Take our test!

We are big advocates of managers using a coaching style with their team members and the trend is really gaining momentum with most organisations now training their managers in coaching.

But how do you know if you are a good manager coach? Take our simple self scoring test to assess your level.


  1. How well have you been trained in coaching?
    (0=none, 1=very little, 2=some, 3=well trained)
  2. How confident are you in your coaching skills?
    (0=not at all, 1=only a little, 2=I’m OK, 3=very confident)
  3. How regularly do you use your coaching skills?
    (0=never, 1=infrequently, 2=often, 3=all the time)
  4. In your coaching sessions, how much is your focus on solving a problem compared to developing your team members’ abilities and resourcefulness to solve problems themselves?
    (0=always problem solving, 1=mostly problem solving, 2= 50/50, 3=mostly developing their abilities)
  5. Outside the formal coaching sessions, how often do you tell your staff what to do or give them your solution?
    (0=frequently, 1=a little too often, 2=a mix, 3=I always challenge and coach them to find their own solutions)
  6. How much are your team members developing and growing?
    (0=they are not, 1=sporadically, 2=some, 3=significantly)


Comments to the questions and your answers:

  1. We often find that managers have not had sufficient training. Reading a bit in a book or taking part in a half-day training in coaching as part of other management training is not nearly enough to give a strong coaching tool set. Coaching is not easy. We recommend two days of training plus follow-up with supervised coaching practice in the workplace to really embed the style.
  2. Confidence comes from regular practice and use, and is greatly enhanced with support from an experienced coach. When you experience the powerful impact that quality coaching can have both for your team members and yourself, it will spur you on to do more and build your confidence.
  3. Mastery of the skill comes from regular use. If you coach infrequently your ‘coaching muscles’ will weaken. Regular reflection on what is working well and where you can improve, and then continuous development of your skills will make you better and better, and reduce the risk of allowing yourself to build bad habits.
  4. Coaching’s biggest impact is its ability to help your team members develop and grow. Solving a specific problem facing your team member will not help them become more resourceful, confident and capable. Your focus should be on helping them become better at solving problems themselves. The old analogy of giving a man a fish or teaching him to fish applies here.
  5. Being congruent as a manager is critical for the success of your coaching style.
  6. If you profess to believing in them, wanting to listen and helping them find their own solutions but do so only once or twice a month, while the rest of the time your style is one of giving directions and providing solutions, then you are not being consistent. It is easy to slip into a more directive style, when you are busy, but your team members will lose trust in you and your intentions.
  7. Making a positive impact for your team members in a way that also benefits your function, your business and yourself is of course the ultimate objective of your coaching. How much of a difference is your coaching making? If you are seeing significant improvements in your team members’ capabilities, their motivation, their resourcefulness, their confidence and their performance through your coaching – then you are doing a good job of developing your teams in your role as a people manager, and you should be proud of yourself.

Scoring results:

Add up your scores up from the six questions.

  • 0-7: You have a long way to go to be a good coach. Is it better coaching skills training or more practice with good support you need?
  • 8-13: You have potential, but you also have a number of development areas. You would probably benefit from discussing with a coaching supervisor how to improve your skills, confidence and/or impact.
  • 14-16: You are well on your way to becoming a good coach. Keep pushing yourself to improve your coaching skills and impact.
  • 17-18: You are a great coach, a role model for your colleagues. We would expect that you have a highly motivated team, which is developing rapidly and feeling empowered by a great boss. Keep up the good work.

How did you score? We’d love to know, share your findings here or tweet your score to @QMTraining.

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