Coaching Skills Every Leader Should Master

We hear a lot about coaching these days. More and more professionals have a leader

coach
. The movement even brings coaching within companies. Magda Mook, Chief Executive of the International Coach Federation (ICF), says: “The trend is real. There is a growing number of leaders and managers willing to adopt a coaching style in their work environment. More and more companies and organizations are offering this type of training to their best employees. »

Magda cites a study on coaching in organizations conducted in 2015 by ICF and the Human Capital Institute (HCI). Their research found that 81% of organizations surveyed planned to expand their manager/leadership mix using coaching skills. In comparison, they forecast a 72% increase in the use of internal coaches and a 35% increase in the use of external coaches.

So, with the decision to have leaders within companies become coaches (or at least learn about coaching techniques), I thought it would be helpful to give Forbes readers some tips for be a great coach. To that end, I reached out to some of the most revered and successful executive coaches to get their top tips for leaders who want to incorporate coaching into their daily lives:

From executive coach Ora Shtull, founder of OraCoaching:

To go from good to excellent, every manager has only to adopt the coach’s No. 1 tool: the question.

A leader who reduces the need to be the smartest in the room and has all the answers will motivate their team, gain allies, and create the ability to grow personally. A question can open a conversation: what is going on? He can dig deeper: tell me more. I would like to understand better. A smart question will ask a prospect: what is your opinion on this? A thoughtful question can also show confidence and encourage growth: How could you solve this problem?

Kara Exner, founder of Nine Lions Coaching, agrees with Ora’s emphasis on using questions. She says:

Notice if your own tendency is to rush to find a solution for your team member or to solve their problem for them. Leaders who invest time in asking questions to foster a team member’s self-discovery see a greater payoff: direct reports are more empowered to make their own decisions, more engaged in their work, and will even less often to the boss with questions.

  • Instead of responding with a quick response and sending direct reports their way, try starting with a question: “What do you think some options are?” “What would you do?” “What are the pros and cons of each option? »
  • Observe the situation with your team members; they can see a situation from one point of view. Ask questions that help them see other alternatives.
  • Ask questions to increase their awareness of their goals and to help them discover what is important to them in achieving their goals.

From Shira Ronen, Founder of Spectrum Consulting:

The best advice I have for managers is to adopt the mantra “When in doubt, communicate”. Adopting a coaching style of leadership means above all communicating better and more. This leads to strong motivation, productive delegation, and trust. The trick to communicating better is to ask open-ended questions and really listen to the answers.

Managers first learning to delegate and lead a team can accelerate their learning curve by asking their reports these questions:

  • “How would you like to see yourself grow into this role?”
  • “How would you approach this problem? »
  • “How do you see this past year? How do you think you are doing?

When you are a senior manager, your relationships with your colleagues become more critical. The astute executive will organize 1 on 1 meetings with colleagues (allies and opponents) to build alliances and eliminate conflicts. Some of the questions you will want to ask your peers are:

  • “You seem frustrated. Can we discuss what’s going on? »
  • “I would like to know more about your point of view on X. Do you have some time to discuss it?”
  • “Before I share this with the CEO, I would like to hear your perspective…”

In many organizations, managers are promoted because of their high level technical skills. This means that they often arrive in their new role without having received any leadership training. Since leadership requires moving from “succeeding by doing it myself” to “succeeding by enabling others to do it,” leaders must learn the skills to facilitate clear, structured, and productive conversations. So, since conversations are the job of leadership, integrating communication as a coaching technique makes sense.

Karen Tweedie PCC, partner of Access Leadership Australia, continues the theme of communications. She says “Better conversations mean better relationships, which leads to better results.” Below are some tips to help the coaching leader support their direct reports or other key stakeholders:

1. See yourself as a thinking partner, listen to the potential (of people and ideas)

2. Keep your questions open (be prepared to be surprised)

3. Encourage self-discovery (encourage colleagues to find their own answers to their own challenges)

4. Focus on the person in front of you, not the problem

5. Expect the person to be able to discern the best approach

6. Empower the other person to succeed – remove barriers, provide resources

7. Maintain Accountability, Celebrate Efforts and Results

If you’re looking for a meaningful way to improve your leadership skills, apply the wisdom of top coaches.

Use the power of asking questions for your personal branding. To download my complete list of 50 revealing questions to ask yourself when discovering your brand here.

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