The 10 Practices of Coaching-Leaders Pt. 1
Top talent doesn’t like being told what to do. Authoritarian leaders are becoming dinosaurs.
Expect to coach, if you expect to lead.
The practices of coaching maximize talent and enable fulfillment.
The 10 practices of coaching-leaders Pt. 1:
#1. Compassionately prepare for relationship before coaching sessions begin. Internal coaches wear several hats. Tell coachees they matter by being prepared for their arrival.
- Give yourself three to five minutes to prepare before they arrive.
- Turn off or put away distractions. This includes cell phones. Recent research shows that just the presence of a cell phone hampers interpersonal connections.
- Remind yourself of the strengths and potential of your coachee. Don’t coach anyone you don’t believe in.
- Expect others to be like themselves, not like you.
- Review notes from previous sessions.
- Reconnect with coaching behaviors like forward-facing curiosity and calm listening.
- Let go of your aspirations for your coachee. Their aspirations matter more than yours.
#2. Exercise courageous authenticity. Success includes bringing your true self to challenges and opportunities. Your authenticity opens the door for theirs. Everyone who fakes it, invites others to fake it too.
- Allow for the journey in yourself and others. Reject perfectionism.
- Share lessons learned from mistakes, when applicable.
- Reject blame. Never defend your weakness or failure because of someone else’s behaviors.
- Allow for confident self-doubt. “I’m not sure. But we can figure this out.”
- Joyfully celebrate your strengths. Being transparent with weaknesses is the playing field for celebrating skills and talents.
#3. Consistently build safe environments. We are most afraid of being our true selves. After all, if your true self is rejected, what’s left?
- Say thank you when you hear courageous honesty.
- Relax and lean in when you feel like pulling away. Change often begins in awkward moments.
- Take on one issue at a time.
What behaviors exemplify preparing for relationship, courageous authenticity, or building safe environments? (Please feel free to add to or modify the lists.)
Part 2: The 10 Practices of Coaching-Leaders
Part 3: The 10 Practices of Coaching-Leaders
Excellent post as usual Dan. Gives me some renewed thoughts for my one-on-one sessions.
Thanks Bill. Here’s to progress. 🙂
I love this content, it is so helpful to guide my work with new professionals in Higher Education. Is there a formal process/certification to become a coach? Thanks for your writing!
Thanks Dwayne. Yes, there are many certifications. I did a quick google search and found enough to keep a person busy for two lifetimes.
Another excellent post! I couldn’t agree with you more. Being a relatively new supervisor, I have applied some of these points and strongly agree with creating a trusting environment is important. Moving forward, I will use these guidelines.
Thanks Pete. I appreciate the good word. Being new is a great opportunity to develop yourself. Best for the journey.
Great post Dan! I believe coaching is such powerful skill, behavior, attitude or even value… In the face of a challenging management meeting, I always find easier to ask a powerful question rather than argue over MY “perfect” solution…
Thanks Marcio. Based on our conversations, I believe you know how to practice asking powerful questions. Frankly, I don’t have time or inclination to endure an adversarial relationship. Better to ask and learn than tell and defend. 🙂
Great playbook Dan. Its so easy to slip away from the basic – thanks for this, Of to an 1:1 in an hour – I will take time to reflect and prepare with new context this morning.
For today – this will be particularly helpful – “Relax and lean in when you feel like pulling away. Change often begins in awkward moments” – time to mentally reframe.
Thanks Perspect. I respect your passion to serve others effectively and for sharing your journey here. It’s a great help.
Courageous authenticity — well said!
Great article. I’ve recently started to formally coach individuals and this article – and the following ones – are extremely helpful. We can learn much about ourselves and our journey and grow as indivduals by coaching others.
Thanks Nancy. Sometimes I wonder who gets the most out of coaching, me or the person being coached. 🙂
It’s a nice post. How would you correct when a idiot is heading a organisation or a department or any position in organisation because of misunderstood meaning of courgeous authenticity these keep behaving erratically so in such cases behaviour related issues must be addressed or added in their KRA’S.
This breed become headache in new startups. They need guys at reasonable cost.
As per post ” don’t coach anyone who you are not belive in” behaviour based coaching and skills matrix must be considered petiodically to at least save culture of organisation.
Healthy culture in a organisation can lead to better coaching foundation.
Coaching weapon needs to be practiced very wisely where healthy minds are talking with a right cause in context of people first.
Thanks Crazy. It’s always disappointing when people interpret the important ideas of authenticity as permission to be self-indulgent, self-centered, and self-serving.
Coaching isn’t a cure all. 🙂
Great post! So many reminders tucked into this post of why coaches must practice partnership principles.
Thanks H. Cheers
Powerful as usual, Dan! My favorite:Everyone who fakes it, invites others to fake it too.
Thanks Kerry. Influence cuts both ways. Frankly, it seems that negative influence is much easier than positive. I’ve seen many fakers and played that role myself. It’s pretty difficult to have a relationship with a faker, unless you’re a faker too.
I completely agree. I wonder if “negativity bias”, i.e. things of a negative nature are more ‘powerful’ than positive things, also applies to influence and may explain your perception?
Interesting post on the value of coaching as a leader. I think one of the fundamentals of coaching is being curious as the ‘coach’ and I believe curiosity is more fundamental – one can be curious with anyone – even someone who is being fake or the individual one does not believe in. I think curiosity includes being present to absorb what is being said, choosing to be open and non-judging in how one listens and asking open, curious questions. Although being curious may not include all the elements of coaching, it does allow us to begin to understand the perspectives of others including what is the motivator for someone to fake it and supports us in being open and non-judging with someone we don’t believe in – when we ask ourselves what is it about this person that makes me think they are faking it? or what is my reason for not believing in this person? helps us better understand our perspective and creates an opportunity for us to be more open and non- judging towards them so we can gain clarity around their perspectives, what motivates them. We may even begin to appreciate their manner and connect on a more authentic level or begin to believe in them as an individual…….and if not, we can become curious around how we want to move forward in relationship with that individual.
Thanks Kathy. You really nailed the centrality of curiosity. Is it at the center of coaching. It’s pretty close. We should probably consider the coaches “way of being” as central. Things like generosity, curiosity, optimism, authenticity, transparency, candor are a few things that come to mind. Best
Great post. As my boss says, “we’re a small team, so we have to be player-coaches.” We don’t have the luxury of time to manage people constantly, even if we wanted to.
This is a helpful reminder for me, and good principles for me to follow in my 1:1s. I’m working on coaching one of my team members, where a lot of the discussions have focused on what he needs to get done. I’ve found that one of the hardest things is coaching people to take initiative and run with something when the very act of herding cats puts them outside of their comfort zone – but I’m definitely going to follow these suggestions!
‘Coaching’…the least used leadership style! Should be the most used!
Coaching, Mentoring, Rewarding, and setting by example. I enjoyed your posting very much. There were some excellent reminders and some good new points. I also liked Andy Whitehead’s comment to you about.”.‘Coaching’…the least used leadership style! Should be the most used! ” True! I believe those times are a-changing. If not today, then tomorrow?
I enjoyed reading the post and would add the following thoughts. I train managers and project managers and for them what is leadership is a hazy subject at best.
1. Authenticity for leaders means “Believing” in the direction you are going in and also then communicating this direction and belief by being yourself. Its true, you cannot fake personality and not expect to get found out.
2. Leaders are not necessarily great coaches (Goffee and Jones -Why should anyone be led by you?) But what great leaders and manager do is recognise that they are not problem solvers but “Facilitators of problem solving” and the skills to be able to do this include the same skills that great operational coaches employ. Namely – answer a question with a question!
I liked your warning against perfectionism Dan. It reminded me of a quote I read recently: “You’re far from a perfect creature. But as far as natural selection is concerned, you’ll do, and that’s why you’re here”.
As a recovering perfectionist, I often remind myself that ‘Good enough is good enough’.