having around how you want to be managed.

“Throughout my career, there were things prior managers have done, including some of the things that you do, which have had a positive and measurable impact on my performance and attitude. Since we both have an interest in my success, and each person wants to be managed and motivated differently, I thought it would help to share what I’ve seen you do that’s motivated me to perform at my best so you can keep managing/coaching me that way. This will help make your job easier and achieve our shared goals. Would you be open to helping me around this?”

Yes, You Can Coach Your Manager!

Rather than leaving it up to chance, or waiting around until your manager gets a clue that they’re the person who needs to initiate this discussion in an effective way, you can enroll your manager on establishing these new boundaries and expectations of how you like to be coached, managed, communicated to and supported in a way that benefits everyone.

How effective you are in doing so rests in your ability to craft your message in a way that creates a new possibility and an open floor of communication, rather than fear and confrontation.