The Leader Who Coaches
Get the most out of your people.
Garnering buy-in is challenging. Winning people over is challenging. Developing people is challenging. In a nutshell, leading others is challenging.
While the basics of leadership may be shared across industries and borders, our approach to leading our teams, organizations, or any number of people should be based in matching words to deeds and providing a sense of consistency for what the work is and how the work will be completed.
What's in a name? The "Coach."
Is there a similar format for all of "coaching?"
What is coaching? Who is performing the work? What does coaching look like for my people? All great questions. And each should be asked by every leader to ensure that the goals, outcomes, and process is clear for everyone.
Here at Preferred Coaching, "coaching" is defined so that it is more specific as a model for strategy and communication which enhances our approach to leadership. It shares some of the characteristics found in practices such as mentoring, consulting, training, and management like drawing on your experience(s), providing insightful feedback, and offering your perspective, when necessary, to help move things along. It also shares some characteristics and tools from the fields of positive psychology, interpersonal communication, counseling. Still, don't forget that Coaching will also include a healthy dose of common sense, and well-intentioned listening.
You could say there are two parts to this:
First, coaching should take its cues from professional fields that focus on communication at first. Listening, gathering information, ensuring that information is received and given with clarity and understanding are the first part of the approach. In general, it's how we may get to the heart of the matter and help each other understand what our perspective is and how it is influencing our decision-making and action-taking.
Second, great coaching should include a process by which metrics are coupled with action steps as the primary outcome of each coaching conversation. Without measurable accountability factors, clear expectations of responsibility, and an opportunity to revisit performance for the purpose of improvement in areas where our own high standards have fallen short, then coaching will be little more than an amazing conversation - a conversation with no expectations.
As the adage goes - "This may be common sense, but it is not common practice." Making coaching the common practice in an organization, or the common approach for you to work with individuals will improve outcomes and performance while also allowing everyone to know with certainty that their unique perspective was taken into consideration.
The Case for Coaching:
Leaders can better implement accountability in their teams.
Teams can improve the productivity of their members by having conversations with genuine support coupled with candor.
Mission, Vision, Goals and Values become a driving force in our organizations when a Coaching culture is practiced and understood by everyone.
The Leader who coaches is one who fosters an environment where performance outcomes increases by up to 20%.
Practicing a Coaching approach is the quickest way to tap into our leadership potential. While Coaching fast tracks identifying the skills needed, clarifying outcomes, identifying the action steps and planning needed to accomplish goals and increase accountability - it is always more than the sum of its parts.
We generally know that leadership is distinct from managing because it encompasses more than simply supervising activities.
That said, it can be more challenging because as a leader you are responsible for the outcomes while controlling fewer of the technical points of execution. You must hold people accountable for their execution of the vision and at the same time chart the course forward.