To be a leader, I must be a coach
As he approached me, I could see it in his face. There was a lot going on in his head. I had just finished a training with his company on Emotional Intelligence and Decision Making. Something I said had struck a chord with him. We sat down and I asked what I consider to be my most powerful question in the moment.
"What's on your mind?"
He hesitated and said, "really?"
I responded, "tell me what's on your mind."
He proceeded to quickly tell me the issue he was having with two direct reports. I asked more questions. And he responded. I asked a few more questions and then the light bulb went on.
"That's it, I can do that! It's so easy," he said.
Then he looked at me and said, "Wow, you are a genius!"
“Thanks, but not really,” I replied. (The truth was I had never even given him any of my own thoughts.)
I had simply asked questions and then listened!
One of the most important functions a leader can perform in today’s shifting workforce is that of a coach.
The truth is most of us think of a coach as someone who teaches and trains an athlete. What does it mean to coach in the workforce?
Steven J. Stein in his book The EQ Leader, he defines a coaching leader as, "a leader who coaches effectively and is seen as a mentor who supports employee growth. Employees are nurtured toward achieving their highest levels of performance."
The invention of new technology is happening faster and faster which means as leaders, we no longer are the expert in the field. Rather leaders now need to be the one who nurtures a place for innovation and draws the ideas out. They also need to help look for roadblocks and finds a way to clear them away. As you seek to grow in this kind of leader there are some specific areas you can focus on.
Three things you can do to develop yourself as a coaching leader:
1. Have better conversations and really listen to the people around you.
2. Be aware of your own strengths and the strengths of those around you.
3. Ask for help either from a coaching leader or a leadership coach.
Want to develop as a “coaching” leader? Rozzi and Associates is here to help. Contact me for a free consultation at email@example.com.
Susan Rozzi is the president of Rozzi and Associates, a leadership and organizational development company helping good leaders become great! Our programs start with the premise that great leadership skills are a product of time, practice and focused development. Our leadership development, emotional intelligence insight and career management programs can be customized to meet your desired outcomes and needs.