Are your leaders tellers or coaches?   Do they question or advise staff?  Do they listen well or wait in anticipation to think about what they are going to say next when someone they are engaging with stops talking?

I have noticed that effective leaders are great coaches.  Not only in terms of how they approach the development of people but also in their manner, their language and their focus on driving from a current situation with people to a desired outcome.   Reading numerous successful sporting coaches biographies has confirmed a strong link between coaching and effective leadership.

Specific attributes of leaders who coach effectively are:

  • They listen more than they speak and understand that you listen and speak in proportion to how many mouths and ears we have been given!
  • They ask great questions as opposed to telling staff what they need to do
  • They get buy in from staff by involving them in the process and asking questions that ensure engagement and ownership of issues and solutions post the discussion
  • They understand how to take someone from a current situation to a desired outcome, and coach through the gap that exists between the current and desired position
  • They have the ability to bring focus back to solutions and hear the other persons challenges
  • They articulate and communicate the bigger picture by understanding the ‘why’ as opposed to the just the ‘what’ and ‘how’
  • Not only do they ensure actions and outcomes are clear, they create a double loop of accountability by closing with key actions and ensuring follow up is agreed upon
  • They leave ownership with the individual instead of taking on the problem and trying to solve it themselves
  • They provide support and encouragement balanced with candour by giving specific feedback and positive recognition combined with the ability to tackle the tough conversations when necessary
  • They create an environment for high performance which leads to everyone in the team being empowered to make decisions and lead without title

Do your leaders and managers have a set of coaching skills in their tool kit?  Are they confident in coaching others to get results?   Equip them with this valuable skill and watch the improvement in the engagement and trust with their direct reports, peers and stakeholders.  No one likes to be told what to do, but we all want to be encouraged and guided towards success.  Leaders and managers who invest in their people through regular coaching will be rewarded with exponential growth, increased accountability, and that all important item – TRUST!

If you would like to develop coaching as a skill within your team to drive high performance please contact BRS around our coaching for high performance workshops.