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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Phizicky

Bring a Coach Approach to Your Leadership: Why & How

Coaching is a powerful way to help anyone execute their personal and professional goals. It allows leaders to be more effective, drive organizational success, and cultivate a positive and empowered work culture.

While working with a coach is a powerful way to access these benefits, cultivating coaching skills can pay dividends as you work with your teams and colleagues.

Why Choose a Coach Approach:

The Ultimate Productivity Hack I hear from so many leaders who say that they spend all day putting out fires, replying the messages, and solving problems for their reports. If this is you, consider a coach approach. By encouraging your team to solve their own problems, you empower them to lean into learning and growing their own capacity for solutioning.

Cultivates a Learning Culture Most workplaces are underutilizing the talent of their employees. And when people feel underutilized, they disengage, which costs the global economy $7.8 trillion in lost productivity. When we patiently invest time into the development and learning of employees, we increase their individual capacity and therefore overall output.

Know Your People As the old adage goes, people leave bad managers, not bad companies. By focusing on open communication and regular interpersonal conversations you are building connections that foster trust, collaboration, and overall enhance team performance.

Know Yourself Understanding more about yourself and how you relate to others is invaluable learning for all facets of life. By developing a deeper sense of empathy, and understanding of others, you are better equipped to handle the inevitable challenges of work and life.

How to Bring a Coach Approach:

They Set the Agenda The most important part of coaching is to let your coachee lead. As the boss, manager, or leader, you might be used to setting the talking point and the agenda, but don’t. This is their time to talk about whatever is on their mind and ask for the support they need. Get clear on what they would like to discuss and where they would like to be by the end of the conversation.

Ask Powerful Questions Questions are powerful when they invite the coachee to share more insight, go deeper, or explore their own thinking more completely. Open-ended questions prompt individuals to reflect on their actions, decisions, and goals, leading to more meaningful insights and growth. Be mindful to not get into the weeds or let your own curiosity guide your questioning.

Listen Actively If there was ever a time to silence your notifications and put your phone out of reach, it’s when coaching. Give your coachee your full attention and use your body language to show you are fully with them. A gentle head nod or a leaned-in posture can go a long way in creating a connection. Whenever you can, use their own language and reflect their words back to them.

Empower Their Thinking I’m sure you got to where you are today at least in part because you’re an excellent problem solver. When you step into a coach approach, you’ve got to leave that at the door. This time is about your coachee finding their own best solution and way forward. Even though you might have done it differently, it’s important to create an environment where team members can experiment, take risks, and learn from failures.

Embrace Their Takeaways There is nothing better than when a coachee walks away with a clear aligned action, but the truth is, that doesn’t always happen. Be open to wherever the coachee lands at the end of the conversation. If they aren’t sure of their actions yet, that’s okay. They might just need more time to mull it over, which is great! Awareness can be just as powerful as action, so lean into it as a metric of success.

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