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Project Manager as a coach
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Have you practice coaching techniques with your team? what kid of techniques have been useful for coaching teams and members?
as a Project management professional I have identified that coaching is part of the practices I need to use in both cases teams and individually., but sometimes I am feeling crossing cross bounderies in a personal issues and in the functional areas responsibilities. Anny point of view about having coaching sessions as part of your project job?
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A coach needs to have the experience, wisdom, and credibility to be a coach. A great coach takes the perspective that they want to help the PM they are coaching learn enough so they can do a similar project the next time without a coach.
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2 replies by Dora Mejia and Lonnie Pacelli
Jun 17, 2019 10:02 PM
Dora Mejia
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Thanks, not sure if you are responding as a COACH or as a mentor
Jun 17, 2019 10:23 PM
Lonnie Pacelli
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I don't think there's a difference. Both coaching and mentoring involve imparting wisdom on the PM to help the PM be better at what he/she does.
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Jun 17, 2019 1:08 PM
Replying to Lonnie Pacelli
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A coach needs to have the experience, wisdom, and credibility to be a coach. A great coach takes the perspective that they want to help the PM they are coaching learn enough so they can do a similar project the next time without a coach.
Thanks, not sure if you are responding as a COACH or as a mentor
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Jun 13, 2019 9:22 AM
Replying to Lenka Pincot
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Hi Dora, that is very good question. I noted your comment about crossing the boundaries between personal and functional matters when you apply the coaching methods. I think in general that it is important to set yourself your own boundaries how much you want to be involved in personal reasons that may impact work performance. If you wish to avoid to cross such borders, you may suggest using professional coaches in your organization who would help team members to overcome their own personal challenges.
thanks agree, but my point is that this is a direct responsability of functional managers and teams can feel double management
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Jun 16, 2019 1:59 AM
Replying to MAHMOUD AHMED ALI AHMED NASR
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Thank you for this valuable discussion/topic and I just give thanks for a discussion that touch my heart.
thaks mahmoud, it is a great topic toshare ideas
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Jun 17, 2019 1:08 PM
Replying to Lonnie Pacelli
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A coach needs to have the experience, wisdom, and credibility to be a coach. A great coach takes the perspective that they want to help the PM they are coaching learn enough so they can do a similar project the next time without a coach.
I don't think there's a difference. Both coaching and mentoring involve imparting wisdom on the PM to help the PM be better at what he/she does.
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In most organisations a Mentor is normally a seasoned professional with many years experience with a particular organisation and who knows there way around and can deal with the pollical aspect of a organisation, project or position. A coach on the other hand may have developed there skills in different situations, may have a HR background but are use to dealing with people and there associated issues on a daily basis. Anyway be it mentor or coach both are highly valued and appreciated in any organisation.
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Jun 13, 2019 4:35 AM
Replying to Lukas Dohnansky
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Hi Dora,
as far I understand that your question is not about coaching with the specific field of expertise. That would evoke the answer which Sergio posted.
On my project I always make some time to monitor an approach to current tasks of each team member. I need to be sure, that there is no way how to loose any input due to some unresolved open points, which were not discussed properly. As we all well know, some of team members are not so loud on the meetings and usually take their problems on the task to their workspace.
This is something that manager should take care of individually, and with the time still improving this approach. Lets make it an easy point to discuss, what is the best way to improve the mindset, approach to work and deliver the best performance. This must be the strong skill of PM among his project teams.

Good question, Dora.
Thanks. yes my question was oriented to discover if PMs are applying coaching techniques or not and what kind of techniques. As many of the contributors need a distintion between coaching and mentoring.
thanks for your additional point moving to align the answers to a coaching approach.
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Jun 16, 2019 12:58 PM
Replying to Dora Mejia
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thanks. I have been using coaching techniques for improving team and individuals performance not in developing technical skills but for learning about theirselves and overcome limitations by theirselves
thanks for giving your distintion about coaching and mentoring. we need to declare this distintion
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Jun 13, 2019 9:01 PM
Replying to Adrian Carlogea
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For me coaching is close to teaching, a coach is to a good extent some sort of teacher.

If the PM is not the best SME on the project team he/she can't teach the team members on how to do their jobs better.

Eventually the PM could try to improve the non-technical skills of the team members or try to improve the interactions between them in the hope that this would improve their efficiency. However it is very hard to measure if these actions really help or not so the PM may be just wasting time on trying to coach the team.

The only coaching that is proven to be working is when a more experienced SME teaches a less experienced one on how to better perform some tasks.

Actually the overall experience is not that important experience in a certain functional area is. For instance an overall more experienced technical expert may be less experienced in a certain area than another expert so he may need coaching in that particular area. The coach would be the less overall experienced expert as he has better experience in that area.
thanks for giving your oppinions about the topic.
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Another important factor is that when we are talking about coaching and mentoring, the coach or the mentor must be someone with much more experience than those that are being coached or mentored. In project management this is not always the case.

On my current organization a consultancy is delivering some projects. The consultants have different grades such as associate consultant, consultant, senior consultant, managing consultant, senior managing consultant.

On one of their project teams all the team members have the grade senior consultant or higher except the project manager which is just a consultant. She is very young with about 3 years of work experience and the most junior member of the team.

The most experienced project team member "reporting" to her is a senior managing consultant in his 60s with more working experience than her whole life. I found his LinkedIn profile and found out that while he is basically a SME he has also worked for 20 years as a PM.

In this case would be ridiculous to assume that she could mentor or coach the project team when all of them have much more experience than her, some of them experience even in project management. So as a general rule we can't say PMs should coach and/or mentor the project team as many of them don't even have this capacity as they have less experience than the other team members.
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