If You Are a Leader, You’re a Coach…You Just May Not Know It
Coaching is the sacred space of Unconditional Love, where learning, growth and transformation naturally occur.” – Fran Fisher
If you are a leader in your organization, you have been given an honor and a privilege.
You’ve also been thrown the challenge of developing individuals into high-performance team players who add value to your business. You find yourself in the role of a coach, mastering the art of empowerment.
To be more specific, your role is to create an environment where your team can take on more responsibilities, be more accountable and consistently make better decisions. You are then freed up to focus on more strategic issues and initiatives.
So, how are you doing?
With competing priorities, it can be difficult to stay engaged with, and focused on, individual and team development.
As an executive coach, over the past 20 years I’ve come to recognize key leadership behaviors that consistently propel good leaders into being great leaders. The underlying characteristic of this transformation is that these leaders have become great coaches.
I’m not suggesting that you train as a professional coach. What I am suggesting is that you can adopt five coaching behaviors that will make you a more effective leader within your organization.
5 WAYS TO UNLEASH YOUR INNER COACH
- Hold Others Capable and Resourceful
- Empower your team by assuming they are highly capable and resourceful.Ask questions that assist them in accessing their thinking and reasoning faculties, raising their self-awareness, options and choices.
- Use “what,” “when,” “who,” and “how” questions versus leading questions that start with “did you,” “are you,” or “have you considered.”
- When people are empowered to choose a course of action based on their own motivations, they are more committed, responsible and accountable.
- Suspend Judgment
- Here’s the biggie! Provide a safe environment for others to explore and experiment for gaining clarity and increasing their confidence.In a safe environment they will also discover their assumptions, as well as their core values, beliefs, and ultimately their innate wisdom.
- Eliminate any toleration for gossip, blame or negativity.
- Avoid offering unsolicited advice. It is disempowering. Unsolicited advice sends a message that you believe the person is not capable or resourceful.
- Without judgment present, fear is reduced. In the absence of fear, energy, creativity, and trust can emerge.
- Promote Empowering Language
- Model empowering language in every communication. Empowering language is responsible, powerful, and energizing. Dis-empowering language is a victim language that indicates an underlying belief that “I am powerless.”
- For example, say: “It is my intention” versus “I have to.”“I am committed to” versus “I’ll try.”“Let’s explore the possibility” versus “It can’t be done.”Others will learn from your example.
- Introduce empowering language and establish it as a ground rule in your team meetings. Over time, you will see improvement in the levels of responsibility and accountability in your organization.1
- Promote Wholeness and Balance
- Really? Really. Wholeness is about integrity – the quality of being complete.
- Balance is about allocation of energy. When people are complete, they have more capacity for creativity, innovation, and self-confidence.
- When people are experiencing a sense of balance, they have more capacity to think critically, versus emotionally. Foster an environment committed to well-being for everyone and in all aspects of the enterprise.
- Establish well-being as a one of your top values and walk your talk by visibly honoring that value. By doing so, you reap the rewards of an energized work environment. You are appreciated as a leader who is concerned with your people as well as the bottom line.
- The part can never be well unless the whole is well. –Plato
- Aim for the Goal and Embrace the Process
- The key here is the word “and.” Of course, be committed to achieving your objectives. And, with equal dedication, allow for and appreciate learning and self-discovery as important components of your process.Be open to the unexpected along the way.
- Take off your “goal blinders” so you can see the possibilities lurking on the periphery. The route may be circuitous sometimes, but the results will be richer and more satisfying in the end.
Remember, coaching is essentially an empowerment paradigm. When you practice leadership behaviors within a framework of empowerment, you will increase your effectiveness and positive impact in your organization.