How to Coach Your Boss to Success without Losing Your Job

Leadership success centers on bringing out the best in others, even your boss.

Most leaders don’t enjoy being told what to do. Use questions rather than directions. But avoid manipulation.

3 strategies to avoid:

#1. Don’t mandate:

  1. You should…
  2. Why don’t you…
  3. It would be good for you to…
  4. Don’t you think it would be good to…

#2. Don’t manipulate:

Hidden agendas elevate distrust, sabotage relationships, and limit influence.

The best way to be transparent with your boss is to understand her strengths and commit to help her succeed.

#3. Don’t impose:

There’s a feeling that others should be like you. Don’t listen to that feeling. Don’t impose your strengths and passions on your boss. She isn’t you.

When you evaluate people through the lens of your strengths, they feel rejected.

Use questions to coach your boss:

Help your boss find clarity and direction by asking questions that leverage her strengths and align with her goals.

Suppose your boss wants more input from the team.

7 questions:

  1. What would make YOU feel safe to give input to your boss? How might you bring that to your team?
  2. What might you do to make it safe for people to give input?
  3. What team activities might create interactions where people are speaking openly with each other and with you?
  4. How might you lead/model the way when it comes to openness and transparency?
  5. I hear you saying that you want input before you make decisions. How might you let others know you value their input?
  6. What might you do when you see the behaviors you want?
  7. How can I help?

What are some ways to coach the boss?