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Leader as Coach

You've attended a course on how to be a coach. You have learned the difference between coaching, mentoring and directing; discussed and practiced asking questions, listened deeply to the replies; discovered reframing to help get team members unstuck and a host of other techniques. You're excited, you know how these skills will benefit you and your team.

So back on the job after class, you begin to put the techniques in place. A team member comes to you for an answer and you refrain from giving the answer and ask a question and another and another, but your employee is frustrated and doesn't know why you're not telling them what to do like usual...

So when you are going through the journey to becoming a coach, make sure your team have the context about your change in behavior so they know what they need to do differently.

There are a few ways to do this:

  • Link the coaching you are going to do to pulse survey results (topics like wanting your manager to coach you more, listen better, or provide career guidance)

  • Connect the coaching to strategic initiatives e.g. "Ignite for Learning", "Growth through Innovation", "Future@Work" etc.

  • Spell out the relationship of coaching to the performance management / employee development process at your organization

Putting these steps in place creates an environment where your coaching is understood and with luck and practice on your part, appreciated.

Being a leader is a tough job and being a coach is a pleasure. The two combined are a powerful way to unlock the latent potential in your team members and improve your own job performance and satisfaction.

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