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7 Coaching Skills that You Need as a Leader

Whether you like it or not – if you are a leader, you are a coach.
—Joseph Grenny
Coaching exerts enormous leverage.

People struggle at work and at home. No one leaves their problems at the door when they come to work. And it affects their performance. Coaching is critical. Developing people is or should be a top priority of leaders.

Coaching doesn’t mean fixing people. It is developing a relationship that allows you to help people break through from one level of performance to another. It is unlocking potential.

Leadership BS
Michael Simpson writes in Unlocking Potential that coaching is built on four principles:

Building Trust: “Simply being in a position of authority does not make you a trusted coach. Your concern for the person you are coaching must be based on genuine and good intent. Your integrity must be inviolable. Your determination to keep confidences must be unshakable.” These are issues of your character.

Tapping Potential: “When a coach helps a person challenge their paradigms, they can more readily take responsibility for their life or situation. When they learn to align their paradigms to reality, many of the barriers to realizing their potential begin to fall.” “Potential suppressed by years of self-defensiveness, self-betrayal, or self-denial.”

Creating Commitment: You can’t make people commit, “But you can create the conditions where people commit to goals they themselves want to achieve.” This is done primarily by asking powerful coaching questions.

Executing Goals: “All successful coaching conversations need to link directly to actually meeting key performance indicators, measures, and objectives.”

Coaching is a skill with its own set of competencies. Simpson gives seven:
  1. Build Trust: Character and competence are foundational to building trust. As you demonstrate character and competence you can begin to expect it of others and build a culture of trustworthiness.
  2. Challenge Paradigms: “An individual that believes they can’t improve is not coachable—until that paradigm changes, you’ll go nowhere….Your task is to challenge them firmly and gently.”
  3. Seek Strategic Clarity: “With the coach’s help, the individual should choose personal goals and be completely clear about them with measureable endpoints. Without strategic clarity, coaching becomes aimless and endless.”
  4. Execute Flawlessly: “Execution may be the toughest challenge of all—the coach can help individuals to actually set, prioritize, and achieve their goals and help to hold them accountable.”
  5. Give Effective Feedback: “Give feedback that helps create awareness, focus on actions, and achieve the results that people want with whom you’re coaching.”
  6. Tap into Talent: “Most people underestimate their own talents. As a coach you need to know how to help people tap into the unique and vast reserve of the talents they already have.”
  7. Move the Middle: “The biggest opportunity for performance improvement in any organization is to help ‘move the middle,’ among those performers who are good, but not yet great.”

Simpson provides you with the essential questions and approach behind each of these skills. One of the benefits of coaching is that it also helps you to develop you. It holds you to a higher standard.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:33 PM
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