Leaders Coaching

Welcome to my latest QuarterlyShare:

As we face into another year of opportunity and challenge my attention is firmly on the absolute imperative of Leaders Coaching. If you’re not convinced, here is my obligatory scattering of stats to build my case (taken from Gallup research):

  • Only 14% of employees in Australia and New Zealand are engaged in their job.

  • Workgroups experienced sales increases of 10% to 19% and improved profits of 14% to 29% as a result of their manager coaching to individual strengths.

  • Leadership makes a significant difference to individual performance: 70% of the variance between poor, good and great cultures can be found in the knowledge, skills and talent of the team leader, including their ability to coach their people.

  • Gallup recommends: 1. Change a team's leadership philosophy from command-and-control to high development, high purpose and strengths-based coaching; 2. Require Team Leads to coach their team members every week and touch base with them regularly. 3. Get buy-in from senior management and the board to support people managers in coaching their people.

Leaders Coaching Challenge There are three key challenges to managers coaching their people: 1) not understanding what coaching is, 2) not having the skillset to maximise the coaching opportunity effectively and 3) lack of awareness or discipline to step away from telling and fixing.

  1. Coaching is a platform for enabling individuals to leverage their strengths; recognise areas for improvement and shift inhibiting attitudes and behaviours that do not serve the individual or the business well. It is also a respectful place for robust challenge and support.

  2. The skills required to achieve effective coaching include: recognising the difference between an open question and a leading or loaded question; being able to put personal preference and bias aside and listen with an understanding of and respect for the speaker’s perspective; the ability to reflect back to the coachee how they are coming across without misreading or misconstruing the coachee’s intent; having the courage to say what needs to be said in a timely and productive manner; allowing the coachee to take the lead and dare to have a play and possibly make some mistakes; daring to let the coachee do things their way while keeping them and the business safe. The ultimate requirement is the ability to create an environment of mutual trust and respect. If this is not fostered, the coaching will be compromised.

  3. The only way a leader can develop into an effective coach is to be coachable themselves and to build an awareness and understanding for their own style and how that impacts and influences the coaching relationship. It takes learning, practice, feedback and discipline to become an adept coach. Not all leaders possess the capability or belief in the power of coaching. I would argue this is akin to being a leader who does not respect their employees or believe in their rights to flourish in the workplace. A leader who can’t coach, is a poor leader.

Some Great Coaching Book Starters Coaching for Performance 5th Ed, John Whitmore Co-active Coaching 3rd Ed, Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl Coaching Questions, Tony Stoltzfus The Coaching Habit, Michael Bungay Stanier My Latest Blog Culture Doesn't Eat Strategy For Breakfast Click Here On a Lighter Note… Let’s not underestimate the courage leadership requires and the import role followership plays: this video clip is food for thought and good for a giggle! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=256eKjULdgQ Final Reflection As the Harvey Weinstein fallout continues, we are constantly reminded of the power and influence leaders wield. The majority of leaders go about their work genuinely striving to do the best for the people they lead, the businesses they represent and the customers they serve. But it would be naïve to dismiss the social-political interplay that impacts all of us. Fear of losing our job, being ridiculed, sidelined or having a tarnished reputation or just wanting to belong, can play into the ways we choose to behave in our workplace. As individuals step into leadership roles behavioural intent becomes more complicated as leaders position themselves for success and promotion. The key to navigating a noble path in workplace leadership is to ensure the rhetoric matches the attitudes and behaviours expressed. The best measure of success in being a fair and reasonable leader is in the common perceptions others hold and the way a leader influences others to feel and conduct themselves. Business outcomes matter, but so do people…and the way to succeed at both is through noble leadership.

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