Leaders today are increasingly being called upon to coach their team members. For many leaders this is an area that has not been part of their focus in their early years of work as a technical expert.
“Leaders as coach” focus on:
- Creating trust and connection within the team
- Helping team members clarify their goals
- Supporting team members in identifying and exploring different options for approaching their work, overcoming challenges and leveraging opportunities
- Providing a focus on accountability
- Working with each team member on troubleshooting & resources
- Clarifying roles & supporting the development of a shared vision
- Supporting the team individually and collectively to do their best work
Leaders as coach lead from several key skills including listening, questioning, empowering, goal setting, exploring perspectives and creating accountability.
Let’s take a look at each of these key coaching skills:
Listening as a coach occurs on multiple levels. Leaders as coach are listening to what’s being said and what’s not. They listen for not only the words, but the meaning of those words. As a coach we move beyond listening solely to problem-solve, but rather to inform our questions, which can help expand awareness and insights for our team members (who are typically the ones taking action).
What do you listen for in conversation?
Questions form the back bone of any great coaching conversation. Questions can be used for many different reasons - to help create focus, or expand awareness, to explore different perspectives, or facilitate action. Coaching questions are best placed in doing this when they are open-ended, and short. When too many questions are asked at once it may serve to dilute the focus of the conversation.
What questions have you noticed have greatest impact?
Part of the leader as coach role involves letting go of control and letting your team members do their best work. The role of leader as coach often shifts from “doer” to “supporter” and “liaison.”
What does it mean to empower your staff?
4) Goal Setting
Coaching helps to expedite action and focus results. Goal setting is often at the heart of great coaching conversations. Supporting our team members in creating clearer goals, and identifying what they need in order to get there, is critical for success in today’s ever changing context. This is an ongoing process, not reserved for once a year planning.
What are the key goals your team is working on right now – individually and collectively?
Coaching is not only a one-off conversation. In stepping into the role of leader as coach we are creating with our staff ongoing feedback and accountability loops. Creating a culture of accountability means talking honestly about what works and what doesn’t. It means taking responsibility for what is working and having the confidence to make changes when things are not.
What does accountability mean for you and your team?
What are the areas you would like to further refine when you adopt the role of leader as coach? What impact do you notice when stepping into this role?
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PS – A reminder that you can join us for an upcoming ICF-CCE approved coach training program, including our new 70 and 125 hours certificates for team and group coaching training. Most coaches start with our flagship program – The Group Coaching Essentials training which begins again on Friday October 21st at 1015 am ET with our team lead, Evana. Interested in Team Coaching? Join us on Mondays from October 17 – December from 12 – 130 pm ET each week.
Let’s set up a 15 minute call to find out what’s your best step to grow and strengthen your coaching skills.
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