Coaching Leadership

WHAT IS COACHING LEADERSHIP?

Coaching Leadership is the Future of Leadership. Big call? Well, a true Coaching Leadership style ticks off at least 10 out of the Gallup Q12 engagement pulse survey questions…that’s a potential 83% engagement score!

Coaching Leadership provides psychological safety. It is also a critical set of behaviours that underpin the vast majority of every organisation’s Values: Trust; Empowerment; Respect; Collaboration; Innovation; Teamwork; Empowering people to Taking Ownership; Empathy; Open Communication – to name just a few. However, very few leaders step on even the first rungs of the Coaching Leadership ladder. Many think they do – but their reports often think otherwise.

Coaching Leadership is a critical set of behaviours that underpin the vast majority of every organisation’s Values

Zenger/Folkman’s study of 3,761 managers showed 24% of leaders significantly themselves above average. However, the reality was that those who had overrated themselves were significantly below average. Interestingly, those who underrated themselves were above average in their overall coaching effectiveness.

Ask a manager to coach someone around a problem, and the manager will invariably offer their ideas and solutions to the coachee, often suggesting or telling the person what they “need to do”. However, giving or suggesting solutions is NOT Coaching Leadership! There is a way to offer solutions in a coaching manner at an appropriate time – but that’s the subject for another article.

…giving or suggesting solutions are not Coaching Leadership!

Just having a ‘monthly’ 1-hour Career Consulting session with a report is also not Coaching Leadership…nor is getting external or internal Executive Coaches to develop people.

Leading Practice Coaching Leadership is about being a Coaching Leader 65-70% of the time. Every day. Every week. Every month. Coaching is often seen as ‘leader to report’, but it you can also coach 360-degrees, including taking a coaching approach with clients and customers. One salesperson we trained as a coaching leader turned a $400,000 deal the client was literally just about to sign into a $3,000,000 deal!

The best Coaching Leadership is centred around the practical principles of applied Neuroscience – how our brains work on a fundamental level.

Leading Practice Coaching Leadership is about being a Coaching Leader 65-70% of the time.

Coaching Leadership is a leadership approach that provides individuals, teams, and leaders the opportunity to thrive in the rapid, disruptive, and near-constant VUCA change environment, which is now the norm (VUCA: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous).

Coaching Leaders are inherently curious. They ask questions. They truly listen.

Coaching Leaders empower people to think for themselves to innovate and come up with their own ideas and solutions – which saves leaders massive amounts of time and allows more headspace for strategic thinking instead of constantly getting sucked in to solve other people’s problems. They give people a why and an outcome, then get out of the way while people do it.

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” Steve Jobs

Love him or hate him Steve Jobs was a pioneer in creating a space for innovation and new ways of thinking into his organisation!

Coaching Leaders help people learn from their mistakes and work towards future solutions rather than focusing on what went wrong. They challenge assumptions. They have a Growth Mindset and believe in people’s potential. They have humility.

Coaching Leaders are inherently curious. They ask questions. They truly listen.

The autocratic, hierarchical nature of many traditional leaderships styles is simply not conducive to a culture that promotes empowerment, growth, innovation, and personal well-being.

No longer can managers simply command and control. Having leaders who tell people what to do based on their often-outdated thinking and ideas doesn’t cut it these days. Leaders rewarding team members to execute flawlessly on things leaders already know how to do leads to increasing failure and disengagement! So often people interacting with customers at the coalface know more than managers. New thinking is constantly budding and blossoming – leaders these days simply cannot be across everything.

Coaching Leaders help people learn from their mistakes and work towards future solutions

Often, these ‘tell people what to do’ types of leaders and organizational cultures create an inherent threat or ‘away’ state for the individual employee. People do not feel heard, valued, or indeed connected to the purpose of the organization. When you rely on your people to carry an organization forward, not having engaged people is a huge risk and a threat to innovation and growth on all levels!

Coaching Leaders empower people to think for themselves to innovate and come up with their own ideas and solutions

The future of leadership is one where leaders reinvent themselves as Coaching Leaders whose job it is to listen, to draw energy, creativity, and learning out of the people with whom they work to engage and empower people to succeed.

Coaching leadership, when done properly also provides an underlying, inherent, and authentic environment that supports psychological safety in the workplace. It allows individuals to thrive and to feel they are contributing meaningfully.

Not everyone may be naturally attuned to being a coaching leader, but as neuroplasticity proves, it is possible for old dogs to learn new tricks. With the foundation of a willingness to learn and a growth mindset, we believe anyone can become an effective Coaching Leader – and we have a training course to deliver exactly that 😊.

Read more on Coaching Culture and Engagement here

At the beginning of 2021, we predicted that Coaching Leadership and Leadership for Engagement (Read article here) would be two of the Critical Leadership Capabilities organisations will need to navigate the many challenges facing them and their employees this year.

Never have we felt more strongly than we do now, that this should be the way forward for any Government, Private and NFP organisation looking to retain and develop great people, harness innovation, and increase performance in spite of the trials that await them.

Find out how we at Southern Cross Coaching and Development tackle Coaching Leadership, with our 7 Steps to creating a Coaching Culture.

7 STEPS TO CREATING A COACHING CULTURE