I read an article , The Secret to Great Leadership – October 2012 edition of Success Magazine, where the author said that great leaders “don’t act like managers; they act like coaches”. I believe the author has a good point but I would like to take it even a step further…great leaders don’t “act like coaches” they are coaches in some capacity.
This is a subtle distinction but one worth diving into. As a business coach, the bulk of my work is on supporting clients in being who they need to be for ultimate success. It is about acquiring the mindset, skills and actions for success and fulfillment. It is about doing the right things but more importantly about believing and taking actions that are in alignment with their values, purpose, and vision. Coaching is creating awareness, developing strategy, and set up action plans that work! Being a coach is about curiosity, support, collaboration, cheerleading, and co-creation.
If you are a leader and want to be a coach, here are 5 keys to being one:
- Understand that coaching is about helping others find their answers. If you are giving them the answers, you are consulting or mentoring.
- Be inquisitive (about coaching and about your team) – The first and foremost important trait of coaches is being inquisitive. When you truly are curious, it removes judgement and allows for maximum learning connecting to whomever or whatever you are curious about.
- Hire a coach – the best way to become a coach is to experience coaching first hand.
- Learn to coach – Educate yourself on what coaching is through reading books, taking workshops or enrolling in an accredited coaching school (COACH U is my school of choice).
- Commune with Coaches – Engage in the conversation with other coaches so that you are more often in the coaching mindset.
Coaching question: What are you most curious about for each member on your team?