Coaching is a Critical Skill Needed in Every Leader
In the past, many people think coaching is for the third-party professional. In the dirtiest ways, I’ve heard companies use coaches to give harsh feedback to specific employees, or even conduct appraisals or even TERMINATE employees.
Coaching is not a third-party, “outside the organization” profession anymore. When I first started coaching, that was probably how it was.
Over time, organizations whether SMEs or multinational companies are realizing that it’s a skill. The skill of coaching is the skill of empowering others to step up. It’s a skill of stepping aside, a skill of enabling change from within the individual, into making positive changes in the organization.
One may call this leadership, and coaching is a part of leadership. If you interview GREAT leaders (not good ones), most of them invest time not just running from meeting to meeting or talking to investors or clients. On top of that, they are Coaching their people.
“Coaching requires Leaders to Get-Out-Of-The-Way.” – this can be sometimes hard. Many leaders got to where they are because they were good at doing or executing something. Simple, a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is promoted for being good at coding and solving problems.
“And as a CTO, my primary role is to lead a team of programmers now, so which part of this am I being paid to do something I’m good at? And Sshhhh… I don’t like working with people because I think they are more complicated than codes!” Hence hard for leaders and entrepreneurs to get out of the way because they are good at the stuff.
“Use Your Words.” – now, this is hard. Most of us are “doers”. It’s easier if for leaders to show employees how. The problem is, we sometimes end up doing the work. We need to transfer clear guidelines and teach efficiently (using words) so that employees get it. Communication is the key to coaching and empowering others.
If you feel that you like modeling and showing your team how it’s done. Make sure within the same instance (after you show them), they show you. That way, it gets into their muscle memory of doing or saying something how you would, and you get a first-hand response on whether they truly get it.
Sir Alex Ferguson, coach to one of the most successful football teams in the world, did not get all this success with Manchester United by kicking the ball himself, although he used to do it in his younger days. So how does he do it? He uses his words.
A great leader that coaches will use their words. Not to do it themselves.