Towards a Differentiated Management Approach: How to Turn Managers Into Coaches

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Adopting a Differentiated Approach to Management: How to Turn Managers Into Coaches

The fact that our economies and organizations are turned upside down is a reality that will last. Companies and their organization of work cannot escape this phenomenon. In new structures, managers occupy the center stage and receive more and more responsibility.

By Liliane Held-Khawam, author of the book "Management through Professional Coaching: Learning to Cope with Complexity in a Globalized Economy"

Towards a human-friendly approach to management

Managers play an essential role within the company, being a link between the Board and grassroots employees. They are, moreover, given the responsibility to lead their employees through this period of deep change in the organization of work. These new challenges are very demanding for most managers, as they are used to a different management style. The aim of this article is to spot the main success criteria for the managers of tomorrow and to offer concrete ways of developing one’s own management styke. We will focus, in particular, on what we call "differentiated management".

This paradigm change in the organization of work, as well as its impact on the company's human factor are discussed separately in a related article:

The search for a new managerial profile

Managers and all other decision-makers, being first of all human beings, cannot avoid this questioning. They will be impacted by this upheaval at both organizational and personal level

Among the causes for this change in management profile, we may mention:

  • the deep change that affects the company’s structure and culture;
  • the globalization of markets;
  • tailor-made (less standardized) products and services;
  • the growing size of the teams managed;
  • the multiplicity of activities and projects;
  • the global vision of workflows.

We offer you to explore the simultaneous development of managers and their organization through the two following topics:

  1. The success criteria of the manager-coach
  2. The development of the company's management


Mobilizing and developing the company's human potential is becoming more and more crucial in order to face this time of deep change, both at organizational and cultural levels. Well-being and performance turn out not to be necessarily conflicting goals. Managers are the main asset of their company in order to carry out this change. Their role has deeply evolved. The criteria of success are not at all the same anymore.

Both responsibilities and the level of risk are increasing. In this context, classical management techniques are useful but insufficient. Ideally, managers should display a high level of both openness and firmness. They should be autonomous, responsible and seek performance. And they should help their employees develop in the same direction.

Such managers may be regarded as "coaches" who address the complex situations they have to face in a differentiated and relevant way. They have understood that human (or "behavioral") skills are essential for both their own successfulness and that of the company. This is differentiated management.

We thus invite managers to experience this approach and try to develop the corresponding skills. The risks they take will eventually pay off if they do so not in their own, but in the general interest.

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