Coaching is no longer a word reserved for sports. The service and skill of coaching has flourished over the past decade as a proven process for helping a person gain self-awareness, overcome challenges, and accelerate achievement of goals. Since completing my certification to be an executive coach, I have coached more than 100 leaders across a dozen countries and can attest to the power this kind of relationship can have to grow people and accelerate performance.
Over the next few weeks I will share with you actionable techniques you can use to build your coaching skills. If you are a leader who is serious about being the best leader possible, it is imperative that you learn how to take a coaching approach to the way you interact with others. Your ability to coach people will have a significant impact on the level of engagement of the people you lead.
So what is coaching? I’ll refrain from giving you a textbook definition. You can do a web search and find hundreds of definitions. Instead, I want to provide you with a list of things coaches do that impact people and create an environment that supports optimal development and achievement.
What do effective coaches do? Coaches…
- Co-create a healthy relationship with the people he/she leads
- Talk straight and communicates clearly
- Encourage deeper thinking
- Challenge thoughts and ideas in a respectful manner
- Provide timely feedback
- Asks questions rather than giving all the answers
- Encourage the employee to create goals to direct their action
- Elicit ideas and solutions from the employee
- Share their own thoughts and ideas after the employee has had time to think and share first
- Aid the employee in the development of a plan to take intentional action and reach goals
- Link employee behavior to team goals and organizational mission
- Communicatesto employees in a way that balances driving results with care and respect for employees
- Facilitate accountability
The benefits a coaching approach provides include:
- Creating greater self-awareness
- Motivating greater focus and clarity of action
- Increase employee’s sense of purpose
- Increase confidence for action and decision making
- Grow and develop the person’s ability to set goals, plan, and execute
- Model how to coach and lead others
Many leaders seek the outcomes and benefits listed above by haphazardly applying different management ideas and processes. Coaching provides a proven framework that helps leaders have consistent and effective one-on-one and team coaching interactions.
Keep an eye out for my next few posts that will review the GOAL model for coaching and the 5 key coaching skills that you can use to develop yourself into a highly skilled “Coaching Leader.”